Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Simple Business Plan

By Joe Weller | October 11, 2021

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn

Link copied

A business plan is the cornerstone of any successful company, regardless of size or industry. This step-by-step guide provides information on writing a business plan for organizations at any stage, complete with free templates and expert advice. 

Included on this page, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan and a chart to identify which type of business plan you should write . Plus, find information on how a business plan can help grow a business and expert tips on writing one .

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document that communicates a company’s goals and ambitions, along with the timeline, finances, and methods needed to achieve them. Additionally, it may include a mission statement and details about the specific products or services offered.

A business plan can highlight varying time periods, depending on the stage of your company and its goals. That said, a typical business plan will include the following benchmarks:

  • Product goals and deadlines for each month
  • Monthly financials for the first two years
  • Profit and loss statements for the first three to five years
  • Balance sheet projections for the first three to five years

Startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses all create business plans to use as a guide as their new company progresses. Larger organizations may also create (and update) a business plan to keep high-level goals, financials, and timelines in check.

While you certainly need to have a formalized outline of your business’s goals and finances, creating a business plan can also help you determine a company’s viability, its profitability (including when it will first turn a profit), and how much money you will need from investors. In turn, a business plan has functional value as well: Not only does outlining goals help keep you accountable on a timeline, it can also attract investors in and of itself and, therefore, act as an effective strategy for growth.

For more information, visit our comprehensive guide to writing a strategic plan or download free strategic plan templates . This page focuses on for-profit business plans, but you can read our article with nonprofit business plan templates .

Business Plan Steps

The specific information in your business plan will vary, depending on the needs and goals of your venture, but a typical plan includes the following ordered elements:

  • Executive summary
  • Description of business
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Description of organizational management
  • Description of product or services
  • Marketing plan
  • Sales strategy
  • Funding details (or request for funding)
  • Financial projections

If your plan is particularly long or complicated, consider adding a table of contents or an appendix for reference. For an in-depth description of each step listed above, read “ How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step ” below.

Broadly speaking, your audience includes anyone with a vested interest in your organization. They can include potential and existing investors, as well as customers, internal team members, suppliers, and vendors.

Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan?

Your business’s stage and intended audience dictates the level of detail your plan needs. Corporations require a thorough business plan — up to 100 pages. Small businesses or startups should have a concise plan focusing on financials and strategy.

How to Choose the Right Plan for Your Business

In order to identify which type of business plan you need to create, ask: “What do we want the plan to do?” Identify function first, and form will follow.

Use the chart below as a guide for what type of business plan to create:

Is the Order of Your Business Plan Important?

There is no set order for a business plan, with the exception of the executive summary, which should always come first. Beyond that, simply ensure that you organize the plan in a way that makes sense and flows naturally.

The Difference Between Traditional and Lean Business Plans

A traditional business plan follows the standard structure — because these plans encourage detail, they tend to require more work upfront and can run dozens of pages. A Lean business plan is less common and focuses on summarizing critical points for each section. These plans take much less work and typically run one page in length.

In general, you should use a traditional model for a legacy company, a large company, or any business that does not adhere to Lean (or another Agile method ). Use Lean if you expect the company to pivot quickly or if you already employ a Lean strategy with other business operations. Additionally, a Lean business plan can suffice if the document is for internal use only. Stick to a traditional version for investors, as they may be more sensitive to sudden changes or a high degree of built-in flexibility in the plan.

How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step

Writing a strong business plan requires research and attention to detail for each section. Below, you’ll find a 10-step guide to researching and defining each element in the plan.

Step 1: Executive Summary

The executive summary will always be the first section of your business plan. The goal is to answer the following questions:

  • What is the vision and mission of the company?
  • What are the company’s short- and long-term goals?

See our  roundup of executive summary examples and templates for samples. Read our executive summary guide to learn more about writing one.

Step 2: Description of Business

The goal of this section is to define the realm, scope, and intent of your venture. To do so, answer the following questions as clearly and concisely as possible:

  • What business are we in?
  • What does our business do?

Step 3: Market Analysis

In this section, provide evidence that you have surveyed and understand the current marketplace, and that your product or service satisfies a niche in the market. To do so, answer these questions:

  • Who is our customer? 
  • What does that customer value?

Step 4: Competitive Analysis

In many cases, a business plan proposes not a brand-new (or even market-disrupting) venture, but a more competitive version — whether via features, pricing, integrations, etc. — than what is currently available. In this section, answer the following questions to show that your product or service stands to outpace competitors:

  • Who is the competition? 
  • What do they do best? 
  • What is our unique value proposition?

Step 5: Description of Organizational Management

In this section, write an overview of the team members and other key personnel who are integral to success. List roles and responsibilities, and if possible, note the hierarchy or team structure.

Step 6: Description of Products or Services

In this section, clearly define your product or service, as well as all the effort and resources that go into producing it. The strength of your product largely defines the success of your business, so it’s imperative that you take time to test and refine the product before launching into marketing, sales, or funding details.

Questions to answer in this section are as follows:

  • What is the product or service?
  • How do we produce it, and what resources are necessary for production?

Step 7: Marketing Plan

In this section, define the marketing strategy for your product or service. This doesn’t need to be as fleshed out as a full marketing plan , but it should answer basic questions, such as the following:

  • Who is the target market (if different from existing customer base)?
  • What channels will you use to reach your target market?
  • What resources does your marketing strategy require, and do you have access to them?
  • If possible, do you have a rough estimate of timeline and budget?
  • How will you measure success?

Step 8: Sales Plan

Write an overview of the sales strategy, including the priorities of each cycle, steps to achieve these goals, and metrics for success. For the purposes of a business plan, this section does not need to be a comprehensive, in-depth sales plan , but can simply outline the high-level objectives and strategies of your sales efforts. 

Start by answering the following questions:

  • What is the sales strategy?
  • What are the tools and tactics you will use to achieve your goals?
  • What are the potential obstacles, and how will you overcome them?
  • What is the timeline for sales and turning a profit?
  • What are the metrics of success?

Step 9: Funding Details (or Request for Funding)

This section is one of the most critical parts of your business plan, particularly if you are sharing it with investors. You do not need to provide a full financial plan, but you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How much capital do you currently have? How much capital do you need?
  • How will you grow the team (onboarding, team structure, training and development)?
  • What are your physical needs and constraints (space, equipment, etc.)?

Step 10: Financial Projections

Apart from the fundraising analysis, investors like to see thought-out financial projections for the future. As discussed earlier, depending on the scope and stage of your business, this could be anywhere from one to five years. 

While these projections won’t be exact — and will need to be somewhat flexible — you should be able to gauge the following:

  • How and when will the company first generate a profit?
  • How will the company maintain profit thereafter?

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Download Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel | Smartsheet

This basic business plan template has space for all the traditional elements: an executive summary, product or service details, target audience, marketing and sales strategies, etc. In the finances sections, input your baseline numbers, and the template will automatically calculate projections for sales forecasting, financial statements, and more.

For templates tailored to more specific needs, visit this business plan template roundup or download a fill-in-the-blank business plan template to make things easy. 

If you are looking for a particular template by file type, visit our pages dedicated exclusively to Microsoft Excel , Microsoft Word , and Adobe PDF business plan templates.

How to Write a Simple Business Plan

A simple business plan is a streamlined, lightweight version of the large, traditional model. As opposed to a one-page business plan , which communicates high-level information for quick overviews (such as a stakeholder presentation), a simple business plan can exceed one page.

Below are the steps for creating a generic simple business plan, which are reflected in the template below .

  • Write the Executive Summary This section is the same as in the traditional business plan — simply offer an overview of what’s in the business plan, the prospect or core offering, and the short- and long-term goals of the company. 
  • Add a Company Overview Document the larger company mission and vision. 
  • Provide the Problem and Solution In straightforward terms, define the problem you are attempting to solve with your product or service and how your company will attempt to do it. Think of this section as the gap in the market you are attempting to close.
  • Identify the Target Market Who is your company (and its products or services) attempting to reach? If possible, briefly define your buyer personas .
  • Write About the Competition In this section, demonstrate your knowledge of the market by listing the current competitors and outlining your competitive advantage.
  • Describe Your Product or Service Offerings Get down to brass tacks and define your product or service. What exactly are you selling?
  • Outline Your Marketing Tactics Without getting into too much detail, describe your planned marketing initiatives.
  • Add a Timeline and the Metrics You Will Use to Measure Success Offer a rough timeline, including milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to measure your progress.
  • Include Your Financial Forecasts Write an overview of your financial plan that demonstrates you have done your research and adequate modeling. You can also list key assumptions that go into this forecasting. 
  • Identify Your Financing Needs This section is where you will make your funding request. Based on everything in the business plan, list your proposed sources of funding, as well as how you will use it.

Simple Business Plan Template

Simple Business Plan Template

Download Simple Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel |  Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF  | Smartsheet

Use this simple business plan template to outline each aspect of your organization, including information about financing and opportunities to seek out further funding. This template is completely customizable to fit the needs of any business, whether it’s a startup or large company.

Read our article offering free simple business plan templates or free 30-60-90-day business plan templates to find more tailored options. You can also explore our collection of one page business templates . 

How to Write a Business Plan for a Lean Startup

A Lean startup business plan is a more Agile approach to a traditional version. The plan focuses more on activities, processes, and relationships (and maintains flexibility in all aspects), rather than on concrete deliverables and timelines.

While there is some overlap between a traditional and a Lean business plan, you can write a Lean plan by following the steps below:

  • Add Your Value Proposition Take a streamlined approach to describing your product or service. What is the unique value your startup aims to deliver to customers? Make sure the team is aligned on the core offering and that you can state it in clear, simple language.
  • List Your Key Partners List any other businesses you will work with to realize your vision, including external vendors, suppliers, and partners. This section demonstrates that you have thoughtfully considered the resources you can provide internally, identified areas for external assistance, and conducted research to find alternatives.
  • Note the Key Activities Describe the key activities of your business, including sourcing, production, marketing, distribution channels, and customer relationships.
  • Include Your Key Resources List the critical resources — including personnel, equipment, space, and intellectual property — that will enable you to deliver your unique value.
  • Identify Your Customer Relationships and Channels In this section, document how you will reach and build relationships with customers. Provide a high-level map of the customer experience from start to finish, including the spaces in which you will interact with the customer (online, retail, etc.). 
  • Detail Your Marketing Channels Describe the marketing methods and communication platforms you will use to identify and nurture your relationships with customers. These could be email, advertising, social media, etc.
  • Explain the Cost Structure This section is especially necessary in the early stages of a business. Will you prioritize maximizing value or keeping costs low? List the foundational startup costs and how you will move toward profit over time.
  • Share Your Revenue Streams Over time, how will the company make money? Include both the direct product or service purchase, as well as secondary sources of revenue, such as subscriptions, selling advertising space, fundraising, etc.

Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Lean Business Plan Templates for Startups

Download Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

Startup leaders can use this Lean business plan template to relay the most critical information from a traditional plan. You’ll find all the sections listed above, including spaces for industry and product overviews, cost structure and sources of revenue, and key metrics, and a timeline. The template is completely customizable, so you can edit it to suit the objectives of your Lean startups.

See our wide variety of  startup business plan templates for more options.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Loan

A business plan for a loan, often called a loan proposal , includes many of the same aspects of a traditional business plan, as well as additional financial documents, such as a credit history, a loan request, and a loan repayment plan.

In addition, you may be asked to include personal and business financial statements, a form of collateral, and equity investment information.

Download free financial templates to support your business plan.

Tips for Writing a Business Plan

Outside of including all the key details in your business plan, you have several options to elevate the document for the highest chance of winning funding and other resources. Follow these tips from experts:.

  • Keep It Simple: Avner Brodsky , the Co-Founder and CEO of Lezgo Limited, an online marketing company, uses the acronym KISS (keep it short and simple) as a variation on this idea. “The business plan is not a college thesis,” he says. “Just focus on providing the essential information.”
  • Do Adequate Research: Michael Dean, the Co-Founder of Pool Research , encourages business leaders to “invest time in research, both internal and external (market, finance, legal etc.). Avoid being overly ambitious or presumptive. Instead, keep everything objective, balanced, and accurate.” Your plan needs to stand on its own, and you must have the data to back up any claims or forecasting you make. As Brodsky explains, “Your business needs to be grounded on the realities of the market in your chosen location. Get the most recent data from authoritative sources so that the figures are vetted by experts and are reliable.”
  • Set Clear Goals: Make sure your plan includes clear, time-based goals. “Short-term goals are key to momentum growth and are especially important to identify for new businesses,” advises Dean.
  • Know (and Address) Your Weaknesses: “This awareness sets you up to overcome your weak points much quicker than waiting for them to arise,” shares Dean. Brodsky recommends performing a full SWOT analysis to identify your weaknesses, too. “Your business will fare better with self-knowledge, which will help you better define the mission of your business, as well as the strategies you will choose to achieve your objectives,” he adds.
  • Seek Peer or Mentor Review: “Ask for feedback on your drafts and for areas to improve,” advises Brodsky. “When your mind is filled with dreams for your business, sometimes it is an outsider who can tell you what you’re missing and will save your business from being a product of whimsy.”

Outside of these more practical tips, the language you use is also important and may make or break your business plan.

Shaun Heng, VP of Operations at Coin Market Cap , gives the following advice on the writing, “Your business plan is your sales pitch to an investor. And as with any sales pitch, you need to strike the right tone and hit a few emotional chords. This is a little tricky in a business plan, because you also need to be formal and matter-of-fact. But you can still impress by weaving in descriptive language and saying things in a more elegant way.

“A great way to do this is by expanding your vocabulary, avoiding word repetition, and using business language. Instead of saying that something ‘will bring in as many customers as possible,’ try saying ‘will garner the largest possible market segment.’ Elevate your writing with precise descriptive words and you'll impress even the busiest investor.”

Additionally, Dean recommends that you “stay consistent and concise by keeping your tone and style steady throughout, and your language clear and precise. Include only what is 100 percent necessary.”

Resources for Writing a Business Plan

While a template provides a great outline of what to include in a business plan, a live document or more robust program can provide additional functionality, visibility, and real-time updates. The U.S. Small Business Association also curates resources for writing a business plan.

Additionally, you can use business plan software to house data, attach documentation, and share information with stakeholders. Popular options include LivePlan, Enloop, BizPlanner, PlanGuru, and iPlanner.

How a Business Plan Helps to Grow Your Business

A business plan — both the exercise of creating one and the document — can grow your business by helping you to refine your product, target audience, sales plan, identify opportunities, secure funding, and build new partnerships. 

Outside of these immediate returns, writing a business plan is a useful exercise in that it forces you to research the market, which prompts you to forge your unique value proposition and identify ways to beat the competition. Doing so will also help you build (and keep you accountable to) attainable financial and product milestones. And down the line, it will serve as a welcome guide as hurdles inevitably arise.

Streamline Your Business Planning Activities with Real-Time Work Management in Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

How to Write a Business Plan: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

Determined female African-American entrepreneur scaling a mountain while wearing a large backpack. Represents the journey to starting and growing a business and needing to write a business plan to get there.

Noah Parsons

24 min. read

Updated February 2, 2024

Writing a business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. 

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to write a business plan that’s detailed enough to impress bankers and potential investors, while giving you the tools to start, run, and grow a successful business.

  • The basics of business planning

If you’re reading this guide, then you already know why you need a business plan . 

You understand that planning helps you: 

  • Raise money
  • Grow strategically
  • Keep your business on the right track 

As you start to write your plan, it’s useful to zoom out and remember what a business plan is .

At its core, a business plan is an overview of the products and services you sell, and the customers that you sell to. It explains your business strategy: how you’re going to build and grow your business, what your marketing strategy is, and who your competitors are.

Most business plans also include financial forecasts for the future. These set sales goals, budget for expenses, and predict profits and cash flow. 

A good business plan is much more than just a document that you write once and forget about. It’s also a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. 

After completing your plan, you can use it as a management tool to track your progress toward your goals. Updating and adjusting your forecasts and budgets as you go is one of the most important steps you can take to run a healthier, smarter business. 

We’ll dive into how to use your plan later in this article.

There are many different types of plans , but we’ll go over the most common type here, which includes everything you need for an investor-ready plan. However, if you’re just starting out and are looking for something simpler—I recommend starting with a one-page business plan . It’s faster and easier to create. 

It’s also the perfect place to start if you’re just figuring out your idea, or need a simple strategic plan to use inside your business.

Dig deeper : How to write a one-page business plan

What’s your biggest business challenge right now?

  • What to include in your business plan

Executive summary

The executive summary is an overview of your business and your plans. It comes first in your plan and is ideally just one to two pages. Most people write it last because it’s a summary of the complete business plan.

Ideally, the executive summary can act as a stand-alone document that covers the highlights of your detailed plan. 

In fact, it’s common for investors to ask only for the executive summary when evaluating your business. If they like what they see in the executive summary, they’ll often follow up with a request for a complete plan, a pitch presentation , or more in-depth financial forecasts .

Your executive summary should include:

  • A summary of the problem you are solving
  • A description of your product or service
  • An overview of your target market
  • A brief description of your team
  • A summary of your financials
  • Your funding requirements (if you are raising money)

Dig Deeper: How to write an effective executive summary

Products and services description

This is where you describe exactly what you’re selling, and how it solves a problem for your target market. The best way to organize this part of your plan is to start by describing the problem that exists for your customers. After that, you can describe how you plan to solve that problem with your product or service. 

This is usually called a problem and solution statement .

To truly showcase the value of your products and services, you need to craft a compelling narrative around your offerings. How will your product or service transform your customers’ lives or jobs? A strong narrative will draw in your readers.

This is also the part of the business plan to discuss any competitive advantages you may have, like specific intellectual property or patents that protect your product. If you have any initial sales, contracts, or other evidence that your product or service is likely to sell, include that information as well. It will show that your idea has traction , which can help convince readers that your plan has a high chance of success.

Market analysis

Your target market is a description of the type of people that you plan to sell to. You might even have multiple target markets, depending on your business. 

A market analysis is the part of your plan where you bring together all of the information you know about your target market. Basically, it’s a thorough description of who your customers are and why they need what you’re selling. You’ll also include information about the growth of your market and your industry .

Try to be as specific as possible when you describe your market. 

Include information such as age, income level, and location—these are what’s called “demographics.” If you can, also describe your market’s interests and habits as they relate to your business—these are “psychographics.” 

Related: Target market examples

Essentially, you want to include any knowledge you have about your customers that is relevant to how your product or service is right for them. With a solid target market, it will be easier to create a sales and marketing plan that will reach your customers. That’s because you know who they are, what they like to do, and the best ways to reach them.

Next, provide any additional information you have about your market. 

What is the size of your market ? Is the market growing or shrinking? Ideally, you’ll want to demonstrate that your market is growing over time, and also explain how your business is positioned to take advantage of any expected changes in your industry.

Dig Deeper: Learn how to write a market analysis

Competitive analysis

Part of defining your business opportunity is determining what your competitive advantage is. To do this effectively, you need to know as much about your competitors as your target customers. 

Every business has some form of competition. If you don’t think you have competitors, then explore what alternatives there are in the market for your product or service. 

For example: In the early years of cars, their main competition was horses. For social media, the early competition was reading books, watching TV, and talking on the phone.

A good competitive analysis fully lays out the competitive landscape and then explains how your business is different. Maybe your products are better made, or cheaper, or your customer service is superior. Maybe your competitive advantage is your location – a wide variety of factors can ultimately give you an advantage.

Dig Deeper: How to write a competitive analysis for your business plan

Marketing and sales plan

The marketing and sales plan covers how you will position your product or service in the market, the marketing channels and messaging you will use, and your sales tactics. 

The best place to start with a marketing plan is with a positioning statement . 

This explains how your business fits into the overall market, and how you will explain the advantages of your product or service to customers. You’ll use the information from your competitive analysis to help you with your positioning. 

For example: You might position your company as the premium, most expensive but the highest quality option in the market. Or your positioning might focus on being locally owned and that shoppers support the local economy by buying your products.

Once you understand your positioning, you’ll bring this together with the information about your target market to create your marketing strategy . 

This is how you plan to communicate your message to potential customers. Depending on who your customers are and how they purchase products like yours, you might use many different strategies, from social media advertising to creating a podcast. Your marketing plan is all about how your customers discover who you are and why they should consider your products and services. 

While your marketing plan is about reaching your customers—your sales plan will describe the actual sales process once a customer has decided that they’re interested in what you have to offer. 

If your business requires salespeople and a long sales process, describe that in this section. If your customers can “self-serve” and just make purchases quickly on your website, describe that process. 

A good sales plan picks up where your marketing plan leaves off. The marketing plan brings customers in the door and the sales plan is how you close the deal.

Together, these specific plans paint a picture of how you will connect with your target audience, and how you will turn them into paying customers.

Dig deeper: What to include in your sales and marketing plan

Business operations

The operations section describes the necessary requirements for your business to run smoothly. It’s where you talk about how your business works and what day-to-day operations look like. 

Depending on how your business is structured, your operations plan may include elements of the business like:

  • Supply chain management
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Equipment and technology
  • Distribution

Some businesses distribute their products and reach their customers through large retailers like Amazon.com, Walmart, Target, and grocery store chains. 

These businesses should review how this part of their business works. The plan should discuss the logistics and costs of getting products onto store shelves and any potential hurdles the business may have to overcome.

If your business is much simpler than this, that’s OK. This section of your business plan can be either extremely short or more detailed, depending on the type of business you are building.

For businesses selling services, such as physical therapy or online software, you can use this section to describe the technology you’ll leverage, what goes into your service, and who you will partner with to deliver your services.

Dig Deeper: Learn how to write the operations chapter of your plan

Key milestones and metrics

Although it’s not required to complete your business plan, mapping out key business milestones and the metrics can be incredibly useful for measuring your success.

Good milestones clearly lay out the parameters of the task and set expectations for their execution. You’ll want to include:

  • A description of each task
  • The proposed due date
  • Who is responsible for each task

If you have a budget, you can include projected costs to hit each milestone. You don’t need extensive project planning in this section—just list key milestones you want to hit and when you plan to hit them. This is your overall business roadmap. 

Possible milestones might be:

  • Website launch date
  • Store or office opening date
  • First significant sales
  • Break even date
  • Business licenses and approvals

You should also discuss the key numbers you will track to determine your success. Some common metrics worth tracking include:

  • Conversion rates
  • Customer acquisition costs
  • Profit per customer
  • Repeat purchases

It’s perfectly fine to start with just a few metrics and grow the number you are tracking over time. You also may find that some metrics simply aren’t relevant to your business and can narrow down what you’re tracking.

Dig Deeper: How to use milestones in your business plan

Organization and management team

Investors don’t just look for great ideas—they want to find great teams. Use this chapter to describe your current team and who you need to hire . You should also provide a quick overview of your location and history if you’re already up and running.

Briefly highlight the relevant experiences of each key team member in the company. It’s important to make the case for why yours is the right team to turn an idea into a reality. 

Do they have the right industry experience and background? Have members of the team had entrepreneurial successes before? 

If you still need to hire key team members, that’s OK. Just note those gaps in this section.

Your company overview should also include a summary of your company’s current business structure . The most common business structures include:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Partnership

Be sure to provide an overview of how the business is owned as well. Does each business partner own an equal portion of the business? How is ownership divided? 

Potential lenders and investors will want to know the structure of the business before they will consider a loan or investment.

Dig Deeper: How to write about your company structure and team

Financial plan

Last, but certainly not least, is your financial plan chapter. 

Entrepreneurs often find this section the most daunting. But, business financials for most startups are less complicated than you think, and a business degree is certainly not required to build a solid financial forecast. 

A typical financial forecast in a business plan includes the following:

  • Sales forecast : An estimate of the sales expected over a given period. You’ll break down your forecast into the key revenue streams that you expect to have.
  • Expense budget : Your planned spending such as personnel costs , marketing expenses, and taxes.
  • Profit & Loss : Brings together your sales and expenses and helps you calculate planned profits.
  • Cash Flow : Shows how cash moves into and out of your business. It can predict how much cash you’ll have on hand at any given point in the future.
  • Balance Sheet : A list of the assets, liabilities, and equity in your company. In short, it provides an overview of the financial health of your business. 

A strong business plan will include a description of assumptions about the future, and potential risks that could impact the financial plan. Including those will be especially important if you’re writing a business plan to pursue a loan or other investment.

Dig Deeper: How to create financial forecasts and budgets

This is the place for additional data, charts, or other information that supports your plan.

Including an appendix can significantly enhance the credibility of your plan by showing readers that you’ve thoroughly considered the details of your business idea, and are backing your ideas up with solid data.

Just remember that the information in the appendix is meant to be supplementary. Your business plan should stand on its own, even if the reader skips this section.

Dig Deeper : What to include in your business plan appendix

Optional: Business plan cover page

Adding a business plan cover page can make your plan, and by extension your business, seem more professional in the eyes of potential investors, lenders, and partners. It serves as the introduction to your document and provides necessary contact information for stakeholders to reference.

Your cover page should be simple and include:

  • Company logo
  • Business name
  • Value proposition (optional)
  • Business plan title
  • Completion and/or update date
  • Address and contact information
  • Confidentiality statement

Just remember, the cover page is optional. If you decide to include it, keep it very simple and only spend a short amount of time putting it together.

Dig Deeper: How to create a business plan cover page

How to use AI to help write your business plan

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can speed up the business plan writing process and help you think through concepts like market segmentation and competition. These tools are especially useful for taking ideas that you provide and converting them into polished text for your business plan.

The best way to use AI for your business plan is to leverage it as a collaborator , not a replacement for human creative thinking and ingenuity. 

AI can come up with lots of ideas and act as a brainstorming partner. It’s up to you to filter through those ideas and figure out which ones are realistic enough to resonate with your customers. 

There are pros and cons of using AI to help with your business plan . So, spend some time understanding how it can be most helpful before just outsourcing the job to AI.

Learn more: How to collaborate with AI on your business plan

  • Writing tips and strategies

To help streamline the business plan writing process, here are a few tips and key questions to answer to make sure you get the most out of your plan and avoid common mistakes .  

Determine why you are writing a business plan

Knowing why you are writing a business plan will determine your approach to your planning project. 

For example: If you are writing a business plan for yourself, or just to use inside your own business , you can probably skip the section about your team and organizational structure. 

If you’re raising money, you’ll want to spend more time explaining why you’re looking to raise the funds and exactly how you will use them.

Regardless of how you intend to use your business plan , think about why you are writing and what you’re trying to get out of the process before you begin.

Keep things concise

Probably the most important tip is to keep your business plan short and simple. There are no prizes for long business plans . The longer your plan is, the less likely people are to read it. 

So focus on trimming things down to the essentials your readers need to know. Skip the extended, wordy descriptions and instead focus on creating a plan that is easy to read —using bullets and short sentences whenever possible.

Have someone review your business plan

Writing a business plan in a vacuum is never a good idea. Sometimes it’s helpful to zoom out and check if your plan makes sense to someone else. You also want to make sure that it’s easy to read and understand.

Don’t wait until your plan is “done” to get a second look. Start sharing your plan early, and find out from readers what questions your plan leaves unanswered. This early review cycle will help you spot shortcomings in your plan and address them quickly, rather than finding out about them right before you present your plan to a lender or investor.

If you need a more detailed review, you may want to explore hiring a professional plan writer to thoroughly examine it.

Use a free business plan template and business plan examples to get started

Knowing what information you need to cover in a business plan sometimes isn’t quite enough. If you’re struggling to get started or need additional guidance, it may be worth using a business plan template. 

If you’re looking for a free downloadable business plan template to get you started, download the template used by more than 1 million businesses. 

Or, if you just want to see what a completed business plan looks like, check out our library of over 550 free business plan examples . 

We even have a growing list of industry business planning guides with tips for what to focus on depending on your business type.

Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re writing your business plan. Some entrepreneurs get sucked into the writing and research process, and don’t focus enough on actually getting their business started. 

Here are a few common mistakes and how to avoid them:

Not talking to your customers : This is one of the most common mistakes. It’s easy to assume that your product or service is something that people want. Before you invest too much in your business and too much in the planning process, make sure you talk to your prospective customers and have a good understanding of their needs.

  • Overly optimistic sales and profit forecasts: By nature, entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future. But it’s good to temper that optimism a little when you’re planning, and make sure your forecasts are grounded in reality. 
  • Spending too much time planning: Yes, planning is crucial. But you also need to get out and talk to customers, build prototypes of your product and figure out if there’s a market for your idea. Make sure to balance planning with building.
  • Not revising the plan: Planning is useful, but nothing ever goes exactly as planned. As you learn more about what’s working and what’s not—revise your plan, your budgets, and your revenue forecast. Doing so will provide a more realistic picture of where your business is going, and what your financial needs will be moving forward.
  • Not using the plan to manage your business: A good business plan is a management tool. Don’t just write it and put it on the shelf to collect dust – use it to track your progress and help you reach your goals.
  • Presenting your business plan

The planning process forces you to think through every aspect of your business and answer questions that you may not have thought of. That’s the real benefit of writing a business plan – the knowledge you gain about your business that you may not have been able to discover otherwise.

With all of this knowledge, you’re well prepared to convert your business plan into a pitch presentation to present your ideas. 

A pitch presentation is a summary of your plan, just hitting the highlights and key points. It’s the best way to present your business plan to investors and team members.

Dig Deeper: Learn what key slides should be included in your pitch deck

Use your business plan to manage your business

One of the biggest benefits of planning is that it gives you a tool to manage your business better. With a revenue forecast, expense budget, and projected cash flow, you know your targets and where you are headed.

And yet, nothing ever goes exactly as planned – it’s the nature of business.

That’s where using your plan as a management tool comes in. The key to leveraging it for your business is to review it periodically and compare your forecasts and projections to your actual results.

Start by setting up a regular time to review the plan – a monthly review is a good starting point. During this review, answer questions like:

  • Did you meet your sales goals?
  • Is spending following your budget?
  • Has anything gone differently than what you expected?

Now that you see whether you’re meeting your goals or are off track, you can make adjustments and set new targets. 

Maybe you’re exceeding your sales goals and should set new, more aggressive goals. In that case, maybe you should also explore more spending or hiring more employees. 

Or maybe expenses are rising faster than you projected. If that’s the case, you would need to look at where you can cut costs.

A plan, and a method for comparing your plan to your actual results , is the tool you need to steer your business toward success.

Learn More: How to run a regular plan review

Free business plan templates and examples

Kickstart your business plan writing with one of our free business plan templates or recommended tools.

cheap business plan

Free business plan template

Download a free SBA-approved business plan template built for small businesses and startups.

Download Template

cheap business plan

One-page plan template

Download a free one-page plan template to write a useful business plan in as little as 30-minutes.

cheap business plan

Sample business plan library

Explore over 500 real-world business plan examples from a wide variety of industries.

View Sample Plans

cheap business plan

Write your plan faster with LivePlan

Try the business planning and growth tool trusted by over 1-million business owners.

Start your plan

How to write a business plan FAQ

What is a business plan?

A document that describes your business , the products and services you sell, and the customers that you sell to. It explains your business strategy, how you’re going to build and grow your business, what your marketing strategy is, and who your competitors are.

What are the benefits of a business plan?

A business plan helps you understand where you want to go with your business and what it will take to get there. It reduces your overall risk, helps you uncover your business’s potential, attracts investors, and identifies areas for growth.

Having a business plan ultimately makes you more confident as a business owner and more likely to succeed for a longer period of time.

What are the 7 steps of a business plan?

The seven steps to writing a business plan include:

  • Write a brief executive summary
  • Describe your products and services.
  • Conduct market research and compile data into a cohesive market analysis.
  • Describe your marketing and sales strategy.
  • Outline your organizational structure and management team.
  • Develop financial projections for sales, revenue, and cash flow.
  • Add any additional documents to your appendix.

What are the 5 most common business plan mistakes?

There are plenty of mistakes that can be made when writing a business plan. However, these are the 5 most common that you should do your best to avoid:

  • 1. Not taking the planning process seriously.
  • Having unrealistic financial projections or incomplete financial information.
  • Inconsistent information or simple mistakes.
  • Failing to establish a sound business model.
  • Not having a defined purpose for your business plan.

What questions should be answered in a business plan?

Writing a business plan is all about asking yourself questions about your business and being able to answer them through the planning process. You’ll likely be asking dozens and dozens of questions for each section of your plan.

However, these are the key questions you should ask and answer with your business plan:

  • How will your business make money?
  • Is there a need for your product or service?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How are you different from the competition?
  • How will you reach your customers?
  • How will you measure success?

How long should a business plan be?

The length of your business plan fully depends on what you intend to do with it. From the SBA and traditional lender point of view, a business plan needs to be whatever length necessary to fully explain your business. This means that you prove the viability of your business, show that you understand the market, and have a detailed strategy in place.

If you intend to use your business plan for internal management purposes, you don’t necessarily need a full 25-50 page business plan. Instead, you can start with a one-page plan to get all of the necessary information in place.

What are the different types of business plans?

While all business plans cover similar categories, the style and function fully depend on how you intend to use your plan. Here are a few common business plan types worth considering.

Traditional business plan: The tried-and-true traditional business plan is a formal document meant to be used when applying for funding or pitching to investors. This type of business plan follows the outline above and can be anywhere from 10-50 pages depending on the amount of detail included, the complexity of your business, and what you include in your appendix.

Business model canvas: The business model canvas is a one-page template designed to demystify the business planning process. It removes the need for a traditional, copy-heavy business plan, in favor of a single-page outline that can help you and outside parties better explore your business idea.

One-page business plan: This format is a simplified version of the traditional plan that focuses on the core aspects of your business. You’ll typically stick with bullet points and single sentences. It’s most useful for those exploring ideas, needing to validate their business model, or who need an internal plan to help them run and manage their business.

Lean Plan: The Lean Plan is less of a specific document type and more of a methodology. It takes the simplicity and styling of the one-page business plan and turns it into a process for you to continuously plan, test, review, refine, and take action based on performance. It’s faster, keeps your plan concise, and ensures that your plan is always up-to-date.

What’s the difference between a business plan and a strategic plan?

A business plan covers the “who” and “what” of your business. It explains what your business is doing right now and how it functions. The strategic plan explores long-term goals and explains “how” the business will get there. It encourages you to look more intently toward the future and how you will achieve your vision.

However, when approached correctly, your business plan can actually function as a strategic plan as well. If kept lean, you can define your business, outline strategic steps, and track ongoing operations all with a single plan.

LivePlan Logo

See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan

Content Author: Noah Parsons

Noah is the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan. He started his career at Yahoo! and then helped start the user review site Epinions.com. From there he started a software distribution business in the UK before coming to Palo Alto Software to run the marketing and product teams.

cheap business plan

Table of Contents

  • Use AI to help write your plan
  • Common planning mistakes
  • Manage with your business plan
  • Templates and examples

Related Articles

cheap business plan

8 Min. Read

Don't forget digital marketing

cheap business plan

13 Min. Read

Nonprofit business plan

cheap business plan

10 Min. Read

Wedding venue business plan

cheap business plan

5 Min. Read

Agritourism business plan

The LivePlan Newsletter

Become a smarter, more strategic entrepreneur.

Your first monthly newsetter will be delivered soon..

Unsubscribe anytime. Privacy policy .

Garrett's Bike Shop

The quickest way to turn a business idea into a business plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.

No thanks, I prefer writing 40-page documents.

LivePlan pitch example

Discover the world’s #1 plan building software

cheap business plan

  • Search Search Please fill out this field.

What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, common elements of a business plan, how often should a business plan be updated, the bottom line, business plan: what it is, what's included, and how to write one.

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

cheap business plan

A business plan is a document that details a company's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Business plans can be of benefit to both startups and well-established companies. For startups, a business plan can be essential for winning over potential lenders and investors. Established businesses can find one useful for staying on track and not losing sight of their goals. This article explains what an effective business plan needs to include and how to write one.

Key Takeaways

  • A business plan is a document describing a company's business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
  • Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
  • For established companies, a business plan can help keep the executive team focused on and working toward the company's short- and long-term objectives.
  • There is no single format that a business plan must follow, but there are certain key elements that most companies will want to include.

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

Any new business should have a business plan in place prior to beginning operations. In fact, banks and venture capital firms often want to see a business plan before they'll consider making a loan or providing capital to new businesses.

Even if a business isn't looking to raise additional money, a business plan can help it focus on its goals. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article reported that, "Entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical nonplanning entrepreneurs."

Ideally, a business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect any goals that have been achieved or that may have changed. An established business that has decided to move in a new direction might create an entirely new business plan for itself.

There are numerous benefits to creating (and sticking to) a well-conceived business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and highlighting any potential obstacles to success. A company might also share its business plan with trusted outsiders to get their objective feedback. In addition, a business plan can help keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and priorities.

Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they often have some of the same basic elements, as we describe below.

While it's a good idea to provide as much detail as necessary, it's also important that a business plan be concise enough to hold a reader's attention to the end.

While there are any number of templates that you can use to write a business plan, it's best to try to avoid producing a generic-looking one. Let your plan reflect the unique personality of your business.

Many business plans use some combination of the sections below, with varying levels of detail, depending on the company.

The length of a business plan can vary greatly from business to business. Regardless, it's best to fit the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and attached as appendices.

These are some of the most common elements in many business plans:

  • Executive summary: This section introduces the company and includes its mission statement along with relevant information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and locations.
  • Products and services: Here, the company should describe the products and services it offers or plans to introduce. That might include details on pricing, product lifespan, and unique benefits to the consumer. Other factors that could go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any relevant patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
  • Market analysis: A company needs to have a good handle on the current state of its industry and the existing competition. This section should explain where the company fits in, what types of customers it plans to target, and how easy or difficult it may be to take market share from incumbents.
  • Marketing strategy: This section can describe how the company plans to attract and keep customers, including any anticipated advertising and marketing campaigns. It should also describe the distribution channel or channels it will use to get its products or services to consumers.
  • Financial plans and projections: Established businesses can include financial statements, balance sheets, and other relevant financial information. New businesses can provide financial targets and estimates for the first few years. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making.

The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should aim to entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its uniqueness and potential for success.

2 Types of Business Plans

Business plans can take many forms, but they are sometimes divided into two basic categories: traditional and lean startup. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the more common of the two.

  • Traditional business plans : These plans tend to be much longer than lean startup plans and contain considerably more detail. As a result they require more work on the part of the business, but they can also be more persuasive (and reassuring) to potential investors.
  • Lean startup business plans : These use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans are short—as short as one page—and provide only the most basic detail. If a company wants to use this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or a lender requests it.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

A business plan is not a surefire recipe for success. The plan may have been unrealistic in its assumptions and projections to begin with. Markets and the overall economy might change in ways that couldn't have been foreseen. A competitor might introduce a revolutionary new product or service. All of this calls for building some flexibility into your plan, so you can pivot to a new course if needed.

How frequently a business plan needs to be revised will depend on the nature of the business. A well-established business might want to review its plan once a year and make changes if necessary. A new or fast-growing business in a fiercely competitive market might want to revise it more often, such as quarterly.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers to give a quick explanation of its business. For example, a brand-new company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide yet.

Sections can include: a value proposition ; the company's major activities and advantages; resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital; a list of partnerships; customer segments; and revenue sources.

A business plan can be useful to companies of all kinds. But as a company grows and the world around it changes, so too should its business plan. So don't think of your business plan as carved in granite but as a living document designed to evolve with your business.

Harvard Business Review. " Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

  • How to Start a Business: A Comprehensive Guide and Essential Steps 1 of 25
  • How to Do Market Research, Types, and Example 2 of 25
  • Marketing Strategy: What It Is, How It Works, and How to Create One 3 of 25
  • Marketing in Business: Strategies and Types Explained 4 of 25
  • What Is a Marketing Plan? Types and How to Write One 5 of 25
  • Business Development: Definition, Strategies, Steps & Skills 6 of 25
  • Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How to Write One 7 of 25
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC): Meaning, Types, Impact 8 of 25
  • How to Write a Business Plan for a Loan 9 of 25
  • Business Startup Costs: It’s in the Details 10 of 25
  • Startup Capital Definition, Types, and Risks 11 of 25
  • Bootstrapping Definition, Strategies, and Pros/Cons 12 of 25
  • Crowdfunding: What It Is, How It Works, and Popular Websites 13 of 25
  • Starting a Business with No Money: How to Begin 14 of 25
  • A Comprehensive Guide to Establishing Business Credit 15 of 25
  • Equity Financing: What It Is, How It Works, Pros and Cons 16 of 25
  • Best Startup Business Loans 17 of 25
  • Sole Proprietorship: What It Is, Pros & Cons, and Differences From an LLC 18 of 25
  • Partnership: Definition, How It Works, Taxation, and Types 19 of 25
  • What is an LLC? Limited Liability Company Structure and Benefits Defined 20 of 25
  • Corporation: What It Is and How to Form One 21 of 25
  • Starting a Small Business: Your Complete How-to Guide 22 of 25
  • Starting an Online Business: A Step-by-Step Guide 23 of 25
  • How to Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business: Essential Tips 24 of 25
  • How to Start a Successful Dropshipping Business: A Comprehensive Guide 25 of 25

cheap business plan

  • Terms of Service
  • Editorial Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Your Privacy Choices
  • Credit cards
  • View all credit cards
  • Banking guide
  • Loans guide
  • Insurance guide
  • Personal finance
  • View all personal finance
  • Small business
  • View all small business
  • View all taxes

You’re our first priority. Every time.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners .

5 Tips to Write a Successful Business Plan

Olivia Chen

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or a new entrepreneur, a business plan is crucial to the success and growth of your business, but it can feel like an overwhelming task.

A business plan should act as a “compass,” according to Danielle Langton, a business strategist and coach based in Austin, Texas. It can help you maintain focus as you navigate the market, silence internal and external distractions, and secure business financing .

A well-written business plan will also create confidence, clarity, direction and alignment for a business owner and their team. To help you navigate the process, two business advisors share their best tips for writing a business plan.

Looking for tools to help grow your business?

Tell us where you're at in your business journey, and we'll direct you to the experience that fits.

on Nerdwallet's secure site

1. Think big picture

Rather than diving into a 60-page business plan template, start by conceptualizing your business, recommends Oren Shani, a certified business advisor at Accion Opportunity Fund, a nonprofit community development financial institution based in California.

For new businesses, that means thinking about what differentiating value you bring to the market and how to turn that value into revenue, says Shani. For operating businesses, Langton says, it means understanding what worked the previous year and what didn’t.

Once you have this “bird’s-eye view,” you can more easily narrow down your action steps, which will vary based on your business, says Shani. “A lot of businesses find that they don’t need that 60-pager,” he says, noting that some businesses really only need a one-page mini-plan, or “lean plan.”

2. Factor in your lifestyle

Langton’s main advice to her clients is to prioritize the balance between business and their personal lives. Understanding and outlining your priorities outside of the business gives you clarity on how you can spend time with your business, which can ultimately make you a more efficient and effective business owner. “As you are creating a living,” she asks her clients, “are you actually also enjoying the life that it is providing, or are you just so focused on the revenue?”

To create this clarity, she recommends starting with your “nonnegotiables,” or things that you aren’t willing to sacrifice in your daily life to run your business. From there, you can build what your ideal week looks like and work your business schedule around that.

3. Make the time

As for actually sitting down to write your business plan , consider both your schedule and how you work best. For those who prefer to focus on one task at a time, Langton suggests setting aside a week, even blocking the time on your calendar if you’re having trouble making it a priority. Consider a change of scenery to clear any mental blocks or provide extra inspiration.

However, if feeling overwhelmed has kept you from starting in the first place, Shani advises against compartmentalizing. Getting something on paper, even if it’s just a bulleted list to start, is more effective than waiting for a free day with no distractions, he says. Plus, working on your business plan while running your business can provide benefits too, as real-time analysis can enhance your strategy as you go.

Langton adds that perfectionism and business plans don’t go hand in hand, especially for new business owners.

4. Embrace the living business plan

Whether you’re a new business owner or 20-year veteran, a business plan is never truly done, according to both Shani and Langton. As your understanding of your business, the market, and your customer base changes and adapts, so should your business plan.

The lengthiest part of the business plan process is the learning, rather than actually getting it on paper, says Shani. Every time a sale is made or not made, for instance, a business owner should seek to understand why or why not. This will help them identify their customers’ purchasing behaviors and how their customers engage with the business’s brand and products.

For some business owners, a monthly or quarterly cadence to check in, reprioritize and shed the things that aren’t working may make the most sense. Others may find it more useful to revisit their plan when there are new insights or significant changes to the market, such as new regulations, nearby real estate developments or fresh competitors, says Shani.

5. Leverage your busy season

For business owners expecting an upcoming holiday rush , this can be good news for your business plan, in addition to your bottom line. Leaning in during your busy season can be one of the best ways to collect data about your business, and capitalizing on that information at the end of the year can set you up well for the next, says Langton.

Not everything has to be buttoned up by the first of the year, but making observations and mental notes now will set you up to make meaningful updates to your business plan in January, she says.

On a similar note...

We use essential cookies to make Venngage work. By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Manage Cookies

Cookies and similar technologies collect certain information about how you’re using our website. Some of them are essential, and without them you wouldn’t be able to use Venngage. But others are optional, and you get to choose whether we use them or not.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are always on, as they’re essential for making Venngage work, and making it safe. Without these cookies, services you’ve asked for can’t be provided.

Show cookie providers

  • Google Login

Functionality Cookies

These cookies help us provide enhanced functionality and personalisation, and remember your settings. They may be set by us or by third party providers.

Performance Cookies

These cookies help us analyze how many people are using Venngage, where they come from and how they're using it. If you opt out of these cookies, we can’t get feedback to make Venngage better for you and all our users.

  • Google Analytics

Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set by our advertising partners to track your activity and show you relevant Venngage ads on other sites as you browse the internet.

  • Google Tag Manager

Free Online Business Plan Maker

Create a compelling and convincing business plan online with Venngage. Templates available for your every need, whether it's business plans, financial plans, marketing plans, and more.

cheap business plan

Not a designer? No problem. With our easy-to-edit templates and online business plan generator, anyone can create a professional business plan for free. Over 40,000 businesses already use and trust Venngage.

Design from one of our business plan templates

Choose from hundreds of business plan templates. see all business plan templates, launch a profitable business with a visually engaging business plan.

cheap business plan

Your business is unique and impactful — so should your business plan. Make sure the plan you share with investors, lenders, and other stakeholders is not only packed with key data and information but visually engaging too.

cheap business plan

Looking to make your business plan stand out from the pack? Venngage's unique business plan templates add serious style to your ideas. Venngage's Business Plan Builder is a fraction of the cost of hiring a writer — you can even try creating a business plan for free.

cheap business plan

Whether you're looking for a traditional business plan format or something more creative, Venngage's easy-to-edit business plan templates let anyone design business plans. No experience required. Free business plan templates available.

cheap business plan

Nothing's better to convince your stakeholders than some sweet data that speaks volume. Engage and persuade your investors by visualizing your business plan data with Venngage's unique charts, graphs and diagrams.

Create a winning business plan with Venngage in 5 steps:

Create a winning business plan with Venngage in 5 steps:

Design an unforgettable and convincing business plan today:

cheap business plan

Business Plan Templates

Save money and hours of design time with Venngage's easy-to-edit templates and free business plan generator. Free online business plan templates available.

cheap business plan

Easy-to-Use Editor

Venngage's online business plan builder is intuitive to use. The drag-and-drop editor means faster and better designs even when you don't have design experience.

cheap business plan

Download Business Plans

Download your document with one click as an image (PNG), PDF, Interactive PDF or PowerPoint file. Add it to your Google Docs or Slides, Word doc or existing PowerPoint slides (paid plans only).

Visualize Business Plan Data

Visualize Business Plan Data

Persuade your stakeholders and tell a story with your business plan data through charts, graphs, maps and diagrams. Copy and paste your data or upload it in a .csv file in one click.

Brand Your Business Plans

Brand Your Business Plans

Use Venngage's My Brand Kit to automatically import your brand identity. Then, add your brand colors and fonts to any business plan designs with one click.

Collaborate In Real Time

Collaborate In Real Time

Collaborate with your whole team with Venngage's real-time collaboration. Leave helpful feedback through comments and create impactful business plans.

cheap business plan

Easy-to-edit professional business plan templates

  • Our team of professional designers have created a collection of unique, online business plan templates that anyone can customize. Pick a simple template, add your text and data and you're done.
  • Or choose a more creative template and play around with the fonts, photos, icons, colors, and more.
  • Whatever the case, Venngage's drag-and-drop free business plan generator lets anyone create a beautiful, professional business plan without any design experience.
  • Share a public link for free from our online business plan creator. Don't worry. You can go back and edit your design at any time.

One-click branding with My Brand Kit

One-click branding with My Brand Kit

Show off important metrics with professional data visualizations

Collaborate with your whole team throughout the design process.

Collaborate with your whole team throughout the design process

Business Plan Maker FAQs

How much does venngage's business plan builder cost.

Anyone can make a business plan for free and share a link to their work. Our Premium ($19/month) and Business ($49/month) plans include premium, professional business plan templates and features, plus access to multiple download formats.

How can I write my own business plan?

Your business plan can include these sections: executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization management, service/product line, marketing & sales, funding requests, financial projections, etc. Add sections to your business plan as you see fit — depending on the kind of plan you're creating. No matter the type of business plans you're making, Venngage has a template for that.

Can I download my business plan?

Yes! You can download your business plan in PNG, PDF, Interactive PDF, or PowerPoint formats (paid plans only). It's free to share a public link. It's also free to create an account and test out our online business plan maker with a free business plan template.

Wow your clients and investors at first sight — Create a convincing and winning business plan with Venngage's online business plan generator

cheap business plan

Popular business plan templates you can edit right away

Nonprofit organization business plan template, business operational plan template, real estate investment business plan template, business continuity and disaster recovery plan template.

Home > Business > Business Startup

  • 5 Best Business Plan Software and Tools in 2023 for Your Small Business

4.5 out of 5 stars

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Chloe Goodshore

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure .

A business plan can do a lot for your business. It can help you secure investors or other funding. It can give your company direction. It can keep your finances healthy. But, if we’re being honest, it can also be a pain to write.

Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch or go it alone. Business plan software and services can help you craft a professional business plan, like our top choice LivePlan , which provides templates, guidance, and more.

You’ve got quite a few choices for business plan help, so we’re here to help you narrow things down. Let’s talk about the best business plan tools out there.

  • LivePlan : Best overall
  • BizPlanBuilder : Most user-friendly
  • Wise Business Plans : Best professional service
  • Business Sorter : Best for internal plans
  • GoSmallBiz.com : Most extra features
  • Honorable mentions

Business plan software 101

The takeaway, business plan software faq, compare the best business plan software.

cheap business plan

By signing up I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy .

LivePlan: Best overall business plan software

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *With annual billing

LivePlan has been our favorite business plan software for a while now, despite the stiff competition.

There’s a lot to like about LivePlan. It has pretty much all the features you could want from your business plan software. LivePlan gives you step-by-step instructions for writing your plan, helps you create financial reports, lets you compare your business’s actual financials to your plan’s goals, and much more. And if you ever need inspiration, it includes hundreds of sample business plans that can guide your writing.

LivePlan software pricing

But the best part? You get all that (and more) at a very competitive price. (You can choose from annual, six-month, or monthly billing.) While LivePlan isn’t quite the cheapest business plan builder out there, it’s not too far off either. And if comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So there’s no risk in trying LivePlan out for yourself.

With a great balance of features and cost, LivePlan offers the best business plan solution for most businesses.

BizPlanBuilder: Most user-friendly

Need something easy to use? BizPlanBuilder fits the bill.

BizPlanBuilder doesn’t have a flashy, modern user interface―but it does have a very clear, intuitive one. You’ll be able to see your plan’s overall structure at a glance, so you can quickly navigate from your title page to your market trend section to that paragraph on your core values. And as you write, you’ll use a text editor that looks a whole lot like the word processing programs you’re already familiar with.

BizPlanBuilder software pricing

Data effective 3/13/23. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

BizPlanBuilder also offers lots of helpful guidance for actually writing your plan. It gives you pre-written text, in which you just have to fill in relevant details. It offers explanations for what information you need to include in each section of your plan and way. It even gives you helpful tips from experts, so you’ll have all the information you need to plan like a pro.

So if you want planning software with almost no learning curve, you’ll like BizPlanBuilder.

Wise Business Plans: Best professional service

  • Custom quote

Unlike all the other companies on this list, Wise Business Plans doesn’t offer software. Instead, it offers professional business plan writing services―meaning someone does all the hard work for you.

Now, you might think that sounds expensive―and you’re probably right (you have to request a custom quote for your plan). But there’s a lot to be said for expertise, and Wise Business Plans has plenty of that. Your business plan will get written by an experienced writer (with an MBA, no less). They’ll get information from you, do their own research, and then write your plan. You get one free revision, and you can always pay for more.  

Wise Business Plans service pricing

Your end result will be a polished, entirely original business plan. (You can even get printed copies.) And best of all, you won’t have to spend your precious time working on the plan yourself. Wise Business Plans takes care of all the hard parts, and makes your business look good while doing it. Sounds like a service worth paying for, right?

Put simply, if you want the most professional business plan possible, we recommend using Wise Business Plans’s writing service.

Business Sorter: Best for internal plans

Many businesses need plans to show to people outside the company (to get financing, for example). But what if you just need a plan for internal use? In that case, we suggest Business Sorter.

Business Sorter uses a unique card-based method to help you craft the perfect business plan. (You can watch a demo video to see how it works.) You’ll plan some of the usual things, like finances and marketing. But Business Sorter also lets you make plans for specific teams and team members. It also emphasizes more internal matters, like operations, that might get overlooked in a business plan for outsiders.

Business Sorter software pricing

After you’ve made your business plan, Business Sorter also helps you stay accountable to it. You can create tasks, give them deadlines, and assign them to team members―giving you basic project management tools to make sure your business plans become business actions. (Oh, and did we mention that Business Sorter has the lowest starting prices of any software on this list?)

It all adds up to a business plan software that works great for internal planning.

GoSmallBiz: Most extra features

Want to get way more than just business planning software? Then you probably want GoSmallBiz.

See, GoSmallBiz offers business plan software as part of its service―but it’s just one part of a much bigger whole. You also get everything from discounts on legal services to a website builder to a CRM (customer relationship manager) to business document templates. And more. In other words, you get just about everything you need to get your startup off the ground.

GoSmallBiz software pricing

Don’t worry though―you still get all the business planning help you need. GoSmallBiz gives you business plan templates, step-by-step instructions, and the ability to create financial projections. And if you get stuck, GoSmallBiz will put you in touch with experts who can offer advice.

If you want business planning and much, much more, give GoSmallBiz a try.

  • PlanGuru : Best financial forecasting
  • EnLoop : Cheapest tool for startups

We recommend the software above for most business planning needs. Some businesses, though, might be interested in these more specialized planning software.

Honorable mention software pricing

Planguru: best financial forecasting features.

Plan Guru

PlanGuru is pretty pricey compared to our other picks, but you might find its forecasting features worth paying for. It has more forecasting methods than other software (over 20) plus it lets you forecast up to 10 years.

EnLoop: Cheapest tool for startups

enloop logo

EnLoop doesn’t have our favorite features or interface, but it does have really, really low pricing plus a seven-day free trial. It's the most affordable software for startup business planning and still provides all the essential features like financial analysis, team collaboration, charting, and more.

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. * With annual billing

Several of our previous favorite planning software, including BusinessPlanPro and StratPad, seem to have gone out of business.

A business plan is a written, living document that tells the story of your business and what you plan to do with it. It serves as the source of truth for you—the business owner—as well as potential partners, employees, and investors, but it also serves as a roadmap of what you want your business to be.

Why you need a business plan

While some small-business owners don’t see the point of creating a formal business plan, it can have some concrete benefits for your business. For example, one 2016 study found that business owners with written plans are more successful than those that don’t. 1

Still too vague? Then let’s get specific.

If you ever seek business funding (from, say, banks, angel investors , or venture capitalists ), you’ll have to prove that your business deserves the money you want. A formal business plan―complete with financial data and projections―gives you a professional document you can use to make your case. (In fact, most potential investors will expect you to have a business plan ready.)

Even if you’re not seeking funding right now, a business plan can help your business. A formal plan can guide your business’s direction and decision making. It can keep your business accountable (by, for example, seeing if your business meets the financial projections you included). And a formal plan offers a great way to make sure your team stays on the same page.

What to include in your business plan

Not all business plans are created equal. To make a really useful business plan, you’ll want to include a number of elements:

  • Basic information about your business
  • Your products/services
  • Market and industry analysis
  • What makes your business competitive
  • Strategies and upcoming plans
  • Your team (and your team’s background)
  • Current financial status
  • Financial and market projections
  • Executive summary

Of course, you can include more or fewer elements―whatever makes sense for your business. Just make sure your business plan is comprehensive (but not overwhelming).

How business plan software can help

With so many elements to include, business plan creation can take a while. Business plan software tries to speed things up.

Most business plan software will include prompts for each section. In some cases, you can just fill in your business’s specific information, and the software will write the text for you. In other cases, the software will give you specific guidance and examples, helping you write the text yourself.

Plus, business plan software can help you stay organized. You’ll usually get intuitive menus that let you quickly flip through sections. So rather than endlessly scrolling through a long document in a word processor, you can quickly find your way around your plan. Some software even lets you drag and drop sections to reorganize your plan.

Sounds way easier than just staring at a blank page and trying to start from scratch, right?

Choosing business plan software

To find the right business plan builder for your business, you’ll want to compare features. For example, would you rather write your own text, getting prompts and advice from your software? Or would you rather go with a fill-in-the-blank method?

Likewise, think about the elements you need. If your plan will have a heavy focus on finances, you’ll want to choose business plan software with robust financial projection features. If you care more about market and competitor analysis, look for software that can help with that research.

You may also want to find business plan software that integrates with your business accounting software . Some plan builders will import data from Xero, QuickBooks, etc. to quickly generate your financial data and projections.

And of course, you’ll want to compare prices. After all, you always want to end up with software that fits your business budget.

The right business plan software can make your life easier. With LivePlan ’s wide breadth of features and online learning tools, you can’t go wrong. Plus, BizPlanBuilder 's one-time pricing makes it easy to invest while Business Sorter has a low starting cost. And if you're business is looking to grow, GoSmallBiz and Wise Business Plans will scale with you.

But of course, different companies have different needs. So shop around until you find the software that’s best for you and your business.

Now that you've got a business plan, take a look at our checklist for starting a small business.  It can help you make sure you have everything else you need to get your startup off to a good start!

Related content

  • 7 Steps to Build a Successful Project Management Sales Plan
  • Best Project Management Software and Tools in 2023
  • 4 Cost Management Techniques for Small Businesses

Creating a business plan can take anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks. Your timeline will depend on things like the elements you choose to include, whether you use software or hire a writing service, and how much research goes into your plan.

That said, much of the business plan software out there brags that it can help you create a fairly detailed plan in a few hours. So if you’re going the software route, that can help you set your expectations.

If you want to get the most out of your business plan, you should update it on a regular basis―at least annually. That way, you can continually refer to it to inform your company’s strategies and direction.  

At the very least, you should update your business plan before you start looking for a new round of funding (whether that’s with investors or lenders).

Thanks to business plan software, you can easily write your own business plan rather than pay someone to do it for you. And in most cases, software will cost you less than a professional business plan service.

There are some times you might want to go with a service though. If time is tight, you might find that it’s worth the cost of a service. Or if you’ve got big investor meetings on the horizon, you might want the expertise and polish that a professional service can offer.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether business plan software or a business plan service will work better for your company.

Methodology

We ranked business plan software and tools based on features, pricing and plans, and connections to project management and other services. The value of each plan and service, along with what it offers, was a big consideration in our rankings, and we looked to see if what was offered was useful to small businesses or just extra. The final thing we looked at was the ease of use of the software to see if it's too complex for small businesses.

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources 1. Harvard Business Review, “ Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed .” Accessed March 13, 2023.

business man walking and looking at his phone

5202 W Douglas Corrigan Way Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Accounting & Payroll

Point of Sale

Payment Processing

Inventory Management

Human Resources

Other Services

Best Small Business Loans

Best Inventory Management Software

Best Small Business Accounting Software

Best Payroll Software

Best Mobile Credit Card Readers

Best POS Systems

Best Tax Software

Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime anywhere.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Use  and  Privacy Policy .

Disclaimer: The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. All information is subject to change. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase.

Our mission is to help consumers make informed purchase decisions. While we strive to keep our reviews as unbiased as possible, we do receive affiliate compensation through some of our links. This can affect which services appear on our site and where we rank them. Our affiliate compensation allows us to maintain an ad-free website and provide a free service to our readers. For more information, please see our  Privacy Policy Page . |

© Business.org 2023 All Rights Reserved.

24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

Free Business Plan Template

cheap business plan

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

Thank you for downloading the offer.

I believe that reading sample business plans is essential when writing your own.

sample business plans and examples

hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, 'e9d2eacb-6b01-423a-bf7a-19d42ba77eaa', {"useNewLoader":"true","region":"na1"});

As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, it’s easier for you to learn how to write a good one.

But what does a good business plan look like? And how do you write one that’s both viable and convincing. I’ll walk you through the ideal business plan format along with some examples to help you get started.

Table of Contents

Business Plan Format

Business plan types, sample business plan templates, top business plan examples.

Ask any successful sports coach how they win so many games, and they’ll tell you they have a unique plan for every single game. To me, the same logic applies to business.

If you want to build a thriving company that can pull ahead of the competition, you need to prepare for battle before breaking into a market.

Business plans guide you along the rocky journey of growing a company. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, I’m sure you’re wondering where to begin.

cheap business plan

  • Outline your idea.
  • Pitch to investors.
  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Fill out the form to get your free template.

First, you’ll want to nail down your formatting. Most business plans include the following sections.

1. Executive Summary

I’d say the executive summary is the most important section of the entire business plan. 

Why? Essentially, it's the overview or introduction, written in a way to grab readers' attention and guide them through the rest of the business plan. This is important, because a business plan can be dozens or hundreds of pages long.

There are two main elements I’d recommend including in your executive summary:

Company Description

This is the perfect space to highlight your company’s mission statement and goals, a brief overview of your history and leadership, and your top accomplishments as a business.

Tell potential investors who you are and why what you do matters. Naturally, they’re going to want to know who they’re getting into business with up front, and this is a great opportunity to showcase your impact.

Need some extra help firming up those business goals? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free course to help you set goals that matter — I’d highly recommend it

Products and Services

To piggyback off of the company description, be sure to incorporate an overview of your offerings. This doesn’t have to be extensive — just another chance to introduce your industry and overall purpose as a business.

In addition to the items above, I recommend including some information about your financial projections and competitive advantage here too.:

Keep in mind you'll cover many of these topics in more detail later on in the business plan. So, keep the executive summary clear and brief, and only include the most important takeaways.

Executive Summary Business Plan Examples

This example was created with HubSpot’s business plan template:

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example

This executive summary is so good to me because it tells potential investors a short story while still covering all of the most important details.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • Start with a strong introduction of your company, showcase your mission and impact, and outline the products and services you provide.
  • Clearly define a problem, and explain how your product solves that problem, and show why the market needs your business.
  • Be sure to highlight your value proposition, market opportunity, and growth potential.
  • Keep it concise and support ideas with data.
  • Customize your summary to your audience. For example, emphasize finances and return on investment for venture capitalists.

Check out our tips for writing an effective executive summary for more guidance.

2. Market Opportunity

This is where you'll detail the opportunity in the market.

The main question I’d ask myself here is this: Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will my product fill that gap?

More specifically, here’s what I’d include in this section:

  • The size of the market
  • Current or potential market share
  • Trends in the industry and consumer behavior
  • Where the gap is
  • What caused the gap
  • How you intend to fill it

To get a thorough understanding of the market opportunity, you'll want to conduct a TAM, SAM, and SOM analysis and perform market research on your industry.

You may also benefit from creating a SWOT analysis to get some of the insights for this section.

Market Opportunity Business Plan Example

I like this example because it uses critical data to underline the size of the potential market and what part of that market this service hopes to capture.

Business plans examples: Market Opportunity

Tips for Writing Your Market Opportunity Section

  • Focus on demand and potential for growth.
  • Use market research, surveys, and industry trend data to support your market forecast and projections.
  • Add a review of regulation shifts, tech advances, and consumer behavior changes.
  • Refer to reliable sources.
  • Showcase how your business can make the most of this opportunity.

3. Competitive Landscape

Since we’re already speaking of market share, you'll also need to create a section that shares details on who the top competitors are.

After all, your customers likely have more than one brand to choose from, and you'll want to understand exactly why they might choose one over another.

My favorite part of performing a competitive analysis is that it can help you uncover:

  • Industry trends that other brands may not be utilizing
  • Strengths in your competition that may be obstacles to handle
  • Weaknesses in your competition that may help you develop selling points
  • The unique proposition you bring to the market that may resonate with customers

Competitive Landscape Business Plan Example

I like how the competitive landscape section of this business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

It also highlights specific industry knowledge and the importance of location, which shows useful experience in this specific industry. 

This can help build trust in your ability to execute your business plan.

Tips for Writing Your Competitive Landscape

  • Complete in-depth research, then emphasize your most important findings.
  • Compare your unique selling proposition (USP) to your direct and indirect competitors.
  • Show a clear and realistic plan for product and brand differentiation.
  • Look for specific advantages and barriers in the competitive landscape. Then, highlight how that information could impact your business.
  • Outline growth opportunities from a competitive perspective.
  • Add customer feedback and insights to support your competitive analysis.

4. Target Audience

Use this section to describe who your customer segments are in detail. What is the demographic and psychographic information of your audience?

If your immediate answer is "everyone," you'll need to dig deeper. Here are some questions I’d ask myself here:

  • What demographics will most likely need/buy your product or service?
  • What are the psychographics of this audience? (Desires, triggering events, etc.)
  • Why are your offerings valuable to them?

I’d also recommend building a buyer persona to get in the mindset of your ideal customers and be clear on why you're targeting them.

Target Audience Business Plan Example

I like the example below because it uses in-depth research to draw conclusions about audience priorities. It also analyzes how to create the right content for this audience.

Business plans examples: Target Audience

Tips for Writing Your Target Audience Section

  • Include details on the size and growth potential of your target audience.
  • Figure out and refine the pain points for your target audience , then show why your product is a useful solution.
  • Describe your targeted customer acquisition strategy in detail.
  • Share anticipated challenges your business may face in acquiring customers and how you plan to address them.
  • Add case studies, testimonials, and other data to support your target audience ideas.
  • Remember to consider niche audiences and segments of your target audience in your business plan.

5. Marketing Strategy

Here, you'll discuss how you'll acquire new customers with your marketing strategy. I’d suggest including information:

  • Your brand positioning vision and how you'll cultivate it
  • The goal targets you aim to achieve
  • The metrics you'll use to measure success
  • The channels and distribution tactics you'll use

I think it’s helpful to have a marketing plan built out in advance to make this part of your business plan easier.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler.

In my opinion, it really works because it offers a comprehensive picture of how they plan to use digital marketing to promote the community.

Business plans examples: Marketing Strategy

Tips for Writing Your Marketing Strategy

  • Include a section about how you believe your brand vision will appeal to customers.
  • Add the budget and resources you'll need to put your plan in place.
  • Outline strategies for specific marketing segments.
  • Connect strategies to earlier sections like target audience and competitive analysis.
  • Review how your marketing strategy will scale with the growth of your business.
  • Cover a range of channels and tactics to highlight your ability to adapt your plan in the face of change.

6. Key Features and Benefits

At some point in your business plan, you'll need to review the key features and benefits of your products and/or services.

Laying these out can give readers an idea of how you're positioning yourself in the market and the messaging you're likely to use. It can even help them gain better insight into your business model.

Key Features and Benefits Business Plan Example

In my opinion, the example below does a great job outlining products and services for this business, along with why these qualities will attract the audience.

Business plans examples: Key Features and Benefits

Tips for Writing Your Key Features and Benefits

  • Emphasize why and how your product or service offers value to customers.
  • Use metrics and testimonials to support the ideas in this section.
  • Talk about how your products and services have the potential to scale.
  • Think about including a product roadmap.
  • Focus on customer needs, and how the features and benefits you are sharing meet those needs.
  • Offer proof of concept for your ideas, like case studies or pilot program feedback.
  • Proofread this section carefully, and remove any jargon or complex language.

7. Pricing and Revenue

This is where you'll discuss your cost structure and various revenue streams. Your pricing strategy must be solid enough to turn a profit while staying competitive in the industry. 

For this reason, here’s what I’d might outline in this section:

  • The specific pricing breakdowns per product or service
  • Why your pricing is higher or lower than your competition's
  • (If higher) Why customers would be willing to pay more
  • (If lower) How you're able to offer your products or services at a lower cost
  • When you expect to break even, what margins do you expect, etc?

Pricing and Revenue Business Plan Example

I like how this business plan example begins with an overview of the business revenue model, then shows proposed pricing for key products.

Business plans examples: Pricing and Revenue

Tips for Writing Your Pricing and Revenue Section

  • Get specific about your pricing strategy. Specifically, how you connect that strategy to customer needs and product value.
  • If you are asking a premium price, share unique features or innovations that justify that price point.
  • Show how you plan to communicate pricing to customers.
  • Create an overview of every revenue stream for your business and how each stream adds to your business model as a whole.
  • Share plans to develop new revenue streams in the future.
  • Show how and whether pricing will vary by customer segment and how pricing aligns with marketing strategies.
  • Restate your value proposition and explain how it aligns with your revenue model.

8. Financials

To me, this section is particularly informative for investors and leadership teams to figure out funding strategies, investment opportunities, and more.

 According to Forbes , you'll want to include three main things:

  • Profit/Loss Statement - This answers the question of whether your business is currently profitable.
  • Cash Flow Statement - This details exactly how much cash is incoming and outgoing to give insight into how much cash a business has on hand.
  • Balance Sheet - This outlines assets, liabilities, and equity, which gives insight into how much a business is worth.

While some business plans might include more or less information, these are the key details I’d include in this section.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet is a great example of level of detail you’ll need to include in the financials section of your business plan.

Business plans examples: Financials

Tips for Writing Your Financials Section

  • Growth potential is important in this section too. Using your data, create a forecast of financial performance in the next three to five years.
  • Include any data that supports your projections to assure investors of the credibility of your proposal.
  • Add a break-even analysis to show that your business plan is financially practical. This information can also help you pivot quickly as your business grows.
  • Consider adding a section that reviews potential risks and how sensitive your plan is to changes in the market.
  • Triple-check all financial information in your plan for accuracy.
  • Show how any proposed funding needs align with your plans for growth.

As you create your business plan, keep in mind that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others could be charts or graphs.

The formats above apply to most types of business plans. That said, the format and structure of your plan will vary by your goals for that plan. 

So, I’ve added a quick review of different business plan types. For a more detailed overview, check out this post .

1. Startups

Startup business plans are for proposing new business ideas.

If you’re planning to start a small business, preparing a business plan is crucial. The plan should include all the major factors of your business.

You can check out this guide for more detailed business plan inspiration .

2. Feasibility Studies

Feasibility business plans focus on that business's product or service. Feasibility plans are sometimes added to startup business plans. They can also be a new business plan for an already thriving organization.

3. Internal Use

You can use internal business plans to share goals, strategies, or performance updates with stakeholders. In my opinion, internal business plans are useful for alignment and building support for ambitious goals.

4. Strategic Initiatives

Another business plan that's often for sharing internally is a strategic business plan. This plan covers long-term business objectives that might not have been included in the startup business plan.

5. Business Acquisition or Repositioning

When a business is moving forward with an acquisition or repositioning, it may need extra structure and support. These types of business plans expand on a company's acquisition or repositioning strategy.

Growth sometimes just happens as a business continues operations. But more often, a business needs to create a structure with specific targets to meet set goals for expansion. This business plan type can help a business focus on short-term growth goals and align resources with those goals.

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some of my favorite templates.

1. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

Download a free, editable one-page business plan template..

The business plan linked above was created here at HubSpot and is perfect for businesses of any size — no matter how many strategies we still have to develop.

Fields such as Company Description, Required Funding, and Implementation Timeline give this one-page business plan a framework for how to build your brand and what tasks to keep track of as you grow.

Then, as the business matures, you can expand on your original business plan with a new iteration of the above document.

Why I Like It

This one-page business plan is a fantastic choice for the new business owner who doesn’t have the time or resources to draft a full-blown business plan. It includes all the essential sections in an accessible, bullet-point-friendly format. That way, you can get the broad strokes down before honing in on the details.

2. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

Sample business plan: hubspot free editable pdf

We also created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business. You’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it.

There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan.

Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a workable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.

This business plan kit is essential for the budding entrepreneur who needs a more extensive document to share with investors and other stakeholders.

It not only includes sections for your executive summary, product line, market analysis, marketing plan, and sales plan, but it also offers hands-on guidance for filling out those sections.

3. LiveFlow’s Financial Planning Template with built-in automation

Sample Business Plan: LiveFLow

This free template from LiveFlow aims to make it easy for businesses to create a financial plan and track their progress on a monthly basis.

The P&L Budget versus Actual format allows users to track their revenue, cost of sales, operating expenses, operating profit margin, net profit, and more.

The summary dashboard aggregates all of the data put into the financial plan sheet and will automatically update when changes are made.

Instead of wasting hours manually importing your data to your spreadsheet, LiveFlow can also help you to automatically connect your accounting and banking data directly to your spreadsheet, so your numbers are always up-to-date.

With the dashboard, you can view your runway, cash balance, burn rate, gross margins, and other metrics. Having a simple way to track everything in one place will make it easier to complete the financials section of your business plan.

This is a fantastic template to track performance and alignment internally and to create a dependable process for documenting financial information across the business. It’s highly versatile and beginner-friendly.

It’s especially useful if you don’t have an accountant on the team. (I always recommend you do, but for new businesses, having one might not be possible.)

4. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: ThoughtCo.

One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates many of its pages to your business’s financial plan and financial statements.

After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.

I absolutely love this business plan template because of its ease-of-use and hands-on instructions (in addition to its finance-centric components). If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire business plan, consider using this template to help you with the process.

6. Harvard Business Review’s "How to Write a Winning Business Plan"

Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level — it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan.

With the guidance of Stanley Rich and Richard Gumpert, co-authors of " Business Plans That Win: Lessons From the MIT Enterprise Forum ", you'll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service.

You’ll also learn the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.

This business plan guide focuses less on the individual parts of a business plan, and more on the overarching goal of writing one. For that reason, it’s one of my favorites to supplement any template you choose to use. Harvard Business Review’s guide is instrumental for both new and seasoned business owners.

7. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business.

Fortunately, with HubSpot's comprehensive guide to starting a business, you'll learn how to map out all the details by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you.

If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot's guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, and fund your business. It will also give small business tax information and includes marketing, sales, and service tips.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of starting a business, in addition to writing your business plan, with a high level of exactitude and detail. So if you’re in the midst of starting your business, this is an excellent guide for you.

It also offers other resources you might need, such as market analysis templates.

8. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Panda Doc

PandaDoc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty-gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to its success.

This template has two things I love: comprehensiveness and in-depth instructions. Plus, it’s synced with PandaDoc’s e-signature software so that you and other stakeholders can sign it with ease. For that reason, I especially love it for those starting a business with a partner or with a board of directors.

9. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several free business plan templates that can be used to inspire your own plan.

Before you get started, you can decide what type of business plan you need — a traditional or lean start-up plan.

Then, you can review the format for both of those plans and view examples of what they might look like.

We love both of the SBA’s templates because of their versatility. You can choose between two options and use the existing content in the templates to flesh out your own plan. Plus, if needed, you can get a free business counselor to help you along the way.

I’ve compiled some completed business plan samples to help you get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business.

I chose different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

Let’s take a look.

1. LiveFlow

business plan example: liveflow

One of the major business expenses is marketing. How you handle your marketing reflects your company’s revenue.

I included this business plan to show you how you can ensure your marketing team is aligned with your overall business plan to get results. The plan also shows you how to track even the smallest metrics of your campaigns, like ROI and payback periods instead of just focusing on big metrics like gross and revenue.

Fintech startup, LiveFlow, allows users to sync real-time data from its accounting services, payment platforms, and banks into custom reports. This eliminates the task of pulling reports together manually, saving teams time and helping automate workflows.

"Using this framework over a traditional marketing plan will help you set a profitable marketing strategy taking things like CAC, LTV, Payback period, and P&L into consideration," explains LiveFlow co-founder, Lasse Kalkar .

When it came to including marketing strategy in its business plan, LiveFlow created a separate marketing profit and loss statement (P&L) to track how well the company was doing with its marketing initiatives.

This is a great approach, allowing businesses to focus on where their marketing dollars are making the most impact. Having this information handy will enable you to build out your business plan’s marketing section with confidence. LiveFlow has shared the template here . You can test it for yourself.

2. Lula Body

Business plan example: Lula body

Sometimes all you need is a solid mission statement and core values to guide you on how to go about everything. You do this by creating a business plan revolving around how to fulfill your statement best.

For example, Patagonia is an eco-friendly company, so their plan discusses how to make the best environmentally friendly products without causing harm.

A good mission statement  should not only resonate with consumers but should also serve as a core value compass for employees as well.

Patagonia has one of the most compelling mission statements I’ve seen:

"Together, let’s prioritise purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home."

It reels you in from the start, and the environmentally friendly theme continues throughout the rest of the statement.

This mission goes on to explain that they are out to "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to protect nature."

Their mission statement is compelling and detailed, with each section outlining how they will accomplish their goal.

4. Vesta Home Automation

business plan example: Vesta executive summary

This executive summary for a smart home device startup is part of a business plan created by students at Mount Royal University .

While it lacks some of the sleek visuals of the templates above, its executive summary does a great job of demonstrating how invested they are in the business.

Right away, they mention they’ve invested $200,000 into the company already, which shows investors they have skin in the game and aren’t just looking for someone else to foot the bill.

This is the kind of business plan you need when applying for business funds. It clearly illustrates the expected future of the company and how the business has been coming along over the years.

5. NALB Creative Center

business plan examples: nalb creative center

This fictional business plan for an art supply store includes everything one might need in a business plan: an executive summary, a company summary, a list of services, a market analysis summary, and more.

One of its most notable sections is its market analysis summary, which includes an overview of the population growth in the business’ target geographical area, as well as a breakdown of the types of potential customers they expect to welcome at the store. 

This sort of granular insight is essential for understanding and communicating your business’s growth potential. Plus, it lays a strong foundation for creating relevant and useful buyer personas .

It’s essential to keep this information up-to-date as your market and target buyer changes. For that reason, you should carry out market research as often as possible to ensure that you’re targeting the correct audience and sharing accurate information with your investors.

Due to its comprehensiveness, it’s an excellent example to follow if you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store and need to get external funding to start your business .

6. Curriculum Companion Suites (CSS)

business plan examples: curriculum companion suites

If you’re looking for a SaaS business plan example, look no further than this business plan for a fictional educational software company called Curriculum Companion Suites. 

Like the business plan for the NALB Creative Center, it includes plenty of information for prospective investors and other key stakeholders in the business.

One of the most notable features of this business plan is the executive summary, which includes an overview of the product, market, and mission.

The first two are essential for software companies because the product offering is so often at the forefront of the company’s strategy. Without that information being immediately available to investors and executives, then you risk writing an unfocused business plan.

It’s essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" and this example does just that. In other words, why do you do what you do, and why should stakeholders care? This is an important section to include if you feel that your mission will drive interest in the business and its offerings.

7. Culina Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: Culina

Culina's sample business plan is an excellent example of how to lay out your business plan so that it flows naturally, engages readers, and provides the critical information investors and stakeholders need. 

You can use this template as a guide while you're gathering important information for your own business plan. You'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do since Culina’s plan outlines these details so flawlessly for inspiration.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

Don't forget to share this post!

Related articles.

How to Write a Powerful Executive Summary [+4 Top Examples]

How to Write a Powerful Executive Summary [+4 Top Examples]

19 Best Sample Business Plans & Examples to Help You Write Your Own

19 Best Sample Business Plans & Examples to Help You Write Your Own

What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates

What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates

Maximizing Your Social Media Strategy: The Top Aggregator Tools to Use

Maximizing Your Social Media Strategy: The Top Aggregator Tools to Use

The Content Aggregator Guide for 2023

The Content Aggregator Guide for 2023

7 Gantt Chart Examples You'll Want to Copy [+ 5 Steps to Make One]

7 Gantt Chart Examples You'll Want to Copy [+ 5 Steps to Make One]

The 8 Best Free Flowchart Templates [+ Examples]

The 8 Best Free Flowchart Templates [+ Examples]

15 Best Screen Recorders to Use for Collaboration

15 Best Screen Recorders to Use for Collaboration

The 25 Best Google Chrome Extensions for SEO

The 25 Best Google Chrome Extensions for SEO

Professional Invoice Design: 28 Samples & Templates to Inspire You

Professional Invoice Design: 28 Samples & Templates to Inspire You

2 Essential Templates For Starting Your Business

Marketing software that helps you drive revenue, save time and resources, and measure and optimize your investments — all on one easy-to-use platform

Starting a Business | Buyer's Guide

6 Best Business Plan Writing Services

Published October 21, 2020

Published Oct 21, 2020

Blake Stockton

WRITTEN BY: Blake Stockton

This article is part of a larger series on Starting a Business .

A well-written, well-researched business plan is vital to the success of a new business or venture. It can attract investors and help you get a bank loan. Not every businessperson has the time or expertise to craft a winning business plan. Fortunately, there are companies with decades of experience that will assist. We evaluated several and found the six below to be the best business plan writing services available.

Top 6 Business Plan Writing Services

How we evaluated business plan writing services.

All the business plan writing services we evaluated had MBA writers and years of experience in many industries. To distinguish the best, we examined the following:

  • Price: Most do not list prices, although customer quotes put many of them in the $3,000 range.
  • Expertise: We considered years in service, qualifications of the writing and management teams, and industries served.
  • Types of Business Plans: Some companies focus only on plans for funding or strategic planning. Others offered more specific plans like visa business plans. Still, others narrowed their focus more tightly. Some also offer pitch decks and presentation-ready formats.
  • Turnaround Time: The average business plan turnaround time was two weeks, with additional time for revisions. Always ask about how much time you get for revisions and if there are additional costs involved.
  • Additional Services: Several of these companies offer additional services to help you succeed. If you are considering mentorship or know you’ll need some assessment, having one of these companies build your plan could give you a head start in building a relationship.

Bargain Business Plan: Best Overall Business Plan Writing Service

Bargain Business Plan

Bargain Business Plan is one of the least expensive business plan services we reviewed. Still, it offers experienced writers and a wide range of plans that includes immigration and visa plans. Overall, it has excellent reviews from customers. You can view samples of their well-designed plans. It’s the only service that provides flat-rate pricing as well.

Visit Bargain Business Plan

Bargain Business Plan Pricing

  • Bargain: $1,599. For startup businesses with simple business models looking to apply for small business loans or seeking a blueprint for development
  • Economical: $1,999. For startup and existing businesses with a more complex operation, such as restaurants and child care centers
  • Optimum: $2,799. For businesses seeking government grants, investments from venture capitalists, and funding through the SBA’s CDC/504 Loan Program
  • L-1 Visa: $1,999
  • E-2 Visa: $2,199
  • EB-5 Visa: $3,499
  • Consultations: Free

Bargain Business Plan Services

  • Detailed Business Plans: All plans include custom written business plans with market analysis, financial projections, and marketing plans. Higher-level plans offer more details, and each plan is designed for its specific purpose. For example, SBA loan versus visa.
  • Quick Turnaround: Drafts are done in seven to 10 days, with 14 days of unlimited revisions.
  • Experience: Bargain Business Plan has served 900 industries over the past 12 years and has worked with 500 partners and 10,000 customers. For immigration business plans, they work with immigration experts across the country. User reviews praise their expertise and attention to detail as well as share successes.

Why We Like Bargain Business Plan

Startups don’t always have a big budget for business plans, but it can be a key document for achieving success. Bargain Business Plan offers custom, well-researched, and beautifully designed business plans at excellent prices. The willingness to revise is a big plus as well.

Optimal Thinking: Best Plan Writing Service for Startup and Growing Companies

Optimal Thinking

Optimal Thinking says it best works on business plans for “early stage and existing businesses expanding organically or via acquisition.” It claims a 92% success rate with its business proposals. In addition, it offers other programs to help businesses succeed.

Visit Optimal Thinking

Optimal Thinking Pricing

Varies anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on plan and scope. Call for a quote.

Optimal Thinking Services

  • Expertise: Optimal Thinking has team members who are senior business executives, MBA writers, and industry experts in financing, operating, and marketing companies of all sizes. It  also has 27 years’ experience in writing business plans.
  • Plans address potential roadblocks: Optimal Thinking helps ensure success by anticipating potential business challenges, such as restrictive government regulations, economic issues, or market industry changes. Then, it includes ways to work around or through these issues.
  • Additional Programs: The company offers mentorship, employee motivation programs, and business assessments of communications, resources, opportunities, and more.

Why We Like Optimal Thinking

Optimal Thinking works with large companies such as Red Bull and Warner Brothers. Its writers have extensive experience in financials and business. Applying that knowledge to a business plan, even for a startup, means you will get not only a well-written and well-researched plan but also one that is informed by their years of expertise. This is also a company you can build a relationship with—get coaching and assistance in other areas of your business.

Wise Business Plans: Best Business Plan Writing Service for Specialized Plans

Wise Business Plans

Wise Business Plans has one of the widest varieties of plans of the providers we reviewed. Its business plans are well-researched and thought out, as well as beautifully designed. It works to make sure your ideas and the plan are sound and offer additional services to help you with execution, including funding referrals.

Visit Wise Business Plans

Wise Business Plans Pricing

Pricing varies, though users have quoted prices around $3,000. To get a specific quote, call for a consultation. After the first revision, Wise Business Plans charges $199 per revision.

Wise Business Plans Services

  • Investor Business Plan
  • Bank Business Plan
  • Strategic Business Plan
  • Nonprofit Business Plan
  • Franchise Business Plan
  • L-1 Business Plan
  • E-2 Business Plan
  • EB-5 Business Plan
  • EB-5 Regional Centers
  • Merger And Acquisition Business Plan (M&A)
  • Private Placement Memorandums (PPM)

It also offers professional feasibility studies, PowerPoint presentations, pitch decks, and straight market research.

  • Bookkeeping Services
  • Graphic Design Services
  • Logo Design
  • Flyer and Brochure Design Services
  • Business Printing Services
  • Concierge Services
  • Business Consulting Services for Startup Company
  • Website Design
  • Business E-books Resources
  • Small Business Marketing Services
  • Experience: Wise Business Plans hires MBA writers, financial and market analysts, and graphics designers. The company has done thousands of business plans in over 400 industries.

Why We Like Wise Business Plans

Wise Business Plans has a reputation for doing more than creating a plan for you. It challenges you to make sure your assumptions and ideas are the best they can be. Reviewers on its Facebook page praise the quality of the final product, noting especially the graphics.

Pro Business Plans: Best Business Plan Writing Service for Startups & Canadian Visas

Pro Business Plans

Pro Business Plans gets props for the focus of its plans. While all the services we reviewed will build custom business plans, Pro Business Plans is one of the few that has plans that specifically focus on specific issues. It also has industry experts in finance/accounting and immigration.

Visit Pro Business Plans

Pro Business Plans Pricing

Pricing varies—call for a consultation.

Pro Business Plans Services

  • Focus: Pro Business Plans offers the usual range of business plans: SBA/bank, investment, L-1, E-2, EB-5. However, it also has plans specifically for nonprofits, startups, and the Canadian visa (PNP) program. It also has a pure market analysis product if your goal is to understand your industry before launching your business or expanding into a new area.
  • Experience: Many Pro Business Plans team members come from major accounting firms or have extensive experience working in venture investment capital. The company has served over 900 industries and has over 500 partners, including contacts in the visa application process.
  • Fast Turnaround: You can get your business plan drafted in four to seven calendar days, with seven days of close collaboration to get all the details polished.

Why We Like Pro Business Plans

In addition to the variety of plans and experience of the writers, what impressed us about Pro Business Plans was that users said they often went beyond simply writing the plan, providing advice and coaching during the process. Other reviews praised its market and financial research.

Go Business Plans: Best Business Plan Writing Service for Visa Business Plans

Go Business Plans

While Go Business Plans can work with any industry, its business consultants have had notable success with E-2, EB-5, and L-1 visa business plans. It can create business plans for investors, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and strategic and internal planning.

Visit Go Business Plans

Go Business Plans Pricing

Go Business Plans does custom pricing within the range of $2,000 to $10,000.

Go Business Plans Services

  • Customized templates: The writers create custom plans. First, they schedule a one-hour interview with you for the basics, then conduct market research, financial analysis, and company and industry analysis, and compare you to the competition. They work with you to ensure it meets your expectations as well as SBA standards.
  • Advice and Assistance: Go Business Plans brainstorms and researches business strategies to advise you and can help with creating a website, generating leads, implementing marketing, and other services.
  • Immigration/Visa Business Plans: Go Business Plans has helped entrepreneurs from over 100 countries get their visas. It has drafted plans for 300 lawyers and over 1200 applicants. It works directly with your lawyer to make sure the plan and the legal applications are consistent as well.
  • Extensive market research: The business consultants have access to over 15 market research databases, including some of the top-tier ones like IBISWorld, Euromonitor, Hoovers, Mintel, Statista, Freedonia, Frost & Sullivan, Forrester, and First Research.

Why We Like Go Business Plans

This business plan writing service offers expertise at competitive prices, and according to past customers, is willing to go the extra mile to help ensure success. Many customers of its business plans went on to use its other services such as website development.

LivePlan: Best Business Plan Writing Software for DIY

LivePlan

Rather than a consulting service that writes the plans for you, LivePlan is a software that helps you build a business plan. Plans start at $20 per month, and prices decrease if you purchase a six-month or annual plan. It offers additional tools to monitor your company’s progress, as well. This is the right choice for the entrepreneur on a budget or one who has done the research and needs a software to help them put it into an attractive format for presentation.

Visit LivePlan

LivePlan Pricing

LivePlan has a pay-as-you-go system but discounts for multiple months. Your first month is only $10, and it offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.

  • $20 per month, for monthly plans (First month $10)
  • $18 per month for six months
  • $15 per month for 12 months

LivePlan Features

  • Ease of use: Start by filling out the questionnaire and follow the instructions to create a basic plan. The software creates the financial tables, charts, and reports. Choose from 10 themes to create a professional-looking report that is SBA-approved.
  • Integrations: Sync to your QuickBooks or Xero to create reports or update sections. Export plans to Word or PDF, or put it in PowerPoint to make a slideshow presentation.
  • Tools that go beyond the business plan: LivePlan offers real-time performance dashboards to track budgets and goals. Benchmark data shows you how you are faring compared to others in your industry or location. Create and track milestones for measuring your progress as you grow.
  • Help features and examples: If you are blocked or unsure how to create a part of your plan, you can access over 500 examples in all types of industries and watch expert tutorials. Have a problem with the software? Reach support by phone, email, or chat.

Why We Like LivePlan

LivePlan offers an economical way for businesses that are comfortable with their data to create professional business plans for investors or banks. Additionally, it lets you create as many as you wish, so you can customize your plans for your audience or need or update them as your company grows. With budgeting and forecasting tools, it also helps you execute your business plan so your company can succeed.

Other Business Plan Writing Services Worth Considering:

  • Cayenne Consulting: Cayenne provides a highly qualified team of writers and has experience not only in business plan writing but also in other investment materials and private placements. It’s a good service for those looking for funding.
  • Growthink: This company has highly qualified and educated writers with extensive international experience. It is good for international businesses and business plans for strategic planning and mergers or acquisitions.
  • Masterplans: This company is more expensive than most on our list (prices ranging from $10,000 to $49,999) but is a highly reputable company that has created over 18,000 business plans for SMBs to multimillion-dollar investment projects.
  • Way2markit: This company provides business plans for investing, franchises, nonprofits, banks/SBA loans, and more. It also provides other business services from idea development to website design.
  • Freelance: You can find qualified business plan writers on freelance sites like Upwork. They may be less expensive. Before hiring anyone, be sure to check their qualifications and portfolio.

Bottom Line

Business plans are not cheap to create, but they can pay off by getting additional investment, secured loans, visas, or a clear direction for your company’s growth. For research purposes, be sure to know which type of business plan is right for your company. Each of the six business plan writing services reviewed offers decades of experience, high-quality reports, and reasonable prices.

Learn more about How to Start a Business in our complete guide.

About the Author

Blake Stockton

Find Blake On LinkedIn Twitter

Blake Stockton

Blake Stockton is a staff writer at Fit Small Business focusing on how to start brick-and-mortar and online businesses. He is a frequent guest lecturer at several undergraduate business and MBA classes at University of North Florida . Prior to joining Fit Small Business, Blake consulted with over 700 small biz owners and assisted with starting and growing their businesses.

Join Fit Small Business

Sign up to receive more well-researched small business articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. Select the newsletters you’re interested in below.

  • Website Planet

9 Best Business Plan Writers for Hire: Growth & Success in 2024

Alexandros Melidoniotis

  • 9 Best Business Plan Writers for Hire

1. Green_lama – Affordable Business Plan Template

Green_lama Fiverr gig

2. Olayinka E. – Grant and Business Plan Writer Extraordinaire

Olayinka E. Upwork profile

3. David Bar – Professional Investor-Ready Business Planning

David Bar Fiverr gig page

4. Heena D. – Business Plan Writer and Finance Expert 

Heena D Upwork profile's

5. Aydin O. – Advisor and European Startup Expert

Aydin O. Fiverr gig page

6. Saurav R. – Experienced Business Strategist and Operations Manager

Saurav R. Upwork profile

7. Market Daisy – Digital Marketing & Growth Agency

Market Daisy Fiverr profile

  • 8. Kulzinder K. –  Versatile Business Plan Writer

Kulzinder K. Upwork profile

  • 9. Drsonyam: Popular Business Plan Template

Drsonyam Fiverr gig page

  • How To Hire a Business Plan Writer on Fiverr
  • Head to Fiverr, and once you see the big search bar in the middle of the page, type in “business plan writer.”

Fiverr homepage

  • At this point, Fiverr will prompt you to create an account (if you don’t have one already). Continue with your email or connect via your Google, Apple, or Facebook account.
  • If you need a business plan quickly or are on a strict budget, you can filter by budget and delivery time. To find the best freelancer for your needs, limit the results to sellers specializing in plans for specific business types – such as startups or nonprofits.

Fiverr search results for "business plan writer"

  • When you find a promising gig, click on it to see more. Scroll beyond the quick introductory description to learn more about the freelancers and see examples of past business plans.

Fiverr gig about section

  • Many business plan writers offer three-tiered gigs that give you some flexibility in terms of price and deliverables. Click the “ Compare Packages ” button to see which package suits you best.

comparing different gig packages on Fiverr

  • If you scroll further down, you’ll access the freelancer’s total review score and a couple of client comments about their skill, communication, and overall performance.

Fiverr freelancer reviews

  • On Fiverr, it’s common practice for clients to contact freelancers before placing an order. This is to ensure sellers understand the nature and scope of your project, which helps them deliver results without delay. Click the “ Contact Me ” button from the top of the profile page to open a chat window and discuss your business plan.
  • When you’re sure about your choice, click “ Continue .” Add any extras (e.g., extra-fast delivery, pitch deck) and follow Fiverr’s instructions to complete your payment and set your project requirements.

Fiverr add-ons

  • What To Look For in a Business Plan Writer
  • Industry Expertise. A writer with specific knowledge of your industry can provide invaluable insights, tailor the plan accordingly, and foresee potential challenges or opportunities.
  • Client Testimonials and Ratings. Reviews and ratings from past clients offer an unfiltered view into the writer’s capabilities, timeliness, and communication skills.
  • Samples and Portfolio. Always check a freelancer’s previous work to get a better sense of their work process and depth of analysis.
  • Cost and Turnaround Time. While quality is paramount, you must also consider your budget and timeframe. On Fiverr, it’s possible to get an affordable, high-quality, multi-year business plan delivered in less than 3 days.
  • Adaptability. A good business plan writer should be able to adjust to new information, feedback, or changes in direction, ensuring that the final plan meets your evolving needs.
  • Are You a Business Plan Writer Looking to Sell Your Services on Fiverr?
  • Make it to Fiverr’s homepage. Click the “ Become a Seller” button on the navigation bar.

Fiverr homepage

  • Create a new account. You can sign up with your email or connect instantly via Google, Apple, or Facebook.
  • Specify that you want to sell freelance services to bring up Fiverr’s quick setup guide. You’ll then choose an employment status (e.g., side hustler, solo freelancer, agency owner) and describe your freelancing experience. Click “ Finish ” to create your account.
  • Follow Fiverr’s in-app guide to complete your profile. You’ll get some tips on how to succeed on the platform, and you’ll have to fill out yet another brief form. For more tips and tricks, check out our Fiverr seller guide .

Fiverr seller introduction brief

  • Set up your first gig when prompted. Make sure to include a captivating thumbnail, and don’t forget to include images of previous business plans you’ve worked on in the past. Hit “ Publish ” and wait for your first order!
  • Fiverr and Upwork Are the Best for Hiring Business Plan Writers

How much does it cost to have someone write a business plan?

Who is the best person to write your business plan, how many hours does it take to write a business plan, what skills do business plan writers need.

cheap business plan

  • 1. Green_lama - Affordable Business Plan Template
  • 2. Olayinka E. - Grant and Business Plan Writer Extraordinaire
  • 3. David Bar - Professional Investor-Ready Business Planning
  • 4. Heena D. - Business Plan Writer and Finance Expert 
  • 5. Aydin O. - Advisor and European Startup Expert
  • 6. Saurav R. - Experienced Business Strategist and Operations Manager
  • 7. Market Daisy - Digital Marketing & Growth Agency

cheap business plan

We check all comments within 48 hours to make sure they're from real users like you. In the meantime, you can share your comment with others to let more people know what you think.

Once a month you will receive interesting, insightful tips, tricks, and advice to improve your website performance and reach your digital marketing goals!

So happy you liked it !

Share it with your friends!

image

Get the Help You Need for Only $5!

Find the perfect freelancer for your project

Tool graphics

Free Download

10 Questions to Ask

Before hiring a business plan writer.

Not ready to download? Don't worry, it has been sent directly to your inbox.

Business Plan Writing Service

Maximize your chances of getting funded

Our business plan writers develop plans that can help you win funding.

woman doing yoga

What you can expect working with our Team:

cheap business plan

Business planning pros

You’ll work with a professional plan writer who will build a custom business plan for your unique industry

cheap business plan

The #1 planning tool

Get free access to LivePlan software, which makes it easier to share and update your plan

cheap business plan

A winning format

Our unique business plan format has helped over 1 million businesses

Expert business plan writers for any type of business

People in a business planning meeting in their office

Business plans for startups

  • Establish milestones to achieve success.
  • Outline accurate startup costs.
  • Fully establish the vision for your business.

Man discussing his business plan on a phone

Pitching to investors

  • Plans are formatted to meet lenders' expectations.
  • Ensures your projected financials are realistic.
  • Be prepared with a strong plan to back up your pitch.

Shop owner in her basket shop

Retail, eCommerce, restaurants and other popular industries

  • Plan writers with experience and expertise in your industry.
  • Insights into what details are vital to succeed in your industry.
  • Develop a strong value proposition to stand out from the competition.

What makes our business plan writing services different?

Our business plan format has helped companies raise millions.

Our writers use a business plan structure that has been tested and refined over the past 20 years. So when you hire a LivePlan business plan writer, you'll be maximizing your chances of securing a loan or investment.

Screenshots of LivePlan pitch and revenue breakdown screens

Business plan writers trusted by top business schools across the U.S.

Since 1988, Palo Alto Software—the creator of LivePlan—has helped over a million entrepreneurs achieve success. Our business plan structure is even taught at top universities, such as Princeton and Rice.

Get matched with a business plan writer who knows your industry

Our writers are experienced professionals who have written hundreds of business plans. That means there will most likely be someone on our team who has experience in your specific industry.

Two people having a conversation in a mail room

The best decision I could have made to launch my business in the right direction. I definitely recommend these services to entrepreneurs and future small business owners.

Melinda Holden headshot

Melinda Holden

Elite Liason Consulting

Maximize your chances of securing funding

Hire a LivePlan business plan writer today

How the process works:

Two people celebrating after their yoga session

Research and discovery

We first gain an in-depth understanding of your business. Then, we begin market research and examine your growth drivers.

Plan Writing

Once our research is complete, we'll write the body of your business plan and provide you with a draft to review.

Financial modeling

We'll turn your financial assumptions into forecasts that include everything lenders and investors need to see.

Design and review

You'll get a polished business plan with a design that matches your brand. You can then print the plan or share it online with a unique and private link.

Ready to get started?

Fill out the form below to connect with a liveplan team member, your request has been received..

A LivePlan business plan writing expert will email your quote shortly.

Get a head start today:

My plan writer was responsive, and understood my vision from our first communication. I now have a living document that I can use and manipulate as needed going forward.

Marcus Flowers headshot

Marcus Flowers

TimeOut Sports Bar & Grill

Frequently Asked Questions

Business plan writing help and services for hire, will you review my plan and make changes.

Our review-only service just includes feedback, but if you decide you'd like to engage in our full plan writing service after participating in a review, we'll give you a discount.

What if I already started writing my plan?

If you have a partially completed plan, we can work with that. In fact, it helps the plan writing process go faster because we'll have to ask fewer questions, but you'll want to choose the full business plan writing service.

Do you do market research? What does that include?

Yes, we do market research. We have access to industry reports for most industries and we will use them to lend more credibility to your plan and validate the assumptions we are making in your financials.

What is included with the full plan writing service?

When it's all said and done, you'll have a full, lender or investor ready business plan, a one page pitch, and a free year of LivePlan so you can make changes to your plan as well as use our cash flow and business management tools to stay on track.

Can you guarantee that my business will get funded?

There are a lot of factors that go into the decision making process for lending that are beyond our control, like your personal credit. What we can say is that it is very difficult to get funding without a solid business plan and we make solid business plans.

Will you share my information?

We take your privacy very seriously and will not share your information.

How long will it take to finish my plan? / Do you offer an expedited service?

The average business plan completes in 3-6 weeks, depending on your responsiveness to your writer and our work load. We offer expedited services if you are in a rush.

Yes, we can deliver an expedited plan in as little as two weeks for an additional $1,000.

Does my business plan include financials?

What formats do you deliver in.

We deliver in PDF format, Word and we also give you access to edit your plan in a free LivePlan account.

How many pages is the average business plan?

We subscribe to the lean business planning method so we try to keep your plan short and to the point. Depending on the complexity of your business, your finished plan can end up being anywhere from 25-50 pages.

Pricing and Options

How much does this service cost.

The full plan writing service cost can vary depending on your needs. Book a call with us to request a quote. We also offer a lower cost business plan review service and a forecasting service.

Do you offer a la carte services?

We offer a review service (feedback only, no edits), forecast only service or full business plan writing service. If you have a partially completed plan, we can work with that, but you'll want to choose the full business plan writing service.

Do you offer a review service?

Yes. One of our business planning experts can review your plan and financials line by line and give you critical and constructive feedback to help improve your plan and increase your confidence when it comes time to deliver.

Do you offer an expedited service?

What if i don't like my plan.

You'll have the opportunity to review and leave feedback after each draft. We recommend taking the time to be thorough and thoughtful in your feedback as that is your chance to help mold your plan into something that really resonates with you.

Expert Plan Writers and Consultants

Who writes my business plan.

You will be paired with one dedicated individual from our small team of highly trained and experienced business planning professionals. Each one is a uniquely qualified business planning expert who can translate your ideas into a business plan that will appeal to your audience.

Is my plan writer an expert in my industry?

Our business plan writers are experts specifically in business plan writing. We've worked with every industry imaginable so the likelihood that they have some familiarity with your industry is high, but if you are looking for a business consultant this may not be a good fit.

What kind of background will my writer have? Are they outsourced from other countries? Have they been writing business plans for very long?

We are a small team of well educated business planning experts. Each writer's background varies but they all have financial or business education as well as years, small business management or consulting and business plan writing experience. They are all well vetted and really good at what they do, which is write plans that help you get funded.

Small Business Definitions

What is a business plan.

In its simplest form, a business plan is a guide—a roadmap for your business that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals. At its heart, a business plan is just a plan for how your business is going to work, and how you're going to make it succeed. Read our full article on "What is a business plan" here.

What is in a business plan?

The executive summary is an overview of your business and your plans. It comes first in your plan and is ideally only one to two pages. Most people write it last, though.

The opportunity section answers these questions: What are you actually selling and how are you solving a problem (or "need") for your market? Who is your target market and competition?

In the execution chapter of your business plan, you'll answer the question: how are you going to take your opportunity and turn it into a business? This section will cover your marketing and sales plan, operations, and your milestones and metrics for success.

Investors look for great teams in addition to great ideas. Use the company and management chapter to describe your current team and who you need to hire. You will also provide a quick overview of your legal structure, location, and history if you're already up and running.

Your business plan isn't complete without a financial forecast . We'll tell you what to include in your financial plan, but you'll definitely want to start with a sales forecast, cash flow statement, income statement (also called profit and loss), and your balance sheet.

If you need more space for product images or additional information, use the appendix for those details.

Read our full article "How to Write a Business Plan — the Comprehensive Guide" for more information, here.

Why is a business plan important?

There are many reasons why it is important to have a business plan. A business plan is essential if you're seeking a loan or investment, can help you make big spending decisions with confidence and is a solid foundation for ongoing strategic planning and prioritization. Read our full article on "8 Reasons Having a Business Plan is Important" here.

What is a business plan writer/consultant?

A business plan writer/consultant is a business and financial expert who can help guide you through the process of creating a business plan and do much of the labor involved in creating it. They will work with you to understand your business model, do market research, create financial projections and offer guidance as all of those pieces are brought together in a full business plan document.

How to pick a business plan writer/consultant?

Picking a business plan writer or business plan consultant is an important decision — you'll want to find someone dedicated to your success, with experience in your industry or field and that is in it for the long haul. Read our full article on "Things to Look for When Hiring a Business Plan Writer" here.

Why should you pay someone to write your business plan?

You don't have time. Starting a business is time consuming. Oftentimes people have to juggle a regular 9-5 job while working on starting their business. That doesn't leave a lot of time for a big writing project. Hiring a professional to write your business plan can help you give you time to focus on the tasks that are critical to getting your business off the ground.

You want to make sure it is done right, the first time. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Hiring a professional to write your plan for you can give you the peace of mind that your plan is the best it can be when you present it to potential lenders or investors.

Politics | Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget includes almost…

Share this:.

  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on X (Opens in new window)
  • Click to print (Opens in new window)
  • Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)

Politics | Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget includes almost $900 million in tax hikes — but a break on groceries

Gov. J.B. Pritzker greets state Rep. Anthony DeLuca as he...

Gov. J.B. Pritzker greets state Rep. Anthony DeLuca as he arrives to deliver his State of the State and budget address before the General Assembly at the Illinois Capitol building on Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker begins his State of the State and...

Gov. J.B. Pritzker begins his State of the State and budget address at the Illinois State Capitol, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Guests applaud as Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his State of...

Guests applaud as Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his State of the State and budget address, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Lawmakers applaud invited guests as Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his...

Lawmakers applaud invited guests as Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his State of the State and budget address on Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

State Rep. Sue Rezin talks to reporters after Gov. J.B....

State Rep. Sue Rezin talks to reporters after Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his State of the State and budget address, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker greets House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and...

Gov. J.B. Pritzker greets House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Senate President Don Harmon, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his State of the State and...

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his State of the State and budget address. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker greets lawmakers as he arrives to address...

Gov. J.B. Pritzker greets lawmakers as he arrives to address the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

State Rep. Kam Buckner and state Rep. Mary Beth Canty...

State Rep. Kam Buckner and state Rep. Mary Beth Canty talk before Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his State of the State and budget address in front of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, left, and Illinois Secretary of State...

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, left, and Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias speak before the State of the State and budget address. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker concludes his State of the State and...

Gov. J.B. Pritzker concludes his State of the State and budget address before the General Assembly in Springfield, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

cheap business plan

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday unveiled a $52.7 billion election-year budget the second-term Democrat said required making “some hard choices” despite proposed additional spending in several areas, from early childhood education to Chicago’s ongoing migrant crisis.

Facing a tighter budget outlook after years of strong revenue performance and multiple credit upgrades, Pritzker is relying on more than $800 million in tax increases that would largely fall on businesses to bring his spending plan into balance. But he also proposes raising taxes on individuals by reducing the standard exemption for state personal income taxes, which would raise an estimated $93 million by increasing tax bills for Illinois residents.

At the same time, the governor is attempting to position himself on the side of everyday taxpayers with plans to eliminate the 1% sales tax on groceries and create a state child tax credit for low- and moderate-income families, ideas that could potentially garner bipartisan support.

Separate from the budget, he threw down the gauntlet against the health insurance industry with a sweeping plan to prevent companies from dictating coverage decisions, among other consumer protections. He promised to expend political capital to fight practices including prior authorization, in which patients must get permission from insurers before receiving certain types of care.

“There should never be an instance where an insurance company employee can deny coverage for something as serious as open heart surgery,” Pritzker said.

In his sixth budget proposal, Pritzker also laid out a long-term plan to manage the state’s massive pension debt by increasing the funding target to 100% from 90% and extending the payment deadline by three years, to 2048. The change would not affect the state’s pension payment for the coming year, totaling $10.1 billion from general funds, or roughly 19% of the operating budget.

Acknowledging his spending plan represents the beginning of negotiations with the Democratic-controlled legislature, Pritzker said his proposal “is balanced, and it builds upon all of the progress we have made, paying our pensions in full, investing more in our public schools, social service agencies and health care while addressing the immediate and unique needs of the coming fiscal year.”

“Now, I expect that some of you will want to spend more, and some of you will claim that you want to spend less. Know this: I am always open to good ideas that members of both parties have to more efficiently and effectively fulfill our obligations,” Pritzker said. “My one line in the sand is that I will only sign a budget that is responsibly balanced and that does not diminish or derail the improving credit standing we have achieved for the last five years.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker begins his State of the State and budget address at the Illinois State Capitol, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Pritzker’s speech included rhetoric that reflects his efforts to increase his footprint on the national political stage, from acting as a surrogate for President Joe Biden’s reelection effort to looking at his own potential future in the White House by playing host to this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Countering the common GOP narrative that Illinois is hemorrhaging residents and jobs, he encouraged Illinoisans to “not let the doom grifters steal your optimism about what’s ahead for Illinois. Our future is bright, and opportunity lies ahead.”

What was left unmentioned in his roughly hourlong budget and State of the State address to the Illinois General Assembly was that his proposal would address projected deficits resulting from slowed revenue growth in part by more than doubling the tax on sports wagers — paid by sportsbooks out of their post-payout revenue — raising it to 35% from 15%. The change would generate an estimated $200 million in additional revenue.

The governor also proposes extending a cap on losses large corporations can write off on their state income taxes, which he estimates would generate another $526 million in annual revenue. The current annual cap of $100,000 is set to expire Dec. 31, but Pritzker proposes allowing it to continue while raising the limit to $500,000.

Pritzker is proposing a permanent repeal of the 1% sales tax on groceries, which he and the legislature previously suspended for one year in 2022, when the governor was running for reelection. But this time around, the state would not make up the lost revenue for local governments, which receive all of the grocery tax revenue.

Lastly, Pritzker is dusting off a previous unsuccessful plan to limit the tax discount retailers receive for collecting sales tax, which his office estimates would generate another $101 million annually.

His plan would free up another $175 million for day-to-day state operations by using money from the road fund rather than sales tax revenue to pay for mass transit.

Overall, Pritzker’s proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 would raise spending from the state’s general fund by $2.3 billion over the budget lawmakers approved last May, a 4.6% increase.

In a speech that focused more heavily on policy than politics, Pritzker aimed his sharpest partisan barbs at Republicans over the ongoing migrant crisis. More than 35,000 asylum-seekers have arrived in Illinois, mainly in Chicago, from the southern border since August 2022, straining state and city resources as well as the relationship between the governor’s office and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Lawmakers applaud invited guests as Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his State of the State and budget address on Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

The governor reiterated his pledge to spend $182 million on the migrant response in the coming year, part of an agreement with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in which the county would contribute another $70 million. After committing in private to seek $70 million from the City Council, according to the governor’s office, Johnson has resisted making such a promise publicly.

During a post-City Council news conference Wednesday after the governor’s speech, Johnson again would not say whether the city had identified how to pay for its share.

“There are other operational aspects of this mission that we have to keep in the forefront before we make an absolute determination of what we will ultimately have to be responsible for financially,” Johnson said.

With an eye on the November presidential election, Pritzker aimed his rebukes beyond the state’s borders, particularly attacking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has sent many of the migrants to Chicago.

Quoting a Georgia governor’s vow at a Ku Klux Klan rally a century ago to “build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven,” Pritzker said, “It could have been a social media post by Donald Trump last week.”

He lashed out at congressional Republicans for recently rejecting compromise border-security legislation backed by Biden, Senate Democrats and negotiated with Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate.

“Why did this happen? Why did every single Republican run away from something they claimed they desperately want? Because Donald Trump told them to, and they’re afraid of him,” Pritzker said, drawing jeers from GOP lawmakers in the Illinois House chamber.

Biden, Pritzker said, “has been a very good president who has rescued the economy and protected freedom.” But he also echoed his call for the White House and federal government “to step up” and manage migrant arrivals and “not leave it to the governor of Texas who has no goal but to sow chaos and destruction.”

“Children, pregnant women, and the elderly have been sent here in the dead of night, left far from our designated welcome centers, in freezing temperatures, wearing flip-flops and T-shirts. Think about that the next time a politician from Texas wants to lecture you about being a good Christian,” Pritzker said.

House GOP leader Tony McCombie of Savanna bristled at Pritzker’s criticisms over the migrant issue.

“Is the governor running for president this cycle or next?” she said. “To bring in the federal government and all of that into the House is just silly.”

State Rep. Sue Rezin talks to reporters after Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his State of the State and budget address, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Sen. Sue Rezin of Morris, a deputy leader for the Republicans, said Pritzker’s proposal for additional funding for migrants could “throw our budget out of whack.”  She also said she feared the governor’s proposed tax increases would have an adverse impact on “the people who really are just coming out of the pandemic, small businesses” and “families that are finally getting their footings.”

Still, there could be some common ground for Republicans, with Rezin applauding the governor’s plan to repeal the grocery tax and the proposal to increase the state’s capacity for child care.

The migrant response is just one area in which the governor is proposing additional spending.

Taking a cue from Cook County, the governor’s proposal for the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services includes $10 million for a program to erase medical debt. That investment would erase a total of $1 billion in debt for more than 300,000 Illinois households, according to the governor’s estimates.

The Cook County debt initiative was on track to wipe out bills for around 73,000 residents as of last year. It was targeted at lower income residents and those who had medical debt that was 5% or more of their household income.

The governor maintained his focus on early childhood education and care with proposals including funding for an additional 5,000 slots in so-called “preschool deserts,” his office said.

The early childhood investments also include $13 million for Pritzker’s push to roll all early childhood services into a new state agency, the Department of Early Childhood.

A proposal for a new child tax credit, meanwhile, would mean an income tax credit for “working families” with kids under age 3. The plan would cost an estimated $12 million annually.

“I think that we have an opportunity to make it a bold and ambitious child tax credit that will really put a dent in child poverty,” said Sen. Mike Simmons, a Chicago Democrat who has proposed a larger child tax credit. “And so, for the next few months that will be my North Star in negotiations.”

The budget details unveiled Wednesday indicate the governor won’t seek more than the state’s minimum obligation of increasing education funding for kindergarten through high school by at least $350 million annually, despite Pritzker’s frequent comments about the importance of state investments in education.

Advocates have argued that larger annual increases are necessary for the state to meet its goal of providing adequate resources for public schools under a 2017 rewrite of the state’s education funding formula.

“We are already behind in what’s necessary to make sure that our schools in the state of Illinois are fully funded,” said Rep. Will Davis, a Homewood Democrat who helped craft the funding overhaul. “That number should have been at least $550 million.”

The governor’s plan includes another $45 million to address the state’s teacher shortage and an increase of more than $30 million in support for state colleges and universities. The higher education increase would amount to a 2% across-the-board hike.

Pritzker’s administration also proposed a $50 million increase in funding for the Home Illinois program, which addresses the prevention of and response to homelessness and expands housing support and job opportunities for those affected.

The Home Illinois program is administered by the Department of Human Services, and the Pritzker administration said the budget proposal includes “record funding” for human services programs and “support for our social safety network.”

Pritzker said Home Illinois program has sustained and created thousands of shelter beds for Illinoisans in need since 2021.

“We provided housing and services to young adults aging out of foster care who were at-risk of becoming unhoused, and we gave one-time financial support to working Illinoisans who, due to an acute crisis, fell behind on their rent and risked losing their home or their apartment,” Pritzker said, emphasizing that proposed funding for the program would go toward Black people disproportionately affected by homelessness.

His budget also includes $440 million from the general fund for a Department of Healthcare and Family Services program that provides state-funded health insurance to adult immigrants who are in the country without legal permission, down from $550 million budgeted for the current year. That program, which does not cover asylum-seekers, became a flashpoint in last year’s budget negotiations.

The governor’s budget proposal also would provide an additional $76.2 million for the embattled Department of Children and Family Services under its new director, Heidi Mueller. The plan would include funding for 392 additional workers to support DCFS caseloads and a one-time investment of $100 million for capital grants that would help increase the capacity for youth placement “in the most clinically appropriate settings,” according to the governor’s office.

The governor sought to cast a positive tone about the struggling child welfare agency, which has gone through more than a dozen directors in the last two decades in Democratic and Republican administrations. Since becoming governor in 2019, Pritzker has been regularly targeted by Republicans over problems at the agency.

“The people who work at DCFS are witness to trauma and heartbreak every single day. They are rarely lauded for their successes, and most often used as a convenient punching bag for larger societal issues,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s proposed tax increases are sure to face strong pushback from business interests in the state.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that it was “disappointed” with the proposals to continue capping the write-off for net operating losses and limit on sales tax discount for retailers, describing the former as “forced borrowing of funds from Illinois businesses to finance government” and the latter as “a stealth tax increase on our retail sector.”

Local governments will also oppose eliminating the sales tax on groceries because it will divert revenue from their coffers.

“This loss in revenue is entirely borne by local governments and is clearly punitive toward municipalities,” Illinois Municipal League CEO Brad Cole said in a statement. “Does anybody think this is a good time to cut the city of Chicago’s revenues by tens of millions of dollars a year?”

Tribune reporters Rick Pearson and Alice Yin contributed from Chicago.

More in Politics

Johnson’s plan would require City Council approval, but would provide $250 million per year for housing and planning projects through 2028.

Politics | Mayor Brandon Johnson pushes plan to borrow $1.25 billion for housing, development and climate goals

Biden has now canceled $138 billion of student debt for almost 3.9 million borrowers through about two dozen executive actions, according to the White House.

Education | Biden cancels $1.2 billion in student loan debt for 150,000 borrowers

State elections board won't lower more than $100,000 in fines against group that helped Democrats expand majority on Illinois Supreme Court.

Politics | Democratic PAC loses appeal of massive fines for not timely reporting campaign spending

The council voted 42-7 to pass the ordinance, which blocks dollar store companies from opening within one mile of pre-existing locations.

Politics | Chicago dollar stores to face new restrictions following council vote

Trending nationally.

  • Largest COVID vaccine study yet finds links to health conditions
  • Girl killed in sand hole on Lauderdale-by-the-Sea identified; lifeguards could have prevented tragedy, experts say
  • After killing sex worker in SoHo hotel, man busted in Arizona stabbings: cops
  • Syphilis cases spike in Florida, especially in Orange County
  • Brooklyn-born ‘Porky’s’ star Tony Ganios dead at 64 from cardiac arrest after spinal cord surgery
  • Pre-Markets
  • U.S. Markets
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Futures & Commodities
  • Funds & ETFs
  • Health & Science
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation
  • Industrials

Small Business

Personal Finance

  • Financial Advisors
  • Options Action
  • Buffett Archive
  • Trader Talk
  • Cybersecurity
  • Social Media
  • CNBC Disruptor 50
  • White House
  • Equity and Opportunity
  • Business Day Shows
  • Entertainment Shows
  • Full Episodes
  • Latest Video
  • CEO Interviews
  • CNBC Documentaries
  • CNBC Podcasts
  • Digital Originals
  • Live TV Schedule
  • Trust Portfolio
  • Trade Alerts
  • Meeting Videos
  • Homestretch
  • Jim's Columns
  • Stock Screener
  • Market Forecast
  • Options Investing
  • Chart Investing

Credit Cards

Credit Monitoring

Help for Low Credit Scores

All Credit Cards

Find the Credit Card for You

Best Credit Cards

Best Rewards Credit Cards

Best Travel Credit Cards

Best 0% APR Credit Cards

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses

Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

Find the Best Personal Loan for You

Best Personal Loans

Best Debt Consolidation Loans

Best Loans to Refinance Credit Card Debt

Best Loans with Fast Funding

Best Small Personal Loans

Best Large Personal Loans

Best Personal Loans to Apply Online

Best Student Loan Refinance

All Banking

Find the Savings Account for You

Best High Yield Savings Accounts

Best Big Bank Savings Accounts

Best Big Bank Checking Accounts

Best No Fee Checking Accounts

No Overdraft Fee Checking Accounts

Best Checking Account Bonuses

Best Money Market Accounts

Best Credit Unions

All Mortgages

Best Mortgages

Best Mortgages for Small Down Payment

Best Mortgages for No Down Payment

Best Mortgages with No Origination Fee

Best Mortgages for Average Credit Score

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Affording a Mortgage

All Insurance

Best Life Insurance

Best Homeowners Insurance

Best Renters Insurance

Best Car Insurance

Travel Insurance

All Credit Monitoring

Best Credit Monitoring Services

Best Identity Theft Protection

How to Boost Your Credit Score

Credit Repair Services

All Personal Finance

Best Budgeting Apps

Best Expense Tracker Apps

Best Money Transfer Apps

Best Resale Apps and Sites

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Apps

Best Debt Relief

All Small Business

Best Small Business Savings Accounts

Best Small Business Checking Accounts

Best Credit Cards for Small Business

Best Small Business Loans

Best Tax Software for Small Business

Filing For Free

Best Tax Software

Best Tax Software for Small Businesses

Tax Refunds

Tax Brackets

Tax By State

Tax Payment Plans

All Help for Low Credit Scores

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit

Best Debt Consolidation Loans for Bad Credit

Personal Loans if You Don't Have Credit

Best Credit Cards for Building Credit

Personal Loans for 580 Credit Score or Lower

Personal Loans for 670 Credit Score or Lower

Best Mortgages for Bad Credit

Best Hardship Loans

All Investing

Best IRA Accounts

Best Roth IRA Accounts

Best Investing Apps

Best Free Stock Trading Platforms

Best Robo-Advisors

Index Funds

Mutual Funds

Singapore's AI ambitions get a boost with $740 million investment plan

  • Singapore will pump more than 1 billion Singapore dollars (about $743 million) over the next five years to further boost AI capabilities, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in his Budget speech on Friday.
  • "The SG$1 billion allocation towards AI which also includes secure implementation of the National AI Strategy 2.0 demonstrates the government's commitment towards fostering a trusted and responsible AI ecosystem," said Sujith Abraham, senior vice president and general manager of ASEAN at Salesforce.

SINGAPORE — Singapore's plan to invest more than $743 million into artificial intelligence over the next five years could strengthen its position as a global business and innovation hub, tech executives said.

In his Budget speech on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said Singapore will invest more than 1 billion Singapore dollars over the next five years to further boost the country's AI capabilities.

"Surprisingly, nearly three-quarters of business leaders globally are ill-equipped for AI transformation, believing their preparations are limited by time, people, and money," said Nithin Chandra, managing partner of Southeast Asia at Kearney, a global management consulting firm.

"This initiative will help ensure that businesses can capitalize on the opportunities afforded by technological advancements and capture new opportunities," said Chandra.

As part of the investment, Singapore will work to ensure it can secure access to the advanced chips "that are so crucial to AI development and deployment," Wong said.

Singapore will also work with leading companies here and around the world to set up AI centers of excellence to spur innovation, he added.

"This will incentivize companies to adopt AI solutions, prioritize AI skills to keep their workforce competitive, and encourage strategic partnerships and knowledge sharing across the industry, thus spurring overall innovation," said Jonathon Dixon, vice president and managing director of APAC at Cloudflare , a global cloud services provider.

Singapore workers are already the world's fastest when it comes to adopting AI skills, according to LinkedIn's Future of Work report released in August.

"The increased focus and investment in AI capabilities, talent, and industry development is also exciting and important for Singapore to strengthen its position as a business and innovation hub," said Mao Gen Foo, head of Southeast Asia at American experience management company Qualtrics.

AI could increase growth by 1.5% over the next 10 years, Goldman Sachs says

Singapore was among the first countries to publish an AI plan in 2019. In December, the Southeast Asian nation launched the  National AI Strategy 2.0  — an updated version of its AI initiatives, outlining ways to prepare the economy to harness and utilize AI to empower workers and businesses.

"Sustaining focus on AI and [machine learning] will ensure Singapore's prominence in technological advancements, strengthening its position as an attractive hub for businesses and talent in an increasingly digitalized global landscape," said Pannie Sia, general manager of ASEAN at Workday , an American finance and human resources software vendor.

Singapore has "very high" potential as a global AI hub because of an environment that spurs innovation, Google Cloud executive Caroline Yap told CNBC in an earlier interview .

AI governance

To promote the responsible use of AI, Singapore rolled out AI Verify in May 2022  – the world's first AI governance testing framework and software toolkit for companies. The tool allows users to conduct technical tests on their AI models and record process checks.

Google ,  Meta and  Microsoft  are among companies that have already tested the AI Verify tool or provided feedback.

As AI adoption grows, consumers must be reassured that their data is safe, and that technology is being used for good. Sujith Abraham senior vice president and GM of ASEAN, Salesforce

"The SG$1 billion allocation towards AI which also includes secure implementation of the National AI Strategy 2.0 demonstrates the government's commitment towards fostering a trusted and responsible AI eecosystem," said Sujith Abraham, senior vice president and general manager of ASEAN at Salesforce .

"As AI adoption grows, consumers must be reassured that their data is safe, and that technology is being used for good," said Abraham.

comscore

Target launches a new dollar-store-style budget brand

  • Target is launching a new budget brand for clothes, electronics, beauty products, and home items.
  • The range includes undergarments, toothbrushes, and dish soap. Most of the items will be under $10.
  • Target execs said in November that shoppers were having to make trade-offs and cut back on discretionary spending.

Insider Today

Target has launched a new budget brand that will offer shoppers low-cost clothes, electronics, beauty products, and home items.

Target said on Thursday that the brand, Dealworthy, will feature nearly 400 "everyday basics," with most items under $10 and some costing less than $1.

The range will include items such as undergarments, socks, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, and dish soap.

Target will also sell Dealworthy electronics, including phone cases and power cords, as well as kitchen and home items like paper plates, paper towels, and food containers.

Beauty products and toiletries on offer will include shampoo, dental floss, and cotton balls and swabs.

The retailer said that the first products would be available in stores and on its website on Sunday, February 18, with more being rolled out throughout 2024 and in early 2025.

The new brand could see Target competing more closely with dollar stores, many of which have scrapped the $1 price point in recent years amid soaring inflation. Dollar Tree , the last of the big three dollar store chains to stick to price tags of $1 and under, put its price up to $1.25 in late 2021.

Inflation has been cooling in recent months. But prices soared in the wake of the pandemic, forcing some shoppers to trade down by turning to cheaper brands, including retailers' own-branded products. Aldi , whose range is mostly made up of private-label brands, said that US sales soared in 2022.

"Consumers are still spending, but pressures like higher interest rates, the resumption of student loan repayments, increased credit card debt, and reduced savings rates, have left them with less discretionary income, forcing them to make trade-offs in their family budgets," Target CEO Brian Cornell told investors at the company's most recent earnings call in November.

Executives said that food and beverage prices were up by 25% on average compared to pre-pandemic and that customers had been "delaying their spending until the last moment" to stretch their budgets until the next paycheck, like waiting for the weather to turn cold before getting winter clothing.

Target makes $30 billion a year from own-brand products

Target told Business Insider that it would be selling a 200-pack of jumbo cotton balls for $1.99, a two-pack of toothbrushes for $0.99, and tablet stands and phone cases for $5.99 each.

"In each category they will be the lowest-priced item at the shelf," Rick Gomez, Target's chief food, essentials, and beauty officer, told Axios . The phone cases will cost half the price of the cheapest cases it sells by other brands, Target said in its press release.

"With Dealworthy, Target is offering more options at lower prices, starting at less than $1, while strengthening its portfolio of owned brands," the retailer said in a press release .

Target said that it makes more than $30 billion in annual sales from its owned brands. Target brought in revenues of $109 billion in 2022.

cheap business plan

Watch: 31 beauty products under $20

cheap business plan

  • Main content

COMMENTS

  1. Simple Business Plan Template (2024)

    Whether you want to launch a side gig, a solo operation or a small business, you need a simple business plan template to guide you. Forbes Advisor offers you a comprehensive and easy-to-follow ...

  2. How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

    Describe Your Services or Products. The business plan should have a section that explains the services or products that you're offering. This is the part where you can also describe how they fit ...

  3. Write your business plan

    Learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently with a business plan template. Choose between a traditional or lean startup format, depending on your needs and goals. Find tips, examples, and resources for each section of your plan.

  4. Business Plan: What it Is, How to Write One

    4. Describe your products and services 5. Do your market research 6. Outline your marketing and sales plan 7. Perform a business financial analysis 8. Make financial projections 9. Add...

  5. Business Plan Writing Services (From $150)

    Business Plans Turn your ideas into a detailed, actionable business plan. How it works 1,962 business plans projects available An investor/bank ready Business Plan including Financial Projections 10 day delivery From $250 Nauman A. 4.9 (2319) Top Rated Upwork Picks A stellar investor/bank ready business plan 3 day delivery From $199 Muhammad A.

  6. How to Write a Simple Business Plan

    Write the Executive Summary. This section is the same as in the traditional business plan — simply offer an overview of what's in the business plan, the prospect or core offering, and the short- and long-term goals of the company. Add a Company Overview. Document the larger company mission and vision.

  7. How to Write a Business Plan: Guide + Examples

    Most business plans also include financial forecasts for the future. These set sales goals, budget for expenses, and predict profits and cash flow. A good business plan is much more than just a document that you write once and forget about. It's also a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. After completing your plan, you can ...

  8. Calculate your startup costs

    The key to a successful business is preparation. Before your business opens its doors, you'll have bills to pay. Understanding your expenses will help you launch successfully. Calculating startup costs helps you: Estimate profits. Conduct a break-even analysis. Secure loans. Attract investors. Save money with tax deductions.

  9. Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How to Write One

    Business Plan: A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a ...

  10. How to Write a Business Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Step 7: Financial Analysis and Projections. It doesn't matter if you include a request for funding in your plan, you will want to include a financial analysis here. You'll want to do two things here: Paint a picture of your business's performance in the past and show it will grow in the future.

  11. 5 Tips to Write a Successful Business Plan

    From there, you can build what your ideal week looks like and work your business schedule around that. 3. Make the time. As for actually sitting down to write your business plan, consider both ...

  12. How to Create a Business Plan (7+ Business Plan Templates)

    To get started on your business plan, save yourself some time and use a template. Most business plan templates will include things like a cover page, table of contents and the main sections you need. It will also have pre-formatted pages with placeholder text and charts that you can swap out. USE THIS TEMPLATE.

  13. Business Plan Templates: 26 FREE Samples

    Operations plan. Management organization. Financial plan. Conclusion & appendix. Every section involved in a business plan is designed to help startup businesses reach their target market. A business plan asks founders and entrepreneurs to detail their business strategy in a step-by-step process that makes sense from an operational perspective.

  14. Create Your Custom Business Plan Online

    1. Create a free Venngage account using your email, Google or Facebook profiles. 2. Select the perfect business plan template from our library of professionally designed templates. 3. Use our online Business Plan Creator to add your information, data and more to your business plan template.

  15. 5 Best Business Plan Software and Tools 2023

    EnLoop doesn't have our favorite features or interface, but it does have really, really low pricing plus a seven-day free trial. It's the most affordable software for startup business planning and still provides all the essential features like financial analysis, team collaboration, charting, and more.

  16. Free Business Plan Template and Examples for Small Businesses ...

    1. Executive summary. This is a one-page summary of your whole plan, typically written after the rest of the plan is completed. The description section of your executive summary will also cover your management team, business objectives and strategy, and other background information about the brand. 2.

  17. Business Plan Writers for Hire Online

    From $15 R Rachael A. Level 2 I will write a fundwinning business plan to secure sba loans or attract investors 4.9 (144) From $10 K Kashifmalik Level 2 I will develop an investor ready business plan and financials for your startup 4.9 (79) From $10 M Mabel W. Level 2

  18. 24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

    8. Panda Doc's Free Business Plan Template. PandaDoc's free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

  19. 6 Best Business Plan Writing Services

    LivePlan: Best Business Plan Writing Software for DIY. Rather than a consulting service that writes the plans for you, LivePlan is a software that helps you build a business plan. Plans start at $20 per month, and prices decrease if you purchase a six-month or annual plan.

  20. Free Business Plan Template Download

    Download our free business plan outline, and follow the prompts to tailor it to your needs. You'll find all the sections usually included in a startup or SMB business plan, with step-by-step worksheets for key headers. Add in financing information if you're seeking funding, and use the completed plan to showcase what your business can achieve.

  21. Free editable and printable business plan templates

    677 templates Create a blank Business Plan Beige Aesthetic Modern Business Plan A4 Document Document by Rise & Roar Design Navy and Gray Modern Business Plan Cover Document Document by Banuaa Grey and White Modern Business Plan Cover Document A4 Document by Ubara Startup Business Plan in Cream Black and White Modern Sophisticated Style

  22. 9 Best Business Plan Writers for Hire: Growth & Success in 2024

    1. Green_lama - Affordable Business Plan Template Green_lama specializes in affordable business plan templates Sometimes, all you need is a template to help you get planning. And just because it's for business doesn't mean it has to cost you a fortune.

  23. Access expert business plan writers to help you win funding

    Business plan writers trusted by top business schools across the U.S. Since 1988, Palo Alto Software—the creator of LivePlan—has helped over a million entrepreneurs achieve success. Our business plan structure is even taught at top universities, such as Princeton and Rice.

  24. 2024 Budget in a nutshell

    The fiscus. Compared to a year ago, the budget deficit for 2023/24 is estimated to worsen from 4% to 4.9% of GDP. The higher budget deficit means that debt-service costs in 2023/24 have been ...

  25. Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

    Cost of an Online Accounting Degree. The average annual net price of the universities in this ranking amounts to about $17,500. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that, as of the ...

  26. Pritzker's budget includes nearly $900 million in tax hikes

    Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled a $52.7 billion election-year spending plan built on more than $800 million in tax increases that would largely fall on businesses, from large corporations to state-regu…

  27. Singapore's AI ambitions get a boost with $740 million investment plan

    SINGAPORE — Singapore's plan to invest more than $743 million into artificial intelligence over the next five years could strengthen its position as a global business and innovation hub, tech ...

  28. Target Launches New Dollar-Store-Style Budget Brand

    Target launches a new dollar-store-style budget brand. Grace Dean. Feb 15, 2024, 5:06 AM PST. Target says that the Dealworthy brand will include nearly 400 items. Target. Target is launching a new ...

  29. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos completes $8.5bn share sale plan

    Mr Bezos, who is the firm's founder and executive chair, had previously last sold Amazon shares in 2021. He has also given away shares in Amazon as part of his philanthropy, most recently in 2022 ...