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sample 12 month business plan

7 Business Plan Examples to Inspire Your Own (2024)

Need support creating your business plan? Check out these business plan examples for inspiration.

business plan examples

Any aspiring entrepreneur researching how to start a business will likely be advised to write a business plan. But few resources provide business plan examples to really guide you through writing one of your own.

Here are some real-world and illustrative business plan examples to help you craft your business plan .

7 business plan examples: section by section

The business plan examples in this article follow this template:

  • Executive summary.  An introductory overview of your business.
  • Company description.  A more in-depth and detailed description of your business and why it exists.
  • Market analysis.  Research-based information about the industry and your target market.
  • Products and services.  What you plan to offer in exchange for money.
  • Marketing plan.   The promotional strategy to introduce your business to the world and drive sales.
  • Logistics and operations plan.  Everything that happens in the background to make your business function properly.
  • Financial plan.  A breakdown of your numbers to show what you need to get started as well as to prove viability of profitability.
  • Executive summary

Your  executive summary  is a page that gives a high-level overview of the rest of your business plan. It’s easiest to save this section for last.

In this  free business plan template , the executive summary is four paragraphs and takes a little over half a page:

A four-paragraph long executive summary for a business.

  • Company description

You might repurpose your company description elsewhere, like on your About page, social media profile pages, or other properties that require a boilerplate description of your small business.

Soap brand ORRIS  has a blurb on its About page that could easily be repurposed for the company description section of its business plan.

A company description from the website of soap brand Orris

You can also go more in-depth with your company overview and include the following sections, like in the example for Paw Print Post:

  • Business structure.  This section outlines how you  registered your business —as an  LLC , sole proprietorship, corporation, or other  business type . “Paw Print Post will operate as a sole proprietorship run by the owner, Jane Matthews.”
  • Nature of the business.  “Paw Print Post sells unique, one-of-a-kind digitally printed cards that are customized with a pet’s unique paw prints.”
  • Industry.  “Paw Print Post operates primarily in the pet industry and sells goods that could also be categorized as part of the greeting card industry.”
  • Background information.  “Jane Matthews, the founder of Paw Print Post, has a long history in the pet industry and working with animals, and was recently trained as a graphic designer. She’s combining those two loves to capture a niche in the market: unique greeting cards customized with a pet’s paw prints, without needing to resort to the traditional (and messy) options of casting your pet’s prints in plaster or using pet-safe ink to have them stamp their ‘signature.’”
  • Business objectives.  “Jane will have Paw Print Post ready to launch at the Big Important Pet Expo in Toronto to get the word out among industry players and consumers alike. After two years in business, Jane aims to drive $150,000 in annual revenue from the sale of Paw Print Post’s signature greeting cards and have expanded into two new product categories.”
  • Team.  “Jane Matthews is the sole full-time employee of Paw Print Post but hires contractors as needed to support her workflow and fill gaps in her skill set. Notably, Paw Print Post has a standing contract for five hours a week of virtual assistant support with Virtual Assistants Pro.”

Your  mission statement  may also make an appearance here.  Passionfruit  shares its mission statement on its company website, and it would also work well in its example business plan.

A mission statement example on the website of apparel brand Passionfruit, alongside a picture of woman

  • Market analysis

The market analysis consists of research about supply and demand, your target demographics, industry trends, and the competitive landscape. You might run a SWOT analysis and include that in your business plan. 

Here’s an example  SWOT analysis  for an online tailored-shirt business:

A SWOT analysis table showing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

You’ll also want to do a  competitive analysis  as part of the market research component of your business plan. This will tell you who you’re up against and give you ideas on how to differentiate your brand. A broad competitive analysis might include:

  • Target customers
  • Unique value add  or what sets their products apart
  • Sales pitch
  • Price points  for products
  • Shipping  policy
  • Products and services

This section of your business plan describes your offerings—which products and services do you sell to your customers? Here’s an example for Paw Print Post:

An example products and services section from a business plan

  • Marketing plan

It’s always a good idea to develop a marketing plan  before you launch your business. Your marketing plan shows how you’ll get the word out about your business, and it’s an essential component of your business plan as well.

The Paw Print Post focuses on four Ps: price, product, promotion, and place. However, you can take a different approach with your marketing plan. Maybe you can pull from your existing  marketing strategy , or maybe you break it down by the different marketing channels. Whatever approach you take, your marketing plan should describe how you intend to promote your business and offerings to potential customers.

  • Logistics and operations plan

The Paw Print Post example considered suppliers, production, facilities, equipment, shipping and fulfillment, and inventory.

Financial plan

The financial plan provides a breakdown of sales, revenue, profit, expenses, and other relevant financial metrics related to funding and profiting from your business.

Ecommerce brand  Nature’s Candy’s financial plan  breaks down predicted revenue, expenses, and net profit in graphs.

A sample bar chart showing business expenses by month

It then dives deeper into the financials to include:

  • Funding needs
  • Projected profit-and-loss statement
  • Projected balance sheet
  • Projected cash-flow statement

You can use this financial plan spreadsheet to build your own financial statements, including income statement, balance sheet, and cash-flow statement.

A sample financial plan spreadsheet

Types of business plans, and what to include for each

A one-page business plan is meant to be high level and easy to understand at a glance. You’ll want to include all of the sections, but make sure they’re truncated and summarized:

  • Executive summary: truncated
  • Market analysis: summarized
  • Products and services: summarized
  • Marketing plan: summarized
  • Logistics and operations plan: summarized
  • Financials: summarized

A startup business plan is for a new business. Typically, these plans are developed and shared to secure  outside funding . As such, there’s a bigger focus on the financials, as well as on other sections that determine viability of your business idea—market research, for example.

  • Market analysis: in-depth
  • Financials: in-depth

Your internal business plan is meant to keep your team on the same page and aligned toward the same goal.

A strategic, or growth, business plan is a bigger picture, more-long-term look at your business. As such, the forecasts tend to look further into the future, and growth and revenue goals may be higher. Essentially, you want to use all the sections you would in a normal business plan and build upon each.

  • Market analysis: comprehensive outlook
  • Products and services: for launch and expansion
  • Marketing plan: comprehensive outlook
  • Logistics and operations plan: comprehensive outlook
  • Financials: comprehensive outlook


Your feasibility business plan is sort of a pre-business plan—many refer to it as simply a feasibility study. This plan essentially lays the groundwork and validates that it’s worth the effort to make a full business plan for your idea. As such, it’s mostly centered around research.

Set yourself up for success as a business owner

Building a good business plan serves as a roadmap you can use for your ecommerce business at launch and as you reach each of your business goals. Business plans create accountability for entrepreneurs and synergy among teams, regardless of your  business model .

Kickstart your ecommerce business and set yourself up for success with an intentional business planning process—and with the sample business plans above to guide your own path.

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Business plan examples FAQ

How do i write a simple business plan, what is the best format to write a business plan, what are the 4 key elements of a business plan.

  • Executive summary: A concise overview of the company's mission, goals, target audience, and financial objectives.
  • Business description: A description of the company's purpose, operations, products and services, target markets, and competitive landscape.
  • Market analysis: An analysis of the industry, market trends, potential customers, and competitors.
  • Financial plan: A detailed description of the company's financial forecasts and strategies.

What are the 3 main points of a business plan?

  • Concept: Your concept should explain the purpose of your business and provide an overall summary of what you intend to accomplish.
  • Contents: Your content should include details about the products and services you provide, your target market, and your competition.
  • Cashflow: Your cash flow section should include information about your expected cash inflows and outflows, such as capital investments, operating costs, and revenue projections.

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sample 12 month business plan

Small Business Trends

How to create a business plan: examples & free template.

This guide has been designed to help you create a winning plan that stands out in the ever-evolving marketplace. U sing real-world examples and a free downloadable template, it will walk you through each step of the process.

Table of Contents

How to Write a Business Plan

Executive summary.

business plan

The Executive Summary serves as the gateway to your business plan, offering a snapshot of your venture’s core aspects. This section should captivate and inform, succinctly summarizing the essence of your plan.

Example: EcoTech is a technology company specializing in eco-friendly and sustainable products designed to reduce energy consumption and minimize waste. Our mission is to create innovative solutions that contribute to a cleaner, greener environment.

Overview and Business Objectives

This part of the plan demonstrates to investors and stakeholders your vision for growth and the practical steps you’ll take to get there.

Company Description

Include information about the company’s founders, their expertise, and why they are suited to lead the business to success. This section should paint a vivid picture of your business, its values, and its place in the industry.

Define Your Target Market

Example: Our target market comprises environmentally conscious consumers and businesses looking for innovative solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. Our ideal customers are those who prioritize sustainability and are willing to invest in eco-friendly products.

Market Analysis

Our research indicates a gap in the market for high-quality, innovative eco-friendly technology products that cater to both individual and business clients.

SWOT Analysis

Competitive analysis.

In this section, you’ll analyze your competitors in-depth, examining their products, services, market positioning, and pricing strategies. Understanding your competition allows you to identify gaps in the market and tailor your offerings to outperform them.

Organization and Management Team

Example: EcoTech’s organizational structure comprises the following key roles: CEO, CTO, CFO, Sales Director, Marketing Director, and R&D Manager. Our management team has extensive experience in technology, sustainability, and business development, ensuring that we are well-equipped to execute our business plan successfully.

Products and Services Offered

Marketing and sales strategy.

Describe the nature of your advertising campaigns and promotional activities, explaining how they will capture the attention of your target audience and convey the value of your products or services. Outline your sales strategy, including your sales process, team structure, and sales targets.

Logistics and Operations Plan

Inventory control is another crucial aspect, where you explain strategies for inventory management to ensure efficiency and reduce wastage. The section should also describe your production processes, emphasizing scalability and adaptability to meet changing market demands.

Financial Projections Plan

In the Financial Projections Plan, lay out a clear and realistic financial future for your business. This should include detailed projections for revenue, costs, and profitability over the next three to five years.

Income Statement

The income statement , also known as the profit and loss statement, provides a summary of your company’s revenues and expenses over a specified period. It helps you track your business’s financial performance and identify trends, ensuring you stay on track to achieve your financial goals.

Cash Flow Statement

Executive SummaryBrief overview of the business planOverview of EcoTech and its mission
Overview & ObjectivesOutline of company's goals and strategiesMarket leadership in sustainable technology
Company DescriptionDetailed explanation of the company and its unique selling propositionEcoTech's history, mission, and vision
Target MarketDescription of ideal customers and their needsEnvironmentally conscious consumers and businesses
Market AnalysisExamination of industry trends, customer needs, and competitorsTrends in eco-friendly technology market
SWOT AnalysisEvaluation of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and ThreatsStrengths and weaknesses of EcoTech
Competitive AnalysisIn-depth analysis of competitors and their strategiesAnalysis of GreenTech and EarthSolutions
Organization & ManagementOverview of the company's structure and management teamKey roles and team members at EcoTech
Products & ServicesDescription of offerings and their unique featuresEnergy-efficient lighting solutions, solar chargers
Marketing & SalesOutline of marketing channels and sales strategiesDigital advertising, content marketing, influencer partnerships
Logistics & OperationsDetails about daily operations, supply chain, inventory, and quality controlPartnerships with manufacturers, quality control
Financial ProjectionsForecast of revenue, expenses, and profit for the next 3-5 yearsProjected growth in revenue and net profit
Income StatementSummary of company's revenues and expenses over a specified periodRevenue, Cost of Goods Sold, Gross Profit, Net Income
Cash Flow StatementOverview of cash inflows and outflows within the businessNet Cash from Operating Activities, Investing Activities, Financing Activities

Tips on Writing a Business Plan

3. Set realistic goals: Your business plan should outline achievable objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Setting realistic goals demonstrates your understanding of the market and increases the likelihood of success.

FREE Business Plan Template

To help you get started on your business plan, we have created a template that includes all the essential components discussed in the “How to Write a Business Plan” section. This easy-to-use template will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you don’t miss any critical details.

What is a Business Plan?

Why you should write a business plan, what are the different types of business plans.

In today’s fast-paced business world, having a well-structured roadmap is more important than ever. A traditional business plan provides a comprehensive overview of your company’s goals and strategies, helping you make informed decisions and achieve long-term success. There are various types of business plans, each designed to suit different needs and purposes. Let’s explore the main types:

Type of Business PlanPurposeKey ComponentsTarget Audience
Startup Business PlanOutlines the company's mission, objectives, target market, competition, marketing strategies, and financial projections.Mission Statement, Company Description, Market Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Organizational Structure, Marketing and Sales Strategy, Financial Projections.Entrepreneurs, Investors
Internal Business PlanServes as a management tool for guiding the company's growth, evaluating its progress, and ensuring that all departments are aligned with the overall vision.Strategies, Milestones, Deadlines, Resource Allocation.Internal Team Members
Strategic Business PlanOutlines long-term goals and the steps to achieve them.SWOT Analysis, Market Research, Competitive Analysis, Long-Term Goals.Executives, Managers, Investors
Feasibility Business PlanAssesses the viability of a business idea.Market Demand, Competition, Financial Projections, Potential Obstacles.Entrepreneurs, Investors
Growth Business PlanFocuses on strategies for scaling up an existing business.Market Analysis, New Product/Service Offerings, Financial Projections.Business Owners, Investors
Operational Business PlanOutlines the company's day-to-day operations.Processes, Procedures, Organizational Structure.Managers, Employees
Lean Business PlanA simplified, agile version of a traditional plan, focusing on key elements.Value Proposition, Customer Segments, Revenue Streams, Cost Structure.Entrepreneurs, Startups
One-Page Business PlanA concise summary of your company's key objectives, strategies, and milestones.Key Objectives, Strategies, Milestones.Entrepreneurs, Investors, Partners
Nonprofit Business PlanOutlines the mission, goals, target audience, fundraising strategies, and budget allocation for nonprofit organizations.Mission Statement, Goals, Target Audience, Fundraising Strategies, Budget.Nonprofit Leaders, Board Members, Donors
Franchise Business PlanFocuses on the franchisor's requirements, as well as the franchisee's goals, strategies, and financial projections.Franchise Agreement, Brand Standards, Marketing Efforts, Operational Procedures, Financial Projections.Franchisors, Franchisees, Investors

Using Business Plan Software

Enloop is a robust business plan software that automatically generates a tailored plan based on your inputs. It provides industry-specific templates, financial forecasting, and a unique performance score that updates as you make changes to your plan. Enloop also offers a free version, making it accessible for businesses on a budget.

SoftwareKey FeaturesUser InterfaceAdditional Features
LivePlanOver 500 sample plans, financial forecasting tools, progress tracking against KPIsUser-friendly, visually appealingAllows creation of professional-looking business plans
UpmetricsCustomizable templates, financial forecasting tools, collaboration capabilitiesSimple and intuitiveProvides a resource library for business planning
BizplanDrag-and-drop builder, modular sections, financial forecasting tools, progress trackingSimple, visually engagingDesigned to simplify the business planning process
EnloopIndustry-specific templates, financial forecasting tools, automatic business plan generation, unique performance scoreRobust, user-friendlyOffers a free version, making it accessible for businesses on a budget
Tarkenton GoSmallBizGuided business plan builder, customizable templates, financial projection toolsUser-friendlyOffers CRM tools, legal document templates, and additional resources for small businesses

Business Plan FAQs

What is a good business plan, what are the 3 main purposes of a business plan, can i write a business plan by myself.

We also have examples for specific industries, including a using food truck business plan , salon business plan , farm business plan , daycare business plan , and restaurant business plan .

Is it possible to create a one-page business plan?

How long should a business plan be, what is a business plan outline, what are the 5 most common business plan mistakes, what questions should be asked in a business plan.

A business plan should address questions such as: What problem does the business solve? Who is the specific target market ? What is the unique selling proposition? What are the company’s objectives? How will it achieve those objectives?

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

How is business planning for a nonprofit different.

How to Write a Business Plan (Plus Examples & Templates)

sample 12 month business plan

Have you ever wondered how to write a business plan step by step? Mike Andes, told us: 

This guide will help you write a business plan to impress investors.

Throughout this process, we’ll get information from Mike Andes, who started Augusta Lawn Care Services when he was 12 and turned it into a franchise with over 90 locations. He has gone on to help others learn how to write business plans and start businesses.  He knows a thing or two about writing  business plans!

We’ll start by discussing the definition of a business plan. Then we’ll discuss how to come up with the idea, how to do the market research, and then the important elements in the business plan format. Keep reading to start your journey!

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is simply a road map of what you are trying to achieve with your business and how you will go about achieving it. It should cover all elements of your business including: 

  • Finding customers
  • Plans for developing a team
  •  Competition
  • Legal structures
  • Key milestones you are pursuing

If you aren’t quite ready to create a business plan, consider starting by reading our business startup guide .

Get a Business Idea

Before you can write a business plan, you have to have a business idea. You may see a problem that needs to be solved and have an idea how to solve it, or you might start by evaluating your interests and skills. 

Mike told us, “The three things I suggest asking yourself when thinking about starting a business are:

  • What am I good at?
  • What would I enjoy doing?
  • What can I get paid for?”

Three adjoining circles about business opportunity

If all three of these questions don’t lead to at least one common answer, it will probably be a much harder road to success. Either there is not much market for it, you won’t be good at it, or you won’t enjoy doing it. 

As Mike told us, “There’s enough stress starting and running a business that if you don’t like it or aren’t good at it, it’s hard to succeed.”

If you’d like to hear more about Mike’s approach to starting a business, check out our YouTube video

Conduct Market Analysis

Market analysis is focused on establishing if there is a target market for your products and services, how large the target market is, and identifying the demographics of people or businesses that would be interested in the product or service. The goal here is to establish how much money your business concept can make.

Product and Service Demand

An image showing product service and demand

A search engine is your best friend when trying to figure out if there is demand for your products and services. Personally, I love using presearch.org because it lets you directly search on a ton of different platforms including Google, Youtube, Twitter, and more. Check out the screenshot for the full list of search options.

With quick web searches, you can find out how many competitors you have, look through their reviews, and see if there are common complaints about the competitors. Bad reviews are a great place to find opportunities to offer better products or services. 

If there are no similar products or services, you may have stumbled upon something new, or there may just be no demand for it. To find out, go talk to your most honest friend about the idea and see what they think. If they tell you it’s dumb or stare at you vacantly, there’s probably no market for it.

You can also conduct a survey through social media to get public opinion on your idea. Using Facebook Business Manager , you could get a feel for who would be interested in your product or service.

 I ran a quick test of how many people between 18-65  you could reach in the U.S. during a week. It returned an estimated 700-2,000 for the total number of leads, which is enough to do a fairly accurate statistical analysis.

Identify Demographics of Target Market

Depending on what type of business you want to run, your target market will be different. The narrower the demographic, the fewer potential customers you’ll have. If you did a survey, you’ll be able to use that data to help define your target audience. Some considerations you’ll want to consider are:

  • Other Interests
  • Marital Status
  • Do they have kids?

Once you have this information, it can help you narrow down your options for location and help define your marketing further. One resource that Mike recommended using is the Census Bureau’s Quick Facts Map . He told us,  

“It helps you quickly evaluate what the best areas are for your business to be located.”

How to Write a Business Plan

Business plan development

Now that you’ve developed your idea a little and established there is a market for it, you can begin writing a business plan. Getting started is easier with the business plan template we created for you to download. I strongly recommend using it as it is updated to make it easier to create an action plan. 

Each of the following should be a section of your business plan:

  • Business Plan Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Description of Products and Services

SWOT Analysis

  • Competitor Data
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Expenses Strategy 

Pricing Strategy

  • Distribution Channel Assessment
  • Operational Plan
  • Management and Organizational Strategy
  • Financial Statements and/or Financial Projections

We’ll look into each of these. Don’t forget to download our free business plan template (mentioned just above) so you can follow along as we go. 

How to Write a Business Plan Step 1. Create a Cover Page

The first thing investors will see is the cover page for your business plan. Make sure it looks professional. A great cover page shows that you think about first impressions.

A good business plan should have the following elements on a cover page:

  • Professionally designed logo
  • Company name
  • Mission or Vision Statement
  • Contact Info

Basically, think of a cover page for your business plan like a giant business card. It is meant to capture people’s attention but be quickly processed.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 2. Create a Table of Contents

Most people are busy enough that they don’t have a lot of time. Providing a table of contents makes it easy for them to find the pages of your plan that are meaningful to them.

A table of contents will be immediately after the cover page, but you can include it after the executive summary. Including the table of contents immediately after the executive summary will help investors know what section of your business plan they want to review more thoroughly.

Check out Canva’s article about creating a  table of contents . It has a ton of great information about creating easy access to each section of your business plan. Just remember that you’ll want to use different strategies for digital and hard copy business plans.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 3. Write an Executive Summary

A notepad with a written executive summary for business plan writing

An executive summary is where your business plan should catch the readers interest.  It doesn’t need to be long, but should be quick and easy to read.

Mike told us,

How long should an executive summary bein an informal business plan?

For casual use, an executive summary should be similar to an elevator pitch, no more than 150-160 words, just enough to get them interested and wanting more. Indeed has a great article on elevator pitches .  This can also be used for the content of emails to get readers’ attention.

It consists of three basic parts:

  • An introduction to you and your business.
  • What your business is about.
  • A call to action

Example of an informal executive summary 

One of the best elevator pitches I’ve used is:

So far that pitch has achieved a 100% success rate in getting partnerships for the business.

What should I include in an executive summary for investors?

Investors are going to need a more detailed executive summary if you want to secure financing or sell equity. The executive summary should be a brief overview of your entire business plan and include:

  • Introduction of yourself and company.
  • An origin story (Recognition of a problem and how you came to solution)
  • An introduction to your products or services.
  • Your unique value proposition. Make sure to include intellectual property.
  • Where you are in the business life cycle
  • Request and why you need it.

Successful business plan examples

The owner of Urbanity told us he spent 2 months writing a 75-page business plan and received a $250,000 loan from the bank when he was 23. Make your business plan as detailed as possible when looking for financing. We’ve provided a template to help you prepare the portions of a business plan that banks expect.

Here’s the interview with the owner of Urbanity:

When to write an executive summary?

Even though the summary is near the beginning of a business plan, you should write it after you complete the rest of a business plan. You can’t talk about revenue, profits, and expected expenditures if you haven’t done the market research and created a financial plan.

What mistakes do people make when writing an executive summary?

Business owners commonly go into too much detail about the following items in an executive summary:

  • Marketing and sales processes
  • Financial statements
  • Organizational structure
  • Market analysis

These are things that people will want to know later, but they don’t hook the reader. They won’t spark interest in your small business, but they’ll close the deal.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 4. Company Description

Every business plan should include a company description. A great business plan will include the following elements while describing the company:

  • Mission statement
  • Philosophy and vision
  • Company goals

Target market

  • Legal structure

Let’s take a look at what each section includes in a good business plan.

Mission Statement

A mission statement is a brief explanation of why you started the company and what the company’s main focus is. It should be no more than one or two sentences. Check out HubSpot’s article 27 Inspiring Mission Statement for a great read on informative and inspiring mission and vision statements. 

Company Philosophy and Vision

Writing the company philosophy and vision

The company philosophy is what drives your company. You’ll normally hear them called core values.  These are the building blocks that make your company different. You want to communicate your values to customers, business owners, and investors as often as possible to build a company culture, but make sure to back them up.

What makes your company different?

Each company is different. Your new business should rise above the standard company lines of honesty, integrity, fun, innovation, and community when communicating your business values. The standard answers are corporate jargon and lack authenticity. 

Examples of core values

One of my clients decided to add a core values page to their website. As a tech company they emphasized the values:

  •  Prioritize communication.
  •  Never stop learning.
  •  Be transparent.
  •  Start small and grow incrementally.

These values communicate how the owner and the rest of the company operate. They also show a value proposition and competitive advantage because they specifically focus on delivering business value from the start. These values also genuinely show what the company is about and customers recognize the sincerity. Indeed has a great blog about how to identify your core values .

What is a vision statement?

A vision statement communicate the long lasting change a business pursues. The vision helps investors and customers understand what your company is trying to accomplish. The vision statement goes beyond a mission statement to provide something meaningful to the community, customer’s lives, or even the world.

Example vision statements

The Alzheimer’s Association is a great example of a vision statement:

A world without Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia.

It clearly tells how they want to change the world. A world without Alzheimers might be unachievable, but that means they always have room for improvement.

Business Goals

You have to measure success against goals for a business plan to be meaningful. A business plan helps guide a company similar to how your GPS provides a road map to your favorite travel destination. A goal to make as much money as possible is not inspirational and sounds greedy.

Sure, business owners want to increase their profits and improve customer service, but they need to present an overview of what they consider success. The goals should help everyone prioritize their work.

How far in advance should a business plan?

Business planning should be done at least one year in advance, but many banks and investors prefer three to five year business plans. Longer plans show investors that the management team  understands the market and knows the business is operating in a constantly shifting market. In addition, a plan helps businesses to adjust to changes because they have already considered how to handle them.

Example of great business goals

My all time-favorite long-term company goals are included in Tesla’s Master Plan, Part Deux . These goals were written in 2016 and drive the company’s decisions through 2026. They are the reason that investors are so forgiving when Elon Musk continually fails to meet his quarterly and annual goals.

If the progress aligns with the business plan investors are likely to continue to believe in the company. Just make sure the goals are reasonable or you’ll be discredited (unless you’re Elon Musk).

A man holding an iPad with a cup of coffee on his desk

You did target market research before creating a business plan. Now it’s time to add it to the plan so others understand what your ideal customer looks like. As a new business owner, you may not be considered an expert in your field yet, so document everything. Make sure the references you use are from respectable sources. 

Use information from the specific lender when you are applying for lending. Most lenders provide industry research reports and using their data can strengthen the position of your business plan.

A small business plan should include a section on the external environment. Understanding the industry is crucial because we don’t plan a business in a vacuum. Make sure to research the industry trends, competitors, and forecasts. I personally prefer IBIS World for my business research. Make sure to answer questions like:

  • What is the industry outlook long-term and short-term?
  • How will your business take advantage of projected industry changes and trends?
  • What might happen to your competitors and how will your business successfully compete?

Industry resources

Some helpful resources to help you establish more about your industry are:

  • Trade Associations
  • Federal Reserve
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics

Legal Structure

There are five basic types of legal structures that most people will utilize:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)



  • Franchises.

Each business structure has their pros and cons. An LLC is the most common legal structure due to its protection of personal assets and ease of setting up. Make sure to specify how ownership is divided and what roles each owner plays when you have more than one business owner.

You’ll have to decide which structure is best for you, but we’ve gathered information on each to make it easier.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the easiest legal structure to set up but doesn’t protect the owner’s personal assets from legal issues. That means if something goes wrong, you could lose both your company and your home.

To start a sole proprietorship, fill out a special tax form called a  Schedule C . Sole proprietors can also join the American Independent Business Alliance .

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC is the most common business structure used in the United States because an LLC protects the owner’s personal assets. It’s similar to partnerships and corporations, but can be a single-member LLC in most states. An LLC requires a document called an operating agreement.

Each state has different requirements. Here’s a link to find your state’s requirements . Delaware and Nevada are common states to file an LLC because they are really business-friendly. Here’s a blog on the top 10 states to get an LLC.

Partnerships are typically for legal firms. If you choose to use a partnership choose a Limited Liability Partnership. Alternatively, you can just use an LLC.

Corporations are typically for massive organizations. Corporations have taxes on both corporate and income tax so unless you plan on selling stock, you are better off considering an LLC with S-Corp status . Investopedia has good information corporations here .

An iPad with colored pens on a desk

There are several opportunities to purchase successful franchises. TopFranchise.com has a list of companies in a variety of industries that offer franchise opportunities. This makes it where an entrepreneur can benefit from the reputation of an established business that has already worked out many of the kinks of starting from scratch.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 5. Products and Services

This section of the business plan should focus on what you sell, how you source it, and how you sell it. You should include:

  • Unique features that differentiate your business products from competitors
  • Intellectual property
  • Your supply chain
  • Cost and pricing structure 

Questions to answer about your products and services

Mike gave us a list  of the most important questions to answer about your product and services:

  • How will you be selling the product? (in person, ecommerce, wholesale, direct to consumer)?
  • How do you let them know they need a product?
  • How do you communicate the message?
  • How will you do transactions?
  • How much will you be selling it for?
  • How many do you think you’ll sell and why?

Make sure to use the worksheet on our business plan template .

How to Write a Business Plan Step 6. Sales and Marketing Plan

The marketing and sales plan is focused on the strategy to bring awareness to your company and guides how you will get the product to the consumer.  It should contain the following sections:

SWOT Analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Not only do you want to identify them, but you also want to document how the business plans to deal with them.

Business owners need to do a thorough job documenting how their service or product stacks up against the competition.

If proper research isn’t done, investors will be able to tell that the owner hasn’t researched the competition and is less likely to believe that the team can protect its service from threats by the more well-established competition. This is one of the most common parts of a presentation that trips up business owners presenting on Shark Tank .

SWOT Examples

Business plan SWOT analysis

Examples of strengths and weaknesses could be things like the lack of cash flow, intellectual property ownership, high costs of suppliers, and customers’ expectations on shipping times.

Opportunities could be ways to capitalize on your strengths or improve your weaknesses, but may also be gaps in the industry. This includes:

  • Adding offerings that fit with your current small business
  • Increase sales to current customers
  • Reducing costs through bulk ordering
  • Finding ways to reduce inventory
  •  And other areas you can improve

Threats will normally come from outside of the company but could also be things like losing a key member of the team. Threats normally come from competition, regulations, taxes, and unforeseen events.

The management team should use the SWOT analysis to guide other areas of business planning, but it absolutely has to be done before a business owner starts marketing. 

Include Competitor Data in Your Business Plan

When you plan a business, taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of the competition is key to navigating the field. Providing an overview of your competition and where they are headed shows that you are invested in understanding the industry.

For smaller businesses, you’ll want to search both the company and the owners names to see what they are working on. For publicly held corporations, you can find their quarterly and annual reports on the SEC website .

What another business plans to do can impact your business. Make sure to include things that might make it attractive for bigger companies to outsource to a small business.

Marketing Strategy

The marketing and sales part of business plans should be focused on how you are going to make potential customers aware of your business and then sell to them.

If you haven’t already included it, Mike recommends:

“They’ll want to know about Demographics, ages, and wealth of your target market.”

Make sure to include the Total addressable market .  The term refers to the value if you captured 100% of the market.

Advertising Strategy

You’ll explain what formats of advertising you’ll be using. Some possibilities are:

  • Online: Facebook and Google are the big names to work with here.
  • Print : Print can be used to reach broad groups or targeted markets. Check out this for tips .
  • Radio : iHeartMedia is one of the best ways to advertise on the radio
  • Cable television : High priced, hard to measure ROI, but here’s an explanation of the process
  • Billboards: Attracting customers with billboards can be beneficial in high traffic areas.

You’ll want to define how you’ll be using each including frequency, duration, and cost. If you have the materials already created, including pictures or links to the marketing to show creative assets.

Mike told us “Most businesses are marketing digitally now due to Covid, but that’s not always the right answer.”

Make sure the marketing strategy will help team members or external marketing agencies stay within the brand guidelines .

An iPad with graph about pricing strategy

This section of a business plan should be focused on pricing. There are a ton of pricing strategies that may work for different business plans. Which one will work for you depends on what kind of a business you run.

Some common pricing strategies are:

  • Value-based pricing – Commonly used with home buying and selling or other products that are status symbols.
  • Skimming pricing – Commonly seen in video game consoles, price starts off high to recoup expenses quickly, then reduces over time.
  • Competition-based pricing – Pricing based on competitors’ pricing is commonly seen at gas stations.
  • Freemium services –  Commonly used for software, where there is a free plan, then purchase options for more functionality.

HubSpot has a great calculator and blog on pricing strategies.

Beyond explaining what strategy your business plans to use, you should include references for how you came to this pricing strategy and how it will impact your cash flow.

Distribution Plan

This part of a business plan is focused on how the product or service is going to go through the supply chain. These may include multiple divisions or multiple companies. Make sure to include any parts of the workflow that are automated so investors can see where cost savings are expected and when.

Supply Chain Examples

For instance, lawn care companies  would need to cover aspects such as:

  • Suppliers for lawn care equipment and tools
  • Any chemicals or treatments needed
  • Repair parts for sprinkler systems
  • Vehicles to transport equipment and employees
  • Insurance to protect the company vehicles and people.

Examples of Supply Chains

These are fairly flat supply chains compared to something like a clothing designer where the clothes would go through multiple vendors. A clothing company might have the following supply chain:

  • Raw materials
  • Shipping of raw materials
  • Converting of raw materials to thread
  • Shipping thread to produce garments
  • Garment producer
  • Shipping to company
  • Company storage
  • Shipping to retail stores

There have been advances such as print on demand that eliminate many of these steps. If you are designing completely custom clothing, all of this would need to be planned to keep from having business disruptions.

The main thing to include in the business plan is the list of suppliers, the path the supply chain follows, the time from order to the customer’s home, and the costs associated with each step of the process.

According to BizPlanReview , a business plan without this information is likely to get rejected because they have failed to research the key elements necessary to make sales to the customer.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 7. Company Organization and Operational Plan

This part of the business plan is focused on how the business model will function while serving customers.  The business plan should provide an overview of  how the team will manage the following aspects:

Quality Control

  • Legal environment

Let’s look at each for some insight.

Production has already been discussed in previous sections so I won’t go into it much. When writing a business plan for investors, try to avoid repetition as it creates a more simple business plan.

If the organizational plan will be used by the team as an overview of how to perform the best services for the customer, then redundancy makes more sense as it communicates what is important to the business.

A wooden stamp with the words "quality control"

Quality control policies help to keep the team focused on how to verify that the company adheres to the business plan and meets or exceeds customer expectations.

Quality control can be anything from a standard that says “all labels on shirts can be no more than 1/16″ off center” to a defined checklist of steps that should be performed and filled out for every customer.

There are a variety of organizations that help define quality control including:

  • International Organization for Standardization – Quality standards for energy, technology, food, production environments, and cybersecurity
  • AICPA – Standard defined for accounting.
  • The Joint Commission – Healthcare
  • ASHRAE – HVAC best practices

You can find lists of the organizations that contribute most to the government regulation of industries on Open Secrets . Research what the leaders in your field are doing. Follow their example and implement it in your quality control plan.

For location, you should use information from the market research to establish where the location will be. Make sure to include the following in the location documentation.

  • The size of your location
  • The type of building (retail, industrial, commercial, etc.)
  • Zoning restrictions – Urban Wire has a good map on how zoning works in each state
  • Accessibility – Does it meet ADA requirements?
  • Costs including rent, maintenance, utilities, insurance and any buildout or remodeling costs
  • Utilities – b.e.f. has a good energy calculator .

Legal Environment

The legal requirement section is focused on defining how to meet the legal requirements for your industry. A good business plan should include all of the following:

  • Any licenses and/or permits that are needed and whether you’ve obtained them
  • Any trademarks, copyrights, or patents that you have or are in the process of applying for
  • The insurance coverage your business requires and how much it costs
  • Any environmental, health, or workplace regulations affecting your business
  • Any special regulations affecting your industry
  • Bonding requirements, if applicable

Your local SBA office can help you establish requirements in your area. I strongly recommend using them. They are a great resource.

Your business plan should include a plan for company organization and hiring. While you may be the only person with the company right now, down the road you’ll need more people. Make sure to consider and document the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the current leadership structure and what will it look like in the future?
  • What types of employees will you have? Are there any licensing or educational requirements?
  • How many employees will you need?
  • Will you ever hire freelancers or independent contractors?
  • What is each position’s job description?
  • What is the pay structure (hourly, salaried, base plus commission, etc.)?
  • How do you plan to find qualified employees and contractors?

One of the most crucial parts of a business plan is the organizational chart. This simply shows the positions the company will need, who is in charge of them and the relationship of each of them. It will look similar to this:

Organization chart

Our small business plan template has a much more in-depth organizational chart you can edit to include when you include the organizational chart in your business plan.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 8. Financial Statements 

No business plan is complete without financial statements or financial projections. The business plan format will be different based on whether you are writing a business plan to expand a business or a startup business plan. Let’s dig deeper into each.

Provide All Financial Income from an Existing Business

An existing business should use their past financial documents including the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement to find trends to estimate the next 3-5 years.

You can create easy trendlines in excel to predict future revenue, profit and loss, cash flow, and other changes in year-over-year performance. This will show your expected performance assuming business continues as normal.

If you are seeking an investment, then the business is probably not going to continue as normal. Depending on the financial plan and the purpose of getting financing, adjustments may be needed to the following:

  • Higher Revenue if expanding business
  • Lower Cost of Goods Sold if purchasing inventory with bulk discounts
  • Adding interest if utilizing financing (not equity deal)
  • Changes in expenses
  • Addition of financing information to the cash flow statement
  • Changes in Earnings per Share on the balance sheet

Financial modeling is a challenging subject, but there are plenty of low-cost courses on the subject. If you need help planning your business financial documentation take some time to watch some of them.

Make it a point to document how you calculated all the changes to the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement in your business plan so that key team members or investors can verify your research.

Financial Projections For A Startup Business Plan

Unlike an existing business, a startup doesn’t have previous success to model its future performance. In this scenario, you need to focus on how to make a business plan realistic through the use of industry research and averages.

Mike gave the following advice in his interview:

Financial Forecasting Mistakes

One of the things a lot of inexperienced people use is the argument, “If I get one percent of the market, it is worth $100 million.” If you use this, investors are likely to file the document under bad business plan examples.

Let’s use custom t-shirts as an example.

Credence Research estimated in 2018 there were 11,334,800,000 custom t-shirts sold for a total of $206.12 Billion, with a 6% compound annual growth rate.

With that data,  you can calculate that the industry will grow to $270 Billion in 2023 and that the average shirt sold creates $18.18 in revenue.

Combine that with an IBIS World estimate of 11,094 custom screen printers and that means even if you become an average seller, you’ll get .009% of the market.

Here’s a table for easier viewing of that information.

A table showing yearly revenue of a business

The point here is to make sure your business proposal examples make sense.

You’ll need to know industry averages such as cost of customer acquisition, revenue per customer, the average cost of goods sold, and admin costs to be able to create accurate estimates.

Our simple business plan templates walk you through most of these processes. If you follow them you’ll have a good idea of how to write a business proposal.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 9. Business Plan Example of Funding Requests

What is a business plan without a plan on how to obtain funding?

The Small Business Administration has an example for a pizza restaurant that theoretically needed nearly $20k to make it through their first month.

In our video, How to Start a $500K/Year T-Shirt Business (Pt. 1 ), Sanford Booth told us he needed about $200,000 to start his franchise and broke even after 4 months.

Freshbooks estimates it takes on average 2-3 years for a business to be profitable, which means the fictitious pizza company from the SBA could need up to $330k to make it through that time and still pay their bills for their home and pizza shop.

Not every business needs that much to start, but realistically it’s a good idea to assume that you need a fairly large cushion.

Ways to get funding for a small business

There are a variety of ways to cover this. the most common are:

  • Bootstrapping – Using your savings without external funding.
  • Taking out debt – loans, credit cards
  • Equity, Seed Funding – Ownership of a percentage of the company in exchange for current funds
  • Crowdsourcing – Promising a good for funding to create the product

Keep reading for more tips on how to write a business plan.

How funding will be used

When asking for business financing make sure to include:

  • How much to get started?
  • What is the minimum viable product and how soon can you make money?
  • How will the money be spent?

Mike emphasized two aspects that should be included in every plan, 

How to Write a Business Plan Resources

Here are some links to a business plan sample and business plan outline. 

  • Sample plan

It’s also helpful to follow some of the leading influencers in the business plan writing community. Here’s a list:

  • Wise Plans –  Shares a lot of information on starting businesses and is a business plan writing company.
  • Optimus Business Plans –  Another business plan writing company.
  • Venture Capital – A venture capital thread that can help give you ideas.

How to Write a Business Plan: What’s Next?

We hope this guide about how to write a simple business plan step by step has been helpful. We’ve covered:

  • The definition of a business plan
  • Coming up with a business idea
  • Performing market research
  • The critical components of a business plan
  • An example business plan

In addition, we provided you with a simple business plan template to assist you in the process of writing your startup business plan. The startup business plan template also includes a business model template that will be the key to your success.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our business hub .

Have you written a business plan before? How did it impact your ability to achieve your goals?

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How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

Julia Rittenberg

Updated: Apr 17, 2024, 11:59am

How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

Table of Contents

Brainstorm an executive summary, create a company description, brainstorm your business goals, describe your services or products, conduct market research, create financial plans, bottom line, frequently asked questions.

Every business starts with a vision, which is distilled and communicated through a business plan. In addition to your high-level hopes and dreams, a strong business plan outlines short-term and long-term goals, budget and whatever else you might need to get started. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to write a business plan that you can stick to and help guide your operations as you get started.

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Drafting the Summary

An executive summary is an extremely important first step in your business. You have to be able to put the basic facts of your business in an elevator pitch-style sentence to grab investors’ attention and keep their interest. This should communicate your business’s name, what the products or services you’re selling are and what marketplace you’re entering.

Ask for Help

When drafting the executive summary, you should have a few different options. Enlist a few thought partners to review your executive summary possibilities to determine which one is best.

After you have the executive summary in place, you can work on the company description, which contains more specific information. In the description, you’ll need to include your business’s registered name , your business address and any key employees involved in the business. 

The business description should also include the structure of your business, such as sole proprietorship , limited liability company (LLC) , partnership or corporation. This is the time to specify how much of an ownership stake everyone has in the company. Finally, include a section that outlines the history of the company and how it has evolved over time.

Wherever you are on the business journey, you return to your goals and assess where you are in meeting your in-progress targets and setting new goals to work toward.

Numbers-based Goals

Goals can cover a variety of sections of your business. Financial and profit goals are a given for when you’re establishing your business, but there are other goals to take into account as well with regard to brand awareness and growth. For example, you might want to hit a certain number of followers across social channels or raise your engagement rates.

Another goal could be to attract new investors or find grants if you’re a nonprofit business. If you’re looking to grow, you’ll want to set revenue targets to make that happen as well.

Intangible Goals

Goals unrelated to traceable numbers are important as well. These can include seeing your business’s advertisement reach the general public or receiving a terrific client review. These goals are important for the direction you take your business and the direction you want it to go in the future.

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 in the current market or are providing something necessary or entirely new. If you have any patents or trademarks, this is where you can include those too.

If you have any visual aids, they should be included here as well. This would also be a good place to include pricing strategy and explain your materials.

This is the part of the business plan where you can explain your expertise and different approach in greater depth. Show how what you’re offering is vital to the market and fills an important gap.

You can also situate your business in your industry and compare it to other ones and how you have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Other than financial goals, you want to have a budget and set your planned weekly, monthly and annual spending. There are several different costs to consider, such as operational costs.

Business Operations Costs

Rent for your business is the first big cost to factor into your budget. If your business is remote, the cost that replaces rent will be the software that maintains your virtual operations.

Marketing and sales costs should be next on your list. Devoting money to making sure people know about your business is as important as making sure it functions.

Other Costs

Although you can’t anticipate disasters, there are likely to be unanticipated costs that come up at some point in your business’s existence. It’s important to factor these possible costs into your financial plans so you’re not caught totally unaware.

Business plans are important for businesses of all sizes so that you can define where your business is and where you want it to go. Growing your business requires a vision, and giving yourself a roadmap in the form of a business plan will set you up for success.

How do I write a simple business plan?

When you’re working on a business plan, make sure you have as much information as possible so that you can simplify it to the most relevant information. A simple business plan still needs all of the parts included in this article, but you can be very clear and direct.

What are some common mistakes in a business plan?

The most common mistakes in a business plan are common writing issues like grammar errors or misspellings. It’s important to be clear in your sentence structure and proofread your business plan before sending it to any investors or partners.

What basic items should be included in a business plan?

When writing out a business plan, you want to make sure that you cover everything related to your concept for the business,  an analysis of the industry―including potential customers and an overview of the market for your goods or services―how you plan to execute your vision for the business, how you plan to grow the business if it becomes successful and all financial data around the business, including current cash on hand, potential investors and budget plans for the next few years.

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Julia is a writer in New York and started covering tech and business during the pandemic. She also covers books and the publishing industry.

Kelly Main is a Marketing Editor and Writer specializing in digital marketing, online advertising and web design and development. Before joining the team, she was a Content Producer at Fit Small Business where she served as an editor and strategist covering small business marketing content. She is a former Google Tech Entrepreneur and she holds an MSc in International Marketing from Edinburgh Napier University. Additionally, she is a Columnist at Inc. Magazine.


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How to make a 12 month plan — Goals, Vision, and Content

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclaimer

annual new year planning strategy

Ready to kiss this year goodbye and look ahead to the new year!? The #1 enemy of not accomplishing goals is a broken focus, so to get back on track for your new year, we need to reclaim our focus and make a plan!

> Download my free Annual Planner and Yearly Journal (50 page pdf)

sample 12 month business plan

Why create a plan?

  • Knowing you have a pathway to follow feels good
  • Planning inspires action
  • Setting goals makes you feel accomplished

In this post, we’re going to talk about setting goals with ease and taking inspired action for the year ahead. To do this, I recommend retreating to a quiet place and giving yourself time to really ask the big questions and ponder your big goals. 

Set aside an afternoon, a day, or even a couple of days if you can!

This is your business, and it deserves attentive and focused planning to grow and evolve. 

I’m going to let you in on a little biz secret — the most effective way to plan is to focus on ONE thing at a time. 

Don’t dive in and scatter lists all over the table or open up a million google docs at once. When you have too many things on your plate, your focus becomes blurred. Instead, take your time and work through this process slowly. 

I love this acronym…

FOCUS: Following One Course Until Success.

This acronym demonstrates how important it is to take action and follow through on each part of your business plan. The more action you take, the more progress you’ll make, and the more satisfaction you’ll feel!

The exercises I’m leading you through in this post are NOT about doing everything perfectly! We cannot let perfect action become the enemy of good action. 

If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that perfect plans aren’t always the best. 

how to make a 12 month plan - goals, vision, content, personal retreat to plan the new year in your business

Step One – Pick Your Theme for the Year (Word/Idea for the year)

Choose a theme that will help inspire action all year long. To narrow one down, think about how you want to feel throughout the year. For example, this year my theme will be “inspired action.”

sample 12 month business plan

Step Two – Brainstorm How to Get There

Begin a list of ways that you can embody your chosen theme in the new year. How can you bring that theme into your life? 

Use this list to invigorate yourself when you get off track. 

Step Three – Set 2 to 3 BIG Goals

Now it’s time to get more specific. 

If you were to accomplish something distinct in the coming year, what would make you the most excited? The proudest? What 2-3 big things will make this upcoming year feel like a success if you get close or achieve them? 

Maybe it’s scaling your revenue with existing products, or creating clear boundaries in your business? Whatever the case, set goals that are a little uncomfortable but not TOO uncomfortable. The best goals are hard to reach, but not impossible. 

What 2-3 goals come to mind?

Step Four – Create a “Would Be Nice” List

Brainstorm outcomes that could be easily achieved by working on them for a few days or by occasionally working them into your schedule. These would-be-nice outcomes don’t need to be major goals , but they do need to help support how you want to feel throughout the year. 

An example? Maybe you want to feel more refreshed and at peace in the new year, so you choose to spend more time in nature and hike at least once a month.

Brain dump a list of “would-be-nices” like this example that will help you feel better. Go for it and list as many things as you can!

goal planning

Step Five – Gather Data from the previous year

Now that you’ve set your theme, big goals, and would-be-nice ideas, it’s time to dig into the numbers to see where you have room for improvement. Open up those past year metrics and take a look! They are the key to making a plan and achieving your goals.

A quick note: Some people tend to start with the numbers and work backward. My advice is to not do that. Instead, begin with how you want to feel in the next year, like we have in the steps above, and set those intentions before you ever look at the data. 

As business owners, we can easily get wrapped up in the numbers. But to be fulfilled in our lives, we need to start making decisions based on our desires. 

So what do you really want from the new year?

Once you’ve decided what you want, the data will show you how to make informed decisions to get there.

Data to gather may include:

  • Website analytics
  • Subscriber info
  • Profit and Loss sheets
  • Notes and Journals

Think about how much you made in the past year, how many email subscribers you added to your list, how many visits there were to your sales pages, etc.  Look at where your website traffic comes from and what blog posts performed the best. Really dig in and study the metrics. 

In addition, look at what you’re spending on your team, your projects, and the tools you’re paying for to see if they are accomplishing what you intended them to.

What has created success? Let this data inform your next steps.

Step Six – Ask deeper questions about your Top 4 Priorities as a Business Owner

When you peel away the outer layers, most business owners really have the same set of priorities no matter their niche. These 4 priorities need to be considered when you’re setting your goals for the coming year:

  • What will increase sales?
  • What will increase my social proof?
  • What will improve my profitability/operations?
  • What do you need to do to master your craft?

Make sure you’re revisiting these questions often to determine if your plans will help you achieve one of these four goals. 

Step 7 – Set Your Specific Quarterly Goals  

To help you achieve your 2-3 BIG goals, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty. 

I like to place one “ROCK” goal on my planner per quarter. This goal is “set like a rock” and requires long-term planning, focus, and strategy. Sure, some ROCK goals may take longer than a quarter, and that’s okay, but break them down as much as you can to fit them into a smaller, more defined time frame. 

how to breakdown business goals

If you find you have too many goals on the calendar, be willing to cut the fat and move them to the “would be nice” list.

Then ask yourself: What should I DO, what should I DELEGATE, and what can I DELETE?

Use this method to pair down your plans into steps that you and/or your team can accomplish day in and day out. 

Step 8 – Specify the details

Once you have your ROCK goals set, you need to spend time outlining the specifics and how you make these goals happen. Using Trello, Asana, or Click Up, create and schedule tasks that can be checked off when complete. 

You can organize your goals and plans on a Trello board like this example here:

sample 12 month business plan

Step 9 – Gather Content Ideas

Creating supporting content is a step we can’t leave out of your new year planning! After all, your content is the key to supporting your goals. Start by brainstorming content ideas that will help you move toward success. 

To get started, ask yourself :

  • What does my audience struggle with? 
  • What do they always ask about? 
  • Why do they always ask about it?
  • What’s missing for my audience?

You can organize your content ideas on a Trello board like this one.

sample 12 month business plan

Come up with themes for your audience to meet these needs and address these specific pain points. If possible, try creating quarterly content themes, then break those up into monthly themes.

Your content themes should easily relate back to your offerings, so the sales conversations can continue, and you can easily turn your audience into paying customers. If they don’t, ask why, and revisit your goals to fix that.

brainstorm content

Step 10- Create Batch Days on Your Calendar

Batch days are ways of organizing your time by doing similar tasks on similar days. For instance, when it comes to content creation, batching may look like this:

  • Monday — Draft Day. Create your outline and bullet points for blog posts, lead magnets, webinars, and Facebook Lives.
  • Tuesday — Writing Day. Fill in your outlines and do the bulk of the writing for your blog, emails, webinar content, etc.
  • Wednesday — Repurpose Day. Pull points from blog posts and create social content.
  • Thursday — Graphics Day. Create graphics to pair with your content.
  • Friday — Admin Day. Finalize, proofread, and schedule.

how to make a 12 month plan - goals, vision, content, personal retreat to plan the new year in your business

Step 11 – Reward Yourself! 

Last but not least, be sure to set up rewards along the way to boost your mood and celebrate your wins all year long — after all, you’ve planned like a boss and deserve it!

Ready to get started on your planning session

I’ve created a Trello Board that summarizes all the steps we’ve walked through in this post. This board will help you align your goals with your actions. 

Let’s do the work and implement these action steps to achieve your BIG dreams.


Want a full training and trello board too.

> Check out my full 90 minute workshop training complete with trello board access

sample 12 month business plan

What Next? Learn More from these other articles: 

  • How to turn a blog into a business with digital products and online courses
  • 6 Profitable online income streams that make me $30k/month
  • 6 steps to more clients
  • 16 questions to help you find more clarity

' src=

Thank you, Kayla. As usual you bring such obvious clarity to things I always struggle with. I’m still blogging after a few years where I’ve gained little traction and this year I really hope to FOCUS and be consistent. Your tools always help me get organized, it’s just me that falls off the schedule. Jessica, http://www.digitalplanningmom.com

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How to Write the Financial Section of a Business Plan

An outline of your company's growth strategy is essential to a business plan, but it just isn't complete without the numbers to back it up. here's some advice on how to include things like a sales forecast, expense budget, and cash-flow statement..

Hands pointing to a engineer's drawing

A business plan is all conceptual until you start filling in the numbers and terms. The sections about your marketing plan and strategy are interesting to read, but they don't mean a thing if you can't justify your business with good figures on the bottom line. You do this in a distinct section of your business plan for financial forecasts and statements. The financial section of a business plan is one of the most essential components of the plan, as you will need it if you have any hope of winning over investors or obtaining a bank loan. Even if you don't need financing, you should compile a financial forecast in order to simply be successful in steering your business. "This is what will tell you whether the business will be viable or whether you are wasting your time and/or money," says Linda Pinson, author of Automate Your Business Plan for Windows  (Out of Your Mind 2008) and Anatomy of a Business Plan (Out of Your Mind 2008), who runs a publishing and software business Out of Your Mind and Into the Marketplace . "In many instances, it will tell you that you should not be going into this business." The following will cover what the financial section of a business plan is, what it should include, and how you should use it to not only win financing but to better manage your business.

Dig Deeper: Generating an Accurate Sales Forecast

Editor's Note: Looking for Business Loans for your company? If you would like information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our partner, BuyerZone, provide you with information for free:

How to Write the Financial Section of a Business Plan: The Purpose of the Financial Section Let's start by explaining what the financial section of a business plan is not. Realize that the financial section is not the same as accounting. Many people get confused about this because the financial projections that you include--profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow--look similar to accounting statements your business generates. But accounting looks back in time, starting today and taking a historical view. Business planning or forecasting is a forward-looking view, starting today and going into the future. "You don't do financials in a business plan the same way you calculate the details in your accounting reports," says Tim Berry, president and founder of Palo Alto Software, who blogs at Bplans.com and is writing a book, The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan. "It's not tax reporting. It's an elaborate educated guess." What this means, says Berry, is that you summarize and aggregate more than you might with accounting, which deals more in detail. "You don't have to imagine all future asset purchases with hypothetical dates and hypothetical depreciation schedules to estimate future depreciation," he says. "You can just guess based on past results. And you don't spend a lot of time on minute details in a financial forecast that depends on an educated guess for sales." The purpose of the financial section of a business plan is two-fold. You're going to need it if you are seeking investment from venture capitalists, angel investors, or even smart family members. They are going to want to see numbers that say your business will grow--and quickly--and that there is an exit strategy for them on the horizon, during which they can make a profit. Any bank or lender will also ask to see these numbers as well to make sure you can repay your loan. But the most important reason to compile this financial forecast is for your own benefit, so you understand how you project your business will do. "This is an ongoing, living document. It should be a guide to running your business," Pinson says. "And at any particular time you feel you need funding or financing, then you are prepared to go with your documents." If there is a rule of thumb when filling in the numbers in the financial section of your business plan, it's this: Be realistic. "There is a tremendous problem with the hockey-stick forecast" that projects growth as steady until it shoots up like the end of a hockey stick, Berry says. "They really aren't credible." Berry, who acts as an angel investor with the Willamette Angel Conference, says that while a startling growth trajectory is something that would-be investors would love to see, it's most often not a believable growth forecast. "Everyone wants to get involved in the next Google or Twitter, but every plan seems to have this hockey stick forecast," he says. "Sales are going along flat, but six months from now there is a huge turn and everything gets amazing, assuming they get the investors' money."  The way you come up a credible financial section for your business plan is to demonstrate that it's realistic. One way, Berry says, is to break the figures into components, by sales channel or target market segment, and provide realistic estimates for sales and revenue. "It's not exactly data, because you're still guessing the future. But if you break the guess into component guesses and look at each one individually, it somehow feels better," Berry says. "Nobody wins by overly optimistic or overly pessimistic forecasts."

Dig Deeper: What Angel Investors Look For

How to Write the Financial Section of a Business Plan: The Components of a Financial Section

A financial forecast isn't necessarily compiled in sequence. And you most likely won't present it in the final document in the same sequence you compile the figures and documents. Berry says that it's typical to start in one place and jump back and forth. For example, what you see in the cash-flow plan might mean going back to change estimates for sales and expenses.  Still, he says that it's easier to explain in sequence, as long as you understand that you don't start at step one and go to step six without looking back--a lot--in between.

  • Start with a sales forecast. Set up a spreadsheet projecting your sales over the course of three years. Set up different sections for different lines of sales and columns for every month for the first year and either on a monthly or quarterly basis for the second and third years. "Ideally you want to project in spreadsheet blocks that include one block for unit sales, one block for pricing, a third block that multiplies units times price to calculate sales, a fourth block that has unit costs, and a fifth that multiplies units times unit cost to calculate cost of sales (also called COGS or direct costs)," Berry says. "Why do you want cost of sales in a sales forecast? Because you want to calculate gross margin. Gross margin is sales less cost of sales, and it's a useful number for comparing with different standard industry ratios." If it's a new product or a new line of business, you have to make an educated guess. The best way to do that, Berry says, is to look at past results.
  • Create an expenses budget. You're going to need to understand how much it's going to cost you to actually make the sales you have forecast. Berry likes to differentiate between fixed costs (i.e., rent and payroll) and variable costs (i.e., most advertising and promotional expenses), because it's a good thing for a business to know. "Lower fixed costs mean less risk, which might be theoretical in business schools but are very concrete when you have rent and payroll checks to sign," Berry says. "Most of your variable costs are in those direct costs that belong in your sales forecast, but there are also some variable expenses, like ads and rebates and such." Once again, this is a forecast, not accounting, and you're going to have to estimate things like interest and taxes. Berry recommends you go with simple math. He says multiply estimated profits times your best-guess tax percentage rate to estimate taxes. And then multiply your estimated debts balance times an estimated interest rate to estimate interest.
  • Develop a cash-flow statement. This is the statement that shows physical dollars moving in and out of the business. "Cash flow is king," Pinson says. You base this partly on your sales forecasts, balance sheet items, and other assumptions. If you are operating an existing business, you should have historical documents, such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets from years past to base these forecasts on. If you are starting a new business and do not have these historical financial statements, you start by projecting a cash-flow statement broken down into 12 months. Pinson says that it's important to understand when compiling this cash-flow projection that you need to choose a realistic ratio for how many of your invoices will be paid in cash, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and so on. You don't want to be surprised that you only collect 80 percent of your invoices in the first 30 days when you are counting on 100 percent to pay your expenses, she says. Some business planning software programs will have these formulas built in to help you make these projections.
  • Income projections. This is your pro forma profit and loss statement, detailing forecasts for your business for the coming three years. Use the numbers that you put in your sales forecast, expense projections, and cash flow statement. "Sales, lest cost of sales, is gross margin," Berry says. "Gross margin, less expenses, interest, and taxes, is net profit."
  • Deal with assets and liabilities. You also need a projected balance sheet. You have to deal with assets and liabilities that aren't in the profits and loss statement and project the net worth of your business at the end of the fiscal year. Some of those are obvious and affect you at only the beginning, like startup assets. A lot are not obvious. "Interest is in the profit and loss, but repayment of principle isn't," Berry says. "Taking out a loan, giving out a loan, and inventory show up only in assets--until you pay for them." So the way to compile this is to start with assets, and estimate what you'll have on hand, month by month for cash, accounts receivable (money owed to you), inventory if you have it, and substantial assets like land, buildings, and equipment. Then figure out what you have as liabilities--meaning debts. That's money you owe because you haven't paid bills (which is called accounts payable) and the debts you have because of outstanding loans.
  • Breakeven analysis. The breakeven point, Pinson says, is when your business's expenses match your sales or service volume. The three-year income projection will enable you to undertake this analysis. "If your business is viable, at a certain period of time your overall revenue will exceed your overall expenses, including interest." This is an important analysis for potential investors, who want to know that they are investing in a fast-growing business with an exit strategy.

Dig Deeper: How to Price Business Services

How to Write the Financial Section of a Business Plan: How to Use the Financial Section One of the biggest mistakes business people make is to look at their business plan, and particularly the financial section, only once a year. "I like to quote former President Dwight D. Eisenhower," says Berry. "'The plan is useless, but planning is essential.' What people do wrong is focus on the plan, and once the plan is done, it's forgotten. It's really a shame, because they could have used it as a tool for managing the company." In fact, Berry recommends that business executives sit down with the business plan once a month and fill in the actual numbers in the profit and loss statement and compare those numbers with projections. And then use those comparisons to revise projections in the future. Pinson also recommends that you undertake a financial statement analysis to develop a study of relationships and compare items in your financial statements, compare financial statements over time, and even compare your statements to those of other businesses. Part of this is a ratio analysis. She recommends you do some homework and find out some of the prevailing ratios used in your industry for liquidity analysis, profitability analysis, and debt and compare those standard ratios with your own. "This is all for your benefit," she says. "That's what financial statements are for. You should be utilizing your financial statements to measure your business against what you did in prior years or to measure your business against another business like yours."  If you are using your business plan to attract investment or get a loan, you may also include a business financial history as part of the financial section. This is a summary of your business from its start to the present. Sometimes a bank might have a section like this on a loan application. If you are seeking a loan, you may need to add supplementary documents to the financial section, such as the owner's financial statements, listing assets and liabilities. All of the various calculations you need to assemble the financial section of a business plan are a good reason to look for business planning software, so you can have this on your computer and make sure you get this right. Software programs also let you use some of your projections in the financial section to create pie charts or bar graphs that you can use elsewhere in your business plan to highlight your financials, your sales history, or your projected income over three years. "It's a pretty well-known fact that if you are going to seek equity investment from venture capitalists or angel investors," Pinson says, "they do like visuals."

Dig Deeper: How to Protect Your Margins in a Downturn

Related Links: Making It All Add Up: The Financial Section of a Business Plan One of the major benefits of creating a business plan is that it forces entrepreneurs to confront their company's finances squarely. Persuasive Projections You can avoid some of the most common mistakes by following this list of dos and don'ts. Making Your Financials Add Up No business plan is complete until it contains a set of financial projections that are not only inspiring but also logical and defensible. How many years should my financial projections cover for a new business? Some guidelines on what to include. Recommended Resources: Bplans.com More than 100 free sample business plans, plus articles, tips, and tools for developing your plan. Planning, Startups, Stories: Basic Business Numbers An online video in author Tim Berry's blog, outlining what you really need to know about basic business numbers. Out of Your Mind and Into the Marketplace Linda Pinson's business selling books and software for business planning. Palo Alto Software Business-planning tools and information from the maker of the Business Plan Pro software. U.S. Small Business Administration Government-sponsored website aiding small and midsize businesses. Financial Statement Section of a Business Plan for Start-Ups A guide to writing the financial section of a business plan developed by SCORE of northeastern Massachusetts.

Editorial Disclosure: Inc. writes about products and services in this and other articles. These articles are editorially independent - that means editors and reporters research and write on these products free of any influence of any marketing or sales departments. In other words, no one is telling our reporters or editors what to write or to include any particular positive or negative information about these products or services in the article. The article's content is entirely at the discretion of the reporter and editor. You will notice, however, that sometimes we include links to these products and services in the articles. When readers click on these links, and buy these products or services, Inc may be compensated. This e-commerce based advertising model - like every other ad on our article pages - has no impact on our editorial coverage. Reporters and editors don't add those links, nor will they manage them. This advertising model, like others you see on Inc, supports the independent journalism you find on this site.

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sample 12 month business plan

12-Month “Simple” Business Plan  

The simplest business plan you’ll ever create for your business.

We focus on Revenue, Profit and employees for this exercise, as these are the baseline numbers for most businesses. The figures for this exercise don’t have to be exact and precise, they just have to be reasonable. 

Step 1. Goals―5 Years 

  • What are your financial Goals for the business in 5 years’ time? 
  • If you haven’t thought this far forward, you don’t know your “destination”. 
  • Without a destination, how can you know if you heading in the right direction?  _______________________________________________

Step 2. Goals―3 Years 

To be on track for your 5-year Goals, where do you need to be in 3 years?  _______________________________________________

Step 3. Goals―12 Months 

To be on track for your 3 (and 5-year) Goals, where do you need to be in 12 months’ time? Come up with a reasonable figure based on your ambitions and the best information currently available. You need to start being more specific as the time frame is much shorter.  _______________________________________________

Step 4. Goals―9 Months 

To achieve your 12-month Goals, where do you need to be by 9 months? Consider the impact of seasonality and “momentum” and all other factors known at this time.  _______________________________________________

Step 5. Goals―6 Months 

To achieve your 9-month Goals, where do you need to be by 6 months? This is the half way point. What is realistic and achievable and will keep you firmly on track for achieving your 9- month figures?  _______________________________________________

Step 6. Goals―Where are we now? 

To achieve your 6-month Goals, where do you need to be in 90 days’ time? Take into account all known factors known at this time. How you start is all-important, so stretch yourself while being realistic. These figures need to be quite specific and remember there is only so much you can do in 3 months?  _______________________________________________

Step 7. Goals―Where are we now? 

This will give you an indication of how reasonable your plan is. Don’t be put off by setting your goals too high in the long run, just be realistic in the short term. After all, if you aim for the stars and reach the moon then you have still made a major leap forward.  _______________________________________________

Please complete the form below, if you would like to gain access to the full business and marketing plan interactive document.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved 

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12-month business planning in 5 steps

Planning ahead for 12 months from now can be a difficult task to start in the COVID-19 environment. Follow this five-step methodology to get ahead of business planning and feel more in control, despite the current uncertainty.

Picture of Denver Lewis

May 12, 2020


Companies that succeed best in the long term take a step back and plan. But in this unprecedented time, how do brands move from reactionary to proactive? A recent Naturally Network webinar explores the five steps to planning the next 12 months of a company’s growth.  

Leading the panel, Maura Mitchell, managing partner of Brandology—a firm specializing in powerful and profitable growth plans—walked through her five steps to success, joined by entrepreneurs all facing unique challenges within the framework. The founders were Sadie Scheffer, founder of Bread SRSLY, Pete Brennan, co-founder of Soñar Foods, and Danielle Vincent, founder of Outlaw Soaps.  

Here are the steps that companyies should use to start thinking about growing, scaling and thriving in the next year, and how to pivot within the steps based on unique business challenges.

1. Create two to three imaginary future scenarios.

This exercise will help brands prepare for how their category will look in 12 months. Work on creating a best, worst and somewhere-in-the-middle circumstance for how the company may face and overcome challenges. Mitchell expressed caution around mixing scenarios—each should have a clear differentiation and action plan.

Use each scenario to plan for systems that are out of the company’s control. Currently, companies may be facing a scenario where e-commerce is dominant and brick-and-mortar retail is less powerful for their category. Within this scenario, assume that the company’s product or category is not being fulfilled quickly or prioritized on Amazon. How could the strategy pivot based on this assumption?

Planning should always be in a relatively small trusted group. Make these scenario-planning decisions with key leadership and valued mentors. Be careful not to have anyone in the room who would require a lack of honesty and openness about the state of the company.

2. Find common ground and define what "winning" means.

Determine how your brand will win in each area of business, then identify the commonalities. Across channel, products, sales, marketing, operations, finance and human resources, how can the company win? What is needed to pivot within unknown and unforeseen circumstances? Use this planning to balance long-term views with short-term survival. Figure out how to time the tactics so that you can work toward getting ready for the long term, while staying afloat (and cash flow even) for now. Recognize that "getting things done" may look different now than when they are tenable and have an impact.

What does it mean to ‘"win"? This is a crucial step to define in the process.  

3. Assess: Stop, start, continue.

Determine what the company needs to start, stop and continue doing to get from the circumstances of today to the next 12 months. To carry a company from now to a more scalable future, founders and teams have to really look at not only what they would like to start (which proves to be a bit easier), but what they have been doing that is no longer serving the team or working. Be careful not to take more on without letting go of other priorities as a group.  

4. Identify pivotal external events and develop a ready-for-action plan around them.

Identify "forks in the road" and "signposts" that will guide decision-making. Mitchell defines forks in the road as external events that a company should be ready to respond to in real time. Use these to determine how and when to act. If food service is an important channel for your business, develop a timeline and workplan around how the company would like to be ready when the channel reopens. If Fulfill by Amazon is strategic, how will the company pivot when the channel starts accepting new SKUs?

Mitchell also expressed the value of keeping signposts in view, which she defines as external metrics that a team should monitor to help them understand the future, to increase the level of comfort with all scenarios as plans progress.

5. Reflect often. Review progress and dashboards weekly. Fine-tune but don’t overhaul.

As with all changes that companies face, there are always wildcards that may influence and interrupt planning. Mitchell stressed the importance of sticking to a plan and not letting too many outside factors radically overwhelm the plan in place. Review the 12-month progress as a team and check in on the rapid changes that are happening. Think about fine-tuning actions but try not to make big changes that can lead to overwhelm.  

Watch the full webinar.

About the Author(s)

Denver Lewis

Denver Lewis

Community and Conference Content Manager, New Hope Network

As Community and Conference Content Manager, Denver is passionate about educating and supporting the growth of early stage natural products brands, strengthening understanding of the investment landscape and providing a platform for storytelling, with a focus on mission-driven business.

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Free Financial Projection and Forecasting Templates

By Andy Marker | January 3, 2024

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We’ve collected the top free financial projection and forecasting templates. These templates enable business owners, CFOs, accountants, and financial analysts to plan future growth, manage cash flow, attract investors, and make informed decisions.  On this page, you'll find many helpful, free, customizable financial projection and forecasting templates, including a  1 2-month financial projection template , a  startup financial projection template , a  3-year financial projection template , and a  small business financial forecast template , among others. You’ll also find details on the  elements in a financial projection template ,  types of financial projection and forecasting templates , and  related financial templates .

Simple Financial Projection Template

Simple Financial Projection Example Template

Download a Sample Simple Financial Projection Template for 

Excel | Google Sheets  

Download a Blank Simple Financial Projection Template for 

Excel | Google Sheets    

Small business owners and new entrepreneurs are the ideal users for this simple financial projection template. Just input your expected revenues and expenses. This template stands out due to its ease of use and focus on basic, straightforward financial planning, making it perfect for small-scale or early-stage businesses. Available with or without sample text, this tool offers clear financial oversight, better budget management, and informed decision-making regarding future business growth. 

Looking for help with your business plan? Check out these  free financial templates for a business plan to streamline the process of organizing your business's financial information and presenting it effectively to stakeholders.

Financial Forecast Template

Financial Forecast Example Template

Download a Sample Financial Forecast Template for 

Download a Blank Financial Forecast Template for 

This template is perfect for businesses that require a detailed and all-encompassing forecast. Users can input various financial data, such as projected revenues, costs, and market trends, to generate a complete financial outlook. Available with or without example text, this template gives you a deeper understanding of your business's financial trajectory, aiding in strategic decision-making and long-term financial stability. 

These  free cash-flow forecast templates help you predict your business’s future cash inflows and outflows, allowing you to manage liquidity and optimize financial planning.

12-Month Financial Projection Template

12-Month Financial Projection Example Template

Download a Sample 12-Month Financial Projection Template for 

Download a Blank 12-Month Financial Projection Template for 

Use this 12-month financial projection template for better cash-flow management, more accurate budgeting, and enhanced readiness for short-term financial challenges and opportunities. Input estimated monthly revenues and expenses, tracking financial performance over the course of a year. Available with or without sample text, this template is ideal for business owners who need to focus on short-term financial planning. This tool allows you to respond quickly to market shifts and plan effectively for the business's crucial first year. 

Download  free sales forecasting templates to help your business predict future sales, enabling better inventory management, resource planning, and decision-making.

Startup Financial Projection Template

Startup Financial Projection Example Template

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This dynamic startup financial projection template is ideal for startup founders and entrepreneurs, as it's designed specifically for the unique needs of startups. Available with or without example text, this template focuses on clearly outlining a startup's initial financial trajectory, an essential component for attracting investors. Users can input projected revenues, startup costs, and funding sources to create a comprehensive financial forecast.

3-Year Financial Projection Template

3-Year Financial Projection Example Template

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This three-year financial projection template is particularly useful for business strategists and financial planners who are looking for a medium-term financial planning tool. Input data such as projected revenues, expenses, and growth rates for the next three years. Available with or without sample text, this template lets you anticipate financial challenges and opportunities in the medium term, aiding in strategic decision-making and ensuring sustained business growth.

5-Year Financial Forecasting Template

5-Year Financial Forecasting Example Template

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CFOs and long-term business planners can use this five-year financial forecasting template to get a clear, long-range financial vision. Available with or without example text, this template allows you to plan strategically and invest wisely, preparing your business for future market developments and opportunities. This unique tool offers an extensive outlook for your business’s financial strategy. Simply input detailed financial data spanning five years, including revenue projections, investment plans, and expected market growth. Visually engaging bar charts of key metrics help turn data into engaging narratives.

Small Business Financial Forecast Template

Small Business Financial Forecast Example Template

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The small business financial forecast template is tailored specifically for the scale and specific requirements of small enterprises. Business owners and financial managers can simply input data such as projected sales or expenses. Available with or without sample text, this tool offers the ability to do the following: envision straightforward financial planning; anticipate future financial needs and challenges; make informed decisions; and steer the business toward steady growth.

Elements in a Financial Projection Template

The elements in a financial projection template include future sales, costs, profits, and cash flow. This template illustrates expected receivables, payables, and break-even dates. This tool helps you plan for your business's financial future and growth.   

Here are the standard elements in a financial projection template:   

  • Revenue Projection: This estimates future income from various sources over a specific period.
  • Expense Forecast: This predicts future costs, including both fixed and variable expenses.
  • Profit and Loss Forecast:  This projects the profit or loss by subtracting projected expenses from projected revenues.
  • Cash-Flow Projection: This assesses the inflows and outflows of cash, indicating liquidity over time.
  • Balance Sheet Projection: This predicts the future financial position, showing assets, liabilities, and equity.
  • Break-Even Analysis: This calculates the point at which total revenues equal total costs.
  • Capital Expenditure Forecast: This estimates future spending on fixed assets such as equipment or property.
  • Debt Repayment Plan: This outlines the schedule for paying back any borrowed funds.
  • Sales Forecast:  This predicts future sales volume, often broken down by product or service.
  • Gross Margin Analysis:  This looks at the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold.

Types of Financial Projection and Forecasting Templates

There are many types of financial projection and forecasting templates: basic templates for small businesses; detailed ones for big companies; special ones for startup businesses; and others. There are also sales forecasts, cash-flow estimates, and profit and loss projections. 

In addition, financial projection and forecasting templates include long-term planning templates, break-even analyses, budget forecasts, and templates made for specific industries such as retail or manufacturing. 

Each template serves different financial planning needs. Determine which one best suits your requirements based on the scale of your business, the complexity of its financial structure, and the specific department that you want to analyze.

Here's a list of the top types of financial projection and forecasting templates:  

  • Basic Financial Projection Template: Ideal for small businesses or startups, this template provides a straightforward approach to forecasting revenue, expenses, and cash flow.
  • Detailed Financial Projection Template: Best for larger businesses or those with complex financial structures, this template offers in-depth projections, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash-flow statements.
  • Startup Financial Projection Template: Tailored for startups, this template focuses on funding requirements and early-stage revenue forecasts, both crucial for attracting investors and planning initial operations. 
  • Sales Forecasting Template:  Used by sales and marketing teams to predict future sales, this template helps you set targets and plan marketing strategies. 
  • Cash-Flow Forecast Template: Essential for financial managers who need to monitor the liquidity of the business, this template projects cash inflows and outflows over a period. 
  • Profit and Loss Forecast Template (P&L):  Useful for business owners and financial officers who need to anticipate profit margins, this template enables you to forecast revenues and expenses.  
  • Three-Year / Five-Year Financial Projection Template: Suitable for long-term business planning, these templates provide a broader view of your company’s financial future, improving your development strategy and investor presentations. 
  • Break-Even Analysis Template:  Used by business strategists and financial analysts, this template helps you determine when your business will become profitable. 
  • Budget Forecasting Template:  Designed for budget managers, this template uses historical financial data to help you plan your future spending. 
  • Sector-Specific Financial Projection Template:  Designed for specific industries (such as retail or manufacturing), these templates take into account industry-specific factors and benchmarks.

Related Financial Templates

Check out this list of free financial templates related to financial projections and forecasting. You'll find templates for budgeting, tracking profits and losses, planning your finances, and more. These tools help keep your company’s money matters organized and clear.

Free Project Budget Templates

Simple Budget Plan Template

Use one of these  project budget templates to maintain control over project finances, ensuring costs stay aligned with the allocated budget and improving overall financial management.

Free Monthly Budget Templates

sample 12 month business plan

Use one of these  monthly budget templates to effectively track and manage your business’s income and expenses, helping you plan financially and save money.

Free Expense Report Templates

Simple Expense Report Template

Use one of these  expense report templates to systematically track and document all business-related expenditures, ensuring accurate reimbursement and efficient financial record-keeping.

Free Balance Sheet Templates

Basic Balance Sheet Template

Use one of these  balance sheet templates to summarize your company's financial position at a given time.

Free Cash-Flow Forecast Templates

Cash Flow Forecast Template

Use one of these  cash-flow forecast templates to predict future cash inflows and outflows, helping you manage liquidity and make informed financial decisions.

Free Cash-Flow Statement Templates

sample 12 month business plan

Use one of these  cash-flow statement templates to track the movement of cash in and out of your business, so you can assess your company’s level of liquidity and financial stability.

Free Discounted Cash-Flow (DCF) Templates

Sample Discounted Cash Flow Template

Use one of these  discounted cash-flow (DCF) templates to evaluate the profitability of investments or projects by calculating their present value based on future cash flows.

Free Financial Dashboard Templates

Executive Dashboard Template

Use one of these  financial dashboard templates to get an at-a-glance view of key financial metrics, so you can make decisions quickly and manage finances effectively.

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Business Budget Template

Use one of these  financial planning templates to strategically organize and forecast future finances, helping you set realistic financial goals and ensure long-term business growth.

Free Profit and Loss (P&L) Templates

Printable Profit and Loss Statement Template

Use one of these  profit and loss (P&L) templates to systematically track income and expenses, giving you a clear picture of your company's profitability over a specific period.

Free Billing and Invoice Templates

Commercial Invoice

Use one of these  billing and invoice templates to streamline the invoicing process and ensure that you bill clients accurately and professionally for services or products.

Plan and Manage Your Company’s Financial Future with Financial Projection and Forecasting Templates from Smartsheet

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How to Create a Sales Forecast

Female entrepreneur standing at the front of her shop reviewing receipts to start organizing categories for a sales forecast.

11 min. read

Updated October 27, 2023

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Business owners are often afraid to forecast sales. But, you shouldn’t be. Because you can successfully forecast your own business’s sales.

You don’t have to be an MBA or CPA. It’s not about some magic right answer that you don’t know. It’s not about training you don’t have. It doesn’t take spreadsheet modeling (much less econometric modeling) to estimate units and price per unit for future sales. You just have to know your own business. 

Forecasting isn’t about seeing into the future

Sales forecasting is much easier than you think and much more useful than you imagine.

I was a vice president of a market research firm for several years, doing expensive forecasts, and I saw many times that there’s nothing better than the educated guess of somebody who knows the business well. All those sophisticated techniques depend on data from the past — and the past, by itself, isn’t the best predictor of the future. You are.

It’s not about guessing the future correctly. We’re human; we don’t do that well. Instead, it’s about setting down assumptions, expectations, drivers, tracking, and management. It’s about doing your job, not having precognitive powers. 

  • Successful forecasting is driven by regular reviews

What really matters is that you review and revise your forecast regularly. Spending should be tied to sales, so the forecast helps you budget and manage. You measure the value of a sales forecast like you do anything in business, by its measurable business results.

That also means you should not back off from forecasting because you have a new product, or new business, without past data. Lay out the sales drivers and interdependencies, to connect the dots, so that as you review plan-versus-actual results every month, you can easily make course corrections.

If you think sales forecasting is hard, try running a business without a forecast. That’s much harder.

Your sales forecast is also the backbone of your business plan . People measure a business and its growth by sales, and your sales forecast sets the standard for  expenses , profits, and growth. The sales forecast is almost always going to be the first set of numbers you’ll track for plan versus actual use, even if you do no other numbers.

If nothing else, just forecast your sales, track plan-versus-actual results, and make corrections — that process alone, just the sales forecast and tracking is in itself already business planning. To get started on building your forecast follow these steps.

And if you run a subscription-based business, we have a guide dedicated to building a sales forecast for that business model.

  • Step 1: Set up your lines of sales

Most forecasts show several distinct lines of sales. Ideally, your sales lines match your accounting, but not necessarily in the same level of detail.   

For example, a restaurant ought not to forecast sales for each item on the menu. Instead, it forecasts breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and drinks, summarized. And a bookstore ought not to forecast sales by book, and not even by topic or author, but rather by lines of sales such as hardcover, softcover, magazines, and maybe categories (such as fiction, non-fiction, travel, etc.) if that works.

Always try to set your streams to match your accounting, so you can look at the difference between the forecast and actual sales later. This is excellent for real business planning. It makes the heart of the process, the regular review, and revision, much easier. The point is better management.

For instance, in a bicycle retail store business plan, the owner works with five lines of sales, as shown in the illustration here.  

sample 12 month business plan

In this sample case, the revenue includes new bikes, repair, clothing, accessories, and a service contract. The bookkeeping for this retail store tracks sales in those same five categories.

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  • Step 2: Forecast line by line

There are many ways to forecast a line of sales.

The method for each row depends on the business model

Among the main methods are:.

  • Unit sales : My personal favorite. Sales = units times price. You set an average price and forecast the units. And of course, you can change projected pricing over time. This is my favorite for most businesses because it gives you two factors to act on with course corrections: unit sales, or price.
  • Service units : Even though services don’t sell physical units, most sell billable units, such as billable hours for lawyers and accountants, or trips for transportations services, engagements for consultants, and so forth.
  • Recurring charges : Subscriptions. For each month or year, it has to forecast new signups, existing monthly charges, and cancellations. Estimates depend on both new signups and cancellations, which is often called “churn.”
  • Revenue only : For those who prefer to forecast revenue by the stream as just the money, without the extra information of breaking it into units and prices.

Most sales forecast rows are simple math

For a business plan, I recommend you make your sales forecast a detailed look at the next 12 months and then broadly cover two years after that. Here’s how to approach each method of line-by-line forecasting.

Start with units if you can

For unit sales, start by forecasting units month by month, as shown here below for the new bike’s line of sales in the bicycle shop plan:

sample 12 month business plan

I recommend looking at the visual as you forecast the units because most of us can see trends easier when we look at the line, as shown in the illustration, rather than just the numbers. You can also see the numbers in the forecast near the bottom. The first year, fiscal 2021 in this forecast, is the sum of those months.

Estimate price assumptions

With a simple revenue-only assumption, you do one row of units as shown in the above illustration, and you are done. The units are dollars, or whatever other currency you are using in your forecast. In this example, the new bicycle product will be sold for an average of $550.00. 

That’s a simplifying assumption, taking the average price, not the detailed price for each brand or line. Garrett, the shop owner, uses his past results to determine his actual average price for the most recent year. Then he rounds that estimate and adds his own judgment and educated guess on how that will change. 

sample 12 month business plan

Multiply price times units

Multiplying units times the revenue per unit generates the sales forecast for this row. So for example the $18,150 shown for October of 2020 is the product of 33 units times $550 each. And the $21,450 shown for the next month is the product of 39 units times $550 each. 

Subscription models are more complicated

Lately, a lot of businesses offer their buyers subscriptions, such as monthly packages, traditional or online newspapers, software, and even streaming services. All of these give a business recurring revenues, which is a big advantage. 

For subscriptions, you normally estimate new subscriptions per month and canceled subscriptions per month, and leave a calculation for the actual subscriptions charged. That’s a more complicated method, which demands more details. 

For that, you can refer to detailed discussions on subscription forecasting in How to Forecast Sales for a Subscription Business .

  • But how do you know what numbers to put into your sales forecast?

The math may be simple, yes, but this is predicting the future, and humans don’t do that well. So, don’t try to guess the future accurately for months in advance.

Instead, aim for making clear assumptions and understanding what drives your sales, such as web traffic and conversions, in one example, or the direct sales pipeline and leads, in another. Review results every month, and revise your forecast. Your educated guesses become more accurate over time.

Experience in the field is a huge advantage

In a normal ongoing business, the business owner has ample experience with past sales. They may not know accounting or technical forecasting, but they know their business. They are aware of changes in the market, their own business’s promotions, and other factors that business owners should know. They are comfortable making educated guesses.

If you don’t personally have the experience, try to find information and make guesses based on the experience of an employee,  your mentor , or others you’ve spoken within your field.

Use past results as a guide

Use results from the recent past if your business has them. Start a forecast by putting last year’s numbers into next year’s forecast, and then focus on what might be different this year from next.

Do you have new opportunities that will make sales grow? New marketing activities, promotions? Then increase the forecast. New competition, and new problems? Nobody wants to forecast decreasing sales, but if that’s likely, you need to deal with it by cutting costs or changing your focus.

Look for drivers

To forecast sales for a new restaurant, first, draw a map of tables and chairs and then estimate how many meals per mealtime at capacity, and in the beginning. It’s not a random number; it’s a matter of how many people come in.

To forecast sales for a new mobile app, you might get data from the Apple and Android mobile app stores about average downloads for different apps. A good web search might also reveal some anecdotal evidence, blog posts, and news stories, about the ramp-up of existing apps that were successful.

Get those numbers and think about how your case might be different. Maybe you drive downloads with a website, so you can predict traffic from past experience and then assume a percentage of web visitors who will download the app.

  • Estimate direct costs

Direct costs are also called the cost of goods sold (COGS) and per-unit costs. Direct costs are important because they help calculate gross margin, which is used as a basis for comparison in financial benchmarks, and are an instant measure (sales less direct costs) of your underlying profitability.

For example, I know from benchmarks that an average sporting goods store makes a 34 percent gross margin. That means that they spend $66 on average to buy the goods they sell for $100.

Not all businesses have direct costs. Service businesses supposedly don’t have direct costs, so they have a gross margin of 100 percent. That may be true for some professionals like accountants and lawyers, but a lot of services do have direct costs. For example, taxis have gasoline and maintenance. So do airlines.

A normal sales forecast includes units, price per unit, sales, direct cost per unit, and direct costs. The math is simple, with the direct costs per unit related to total direct costs the same way price per unit relates to total sales.

Multiply the units projected for any time period by the unit direct costs, and that gives you total direct costs. And here too, assume this view is just a cut-out, it flows to the right. In this example, Garrett the shop owner projected the direct costs of new bikes based on the assumption of 49 percent of sales.

sample 12 month business plan

Given the unit forecast estimate, the calculation of units times direct costs produces the forecast shown in the illustration below for direct costs for that product. So therefore the projected direct costs for new bikes in October is $8,894, which is 49% of the projected sales for that month, $18,150.

sample 12 month business plan

  • Never forecast in a vacuum

Never think of your sales forecast in a vacuum. It flows from the strategic action plans with their assumptions,  milestones , and metrics. Your marketing milestones affect your sales. Your business offering milestones affect your sales.

When you change milestones—and you will, because all business plans change—you should change your sales forecast to match.

  • Timing matters

Your sales are supposed to refer to when the ownership changes hands (for products) or when the service is performed (for services). It isn’t a sale when it’s ordered, or promised, or even when it’s contracted.

With proper  accrual accounting , it is a sale even if it hasn’t been paid for. With so-called cash-based accounting, by the way, it isn’t a sale until it’s paid for. Accrual is better because it gives you a more accurate picture, unless you’re very small and do all your business, both buying and selling, with cash only.

I know that seems simple, but it’s surprising how many people decide to do something different. The penalty for doing things differently is that then you don’t match the standard, and the bankers, analysts, and investors can’t tell what you meant.

This goes for direct costs, too. The direct costs in your monthly  profit and loss statement  are supposed to be just the costs associated with that month’s sales. Please notice how, in the examples above, the direct costs for the sample bicycle store are linked to the actual unit sales.

  • Live with your assumptions

Sales forecasting is not about accurately guessing the future. It’s about laying out your assumptions so you can manage changes effectively as sales and direct costs come out different from what you expected. Use this to adjust your sales forecast and improve your business by making course corrections to deal with what is working and what isn’t.

I believe that even if you do nothing else, by the time you use a sales forecast and review plan versus actual results every month, you are already managing with a business plan . You can’t review actual results without looking at what happened, why, and what to do next.

Content Author: Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software , a co-founder of Borland International, and a recognized expert in business planning. He has an MBA from Stanford and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. Today, Tim dedicates most of his time to blogging, teaching and evangelizing for business planning.

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  • Forecasting isn’t about seeing into the future

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How to Create a Business Plan as an Entrepreneur

How do i write a three-year business plan, what is the difference between a marketing & business plan.

  • Examples of Liquor Store Business Plans
  • Business Plan Vs. Business Strategy

Business plans are critical when you start a business, and you shouldn't overlook them. Yearly business plans serve as a road map to each stage of the business and are essential to securing funding and bringing in partners. They detail the business's structure, management and expected growth.

Types of Yearly Business Plans

There is no right or wrong way to create a yearly business plan. However, most business plans fall in the traditional or lean startup categories. According to the experts at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), traditional business plans are the most common. While they tend to be longer than a lean startup plan, traditional business plans dive into the business's details. In most cases, lenders and investors prefer to see a traditional business plan for an in-depth understanding of the business.

Lean startup business plans are less common. However, they're ideal if the business is simple or you want a quick way to explain your business. Unlike traditional plans that can take dozens of pages to write, lean startup plans are typically one page long, only covering the business plan's key elements.

Regardless of the format, all business plans should communicate ideas clearly, objectively and logically. According to the writers at Inc. , business plans must detail the business's projected operations over the first months or years, clearly state the business's vision, management, personnel requirements and marketing plans, and provide an analysis of current and future competition.

Key Elements of Traditional Business Plan

According to the SBA, traditional business plans include nine sections: an executive summary, company description, marketing analysis, organization, services and production line, marketing and sales, funding request financial projections and an appendix.

The executive summary should include the mission statement and concisely explain why the business will be successful. A company description follows that statement, detailing the problem the company will solve, along with the company's competitive advantages.

The market analysis is where the plan details the target market and industry outlook with competitive research and trends. After providing a general view of the market and the space the business will fill, you'll need to explain the business's legal structure. For example, is the company an LLC or a C corporation?

Services, Product Line, Financial Projections and Appendix

Next, detail the service or product line the business will produce. This section is where you include any patents or copyright filings and research and development for the product. The marketing and sales plan follows the services and product section and beneath that is the funding request, which includes how much funding is needed and why it's necessary.

You should include financial projections to justify the funding request. This section includes forecasted income statements, balance sheets and quarterly projections for the first year. Lastly, include an appendix of supporting documents such as credit histories, product pictures and licenses. You can find a one-year plan example on the SBA website.

Key Elements of a Lean Startup Plan

Lean startup plans are less detailed than traditional business plans and only include the plan's key points. This document begins with any key partnerships, such as suppliers, manufacturers and subcontractors. The next section of a lean startup plan details the activities that will give the business a competitive edge. After that, include other key asset information, such as staff, capital and intellectual property.

In the next section, describe the target market, explaining how the business will interact with the customers and the channels that connect these customers to the business. The final section of a lean startup plan includes the cost structure strategy and explains the revenue streams.

  • U.S. Small Business Administration: Write Your Business Plan
  • Inc.: How to Write the Perfect Business Plan: A Comprehensive Guide

Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing, and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co and Spent.

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How to write a sales forecast for a business plan

Table of Contents

What is a sales forecast?

Why do you need a sales forecast, how do you write a sales forecast, top-down or bottom-up, writing your sales forecast, calculating a sales forecast, how can countingup help manage your forecasting.

Sales forecasts are an important part of your business plan . If done correctly, they can give accurate projections of your business’ cash flow, and let you better prepare for the year ahead. They can also make it easier to find the right investors . While it’s easier for existing businesses with plenty of data, you can still calculate a sales forecast for a new business .

In this guide, we’ll explore:

  • How can you manage your forecasting?

A sales forecast is a prediction of your business’ future revenue. In order to be an accurate prediction, the forecast is based on previous sales, current economic trends, and industry performance. Having a sales forecast is a useful tool, because it gives you a better idea of how to manage your business. 

Having a sales forecast is like using the past to have a peek into the future of your company. It might not be 100% accurate, but it can help you plan any future spending, or prevent any cash flow issues from occurring. 

You can also use your sales forecast to monitor your business’ progress. For instance, if your business regularly performs better than your forecast, it could be a sign that your business is continuing to grow. On the other hand, if your actual sales are frequently less than expected, this could be a sign that your business is struggling and needs adjustment. 

It’s important to remember that any projections you make aren’t guaranteed, there can be advantages and disadvantages of financial forecasting . 

Now we’ve run through why having a sales forecast can help you run your business, let’s look at how to write one. 

While there are two types of sales forecasting (top-down and bottom-up), one is a lot more accurate for small businesses than the other. A top-down forecast looks at the market as a whole and attributes a portion of the market to your business. 

A top-down approach may work for large businesses that already own a significant chunk of the market. When forecasting for a small business, it’s easy to overestimate your market share. For example, a 1% market share may not seem like a lot, but a small restaurant owning 1% of the £89.5 billion UK market is extremely unrealistic.

The alternative to top-down is bottom-up. A bottom-up sales forecast starts with existing company data (like customer or product information) and works up to revenue. Since this starts with the company, it’s easier to 

Your sales forecast is ultimately a prediction of your revenue over a set period. It considers the amount you think you’ll sell, and the cost of those sales. We’ve included how to calculate a sales forecast below.

A sales forecast consists of three separate values: revenue, cost of goods sold, and gross profit. For estimating values in the calculations below, it’s best to use any existing business data to be as accurate as possible. 

To calculate your predicted revenue:

  • Make a list of your available goods and services
  • Note the price of each of your goods and services
  • Estimate the expected sales of each good or service
  • Multiply the price by the estimated sales to get your estimated revenue
  • Add them all together to get your total revenue

For example, if your food truck business sold pizzas at £10 and burgers at £5, you would multiply these values by how much you expected to sell. For calculating a weekly sales forecast, you might estimate selling 60 pizzas and 80 burgers. Your predicted revenue for that week would be £600 for pizzas and £400 for burgers — giving £1,000 total.

In order to figure out how much profit you’ll make, you also need to calculate your costs for those predicted sales. To calculate your predicted costs:

  • Figure out how much each good or service will cost per unit
  • Multiply each cost by the projected sales

Using the same example as above, assume a single pizza cost £3.50 to make and a burger cost £2. Using the estimated sales, the total cost for your pizzas (3.5 x 60) would be £210, and £160 for your burgers (2 x 80). Combining these two figures gives you a total cost of £370.

The last step is to work out your gross profit , and it’s a relatively simple calculation.

  • Subtract the total predicted cost from your total predicted revenue

Continuing with the example above, your revenue (£1,000) minus your costs (£370), leaves you with a projected gross profit of £630 for the week. Using this estimate, you can then plan how much working capital your business should have access to. It’s important to remember that these are only estimates, and your actual values can be higher or lower than your forecast.

If you want your forecasts to be as accurate as possible, you need to refer to all of your business’ financial data. Since collecting and collating this data can be challenging, you may want to use financial management software like the Countingup app. 

When trying to calculate your sales forecasts, having an up-to-date log of your current sales can be hugely beneficial. By combining a business current account with accounting software, Countingup is the only software that provides real-time cash flow tracking. 

The Countingup app also provides business owners with access to automatically generated profit and loss statements. These can prove invaluable when trying to stay aware of all your business’ costs.

Start your three-month free trial today. Find out more here .


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Student Loan Bills Are Dropping Next Month for Many, but There’s a Hiccup

The Education Department has not finished recalculating payments for millions of borrowers enrolled in SAVE, forcing loan servicers to put many loans into forbearance.

A group of demonstrators walking in a crosswalk and holding signs.

By Stacy Cowley

On July 1, millions of federal student loan borrowers will see their monthly bills drop — some by as much as half — as the Biden administration’s new income-driven payment plan , known as SAVE, takes full effect.

But first, the government and its four loan servicers have to resolve a major hiccup.

Starting next month, borrowers enrolled in the SAVE plan with only undergraduate loans will have their monthly payments capped at 5 percent of their discretionary income, down from the current 10 percent limit. (Graduate school loan payments will remain at a maximum of 10 percent, while people with a mix of undergrad and graduate loans will have a weighted payment.)

The loan servicers are relying on the Education Department to send them the new loan amounts for every borrower. But the department has not yet finished making calculations, according to three people familiar with the process, who asked for anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the issue publicly.

To buy time, the department instructed its servicers to place borrowers with payments due in early July into an administrative forbearance for the month, which means no payment from them will be required.

More than eight million borrowers have enrolled in the SAVE plan. Many received notices this month saying that their account had been placed into forbearance, sparking widespread surprise and confusion.

“I was freaking out a little bit,” said Iván Barragán, who got a letter from his servicer, MOHELA, last week. “I thought I had done something wrong. Then I quickly went on Twitter and saw that a bunch of people were also getting the notices.”

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  1. 12-Month Marketing Plan

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    4. Identify pivotal external events and develop a ready-for-action plan around them. Identify "forks in the road" and "signposts" that will guide decision-making. Mitchell defines forks in the road as external events that a company should be ready to respond to in real time. Use these to determine how and when to act.

  19. Free Financial Projection and Forecasting Templates

    On this page, you'll find many helpful, free, customizable financial projection and forecasting templates, including a 1 2-month financial projection template, a startup financial projection template, a 3-year financial projection template, and a small business financial forecast template, among others. You'll also find details on the ...

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    For example, "Enjoy a $10 manicure for first-time clients (gratuity not included)" or "Purchase an annual therapeutic massage membership today for $800, saving you $40 each month.". By implementing the above marketing activities every quarter, your phone will ring.

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