Multipart article

Simple Business Plan Templates

Smartsheet Contributor Joe Weller on Apr 02, 2020

In this article, we’ve compiled a variety of simple business plan templates, all of which are free to download in PDF, Word, and Excel formats.

On this page, you’ll find a one-page business plan template, a simple business plan for startups, a small-business plan template, a business plan outline, and more. We also include a business plan sample and the main components of a business plan to help get you started.


Simple Business Plan Template

Simple Business Plan Template

Download Simple Business Plan Template

Word | PDF

This simple business plan template lays out each element of a traditional business plan to assist you as you build your own, and it provides space to add financing information for startups seeking funding. You can use and customize this simple business plan template to fit the needs for organizations of any size.

See how Smartsheet can help you be more effective

Watch the demo to see how you can more effectively manage your team, projects, and processes with real-time work management in Smartsheet.

 

Watch a free demo


One-Page Business Plan Template

Download One-Page Business Plan Template

Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet

Use this one-page business plan to document your key ideas in an organized manner. The template can help you create a high-level view of your business plan, and it provides easy scannability for stakeholders. You can use this one-page plan as a reference to build a more detailed blueprint for your business. 

For additional single page plans, take a look at "One-Page Business Plan Templates with a Quick How-To Guide."


Simple Fill-in-the-Blank Business Plan Template

Simple Fill In The Blank Business Plan Template

Download Simple Fill-in-the-Blank Business Plan Template

Word | PDF

Use this fill-in-the-blank business plan template to guide you as you build your business plan. Each section comes pre-filled with sample content, with space to add customized verbiage relevant to your product or service.

For additional free, downloadable resources, visit "Free Fill-In-the-Blank Business Plan Templates."


Simple Business Plan for Startup

Startup Business Plan Template

Download Startup Business Plan Template — Word

This business plan template is designed with a startup business in mind and contains the essential elements needed to convey key product or service details to investors and stakeholders. Keep all your information organized with this template, which provides space to include an executive summary, a company overview, competitive analysis, a marketing strategy, financial data, and more. For additional resources, visit "Free Startup Business Plan Templates and Examples."

 


Simple Small-Business Plan Template

Small Business Plan Template

Download Simple Small-Business Plan Template

Word | PDF

This template walks you through each component of a small-business plan, including the company background, the introduction of the management team, market analysis, product or service offerings, a financial plan, and more. This template also comes with a built-in table of contents to keep your plan in order, and it can be customized to fit your requirements.

 


Lean Business Plan Template

Lean Business Plan Template

Download Lean Business Plan Template

Word | PDF

This lean business plan template is a stripped-down version of a traditional business plan that provides only the most essential aspects. Briefly outline your company and industry overview, along with the problem you are solving, as well as your unique value proposition, target market, and key performance metrics. There is also room to list out a timeline of key activities.


Simple Business Plan Outline Template

Simple Business Plan Outline Template

Download Simple Business Plan Outline Template

Word | PDF

Use this simple business plan outline as a basis to create your own business plan. This template contains 11 sections, including a title page and a table of contents, which details what each section should cover in a traditional business plan. Simplify or expand this outline to create the foundation for a business plan that fits your business needs.


Simple Business Planning Template with Timeline

Simple Business Planning Template with Timeline

Download Simple Business Planning Template with Timeline

Excel | Smartsheet

This template doubles as a project plan and timeline to track progress as you develop your business plan. This business planning template enables you to break down your work into phases and provides room to add key tasks and dates for each activity. Easily fill in the cells according to the start and end dates to create a visual timeline, as well as to ensure your plan stays on track.


Simple Business Plan Rubric Template

Download Simple Business Plan Rubric

Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet

Once you complete your business plan, use this business plan rubric template to assess and score each component of your plan. This rubric helps you identify elements of your plan that meet or exceed requirements and pinpoint areas where you need to improve or further elaborate. This template is an invaluable tool to ensure your business plan clearly defines your goals, objectives, and plan of action in order to gain buy-in from potential investors, stakeholders, and partners.


Basic Business Plan Sample

Basic Business Plan Sample

Download Basic Business Plan Sample

Word | PDF

This business plan sample serves as an example of a basic business plan that contains all the traditional components. The sample provides a model of what a business plan might look like for a fictional food truck business. Reference this sample as you develop your own business plan.

For additional resources to help support your business planning efforts, check out “Free Strategic Planning Templates.”


Main Components of a Business Plan

The elements you include in your business plan will depend on your product or service offerings, as well as the size and needs of your business. 

Below are the components of a standard business plan and details you should include in each section:

  • Title Page
    • Company name and contact information
    • Website address
    • The name of the company or individual viewing the presentation
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview
    • Business and industry overview
    • Historical timeline of your business
  • Product and Service Offerings
    • Offerings and the problem they solve
    • Current alternatives
    • Competitive advantage
  • Competitive and Market Analysis
    • Market size
    • Target market segment(s)
    • Projected volume and value of sales compared to competitors
    • Differentiation from competitors
  • Sales and Marketing Plan
    • Pricing strategy
    • Marketing channels
    • Promotional plan
    • Distribution methods
  • Ownership Structure and Management Plan
    • Legal structure of your business
    • Names of founders, owners, advisors, etc.
    • Management team’s roles, relevant experience, and compensation plan
    • Staffing requirements and training plans
  • Operating Plan
    • Physical location(s) of your business
    • Additional physical requirements (e.g., warehouse, specialized equipment, facilities, etc.)
    • Production workflow
    • Raw materials and sourcing methods
  • Financial Plan
    • Projected income statement
    • Projected cash flow statement
    • Projected balance sheet
    • Break-even analysis
  • Appendix
    • Charts and graphs
    • Market research and competitive analysis
    • Information about your industry
    • Information about your offerings
    • Samples of marketing materials
    • Other supporting materials

Tips for Creating a Business Plan

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of putting together a business plan. Below, you’ll find top tips to help simplify the process as you develop your own plan. 

  • Use a business plan template (you can choose from the variety above), or refer to the previous section to create a standard outline for your plan.
  • Modify your outline to reflect the requirements of your specific business. If you use a standard business plan outline, remove sections that aren’t relevant to you or aren’t necessary to run your business.
  • Gather all the information you currently have about your business first, and then use that information to fill out each section in your plan outline.
  • Use your resources and conduct additional research to fill in the remaining gaps. (Note: It isn’t necessary to fill out your plan in order, but the executive summary needs to be completed last, as it summarizes the key points in your plan.)
  • Ensure your plan clearly communicates the relationship between your marketing, sales, and financial objectives.
  • Provide details in your plan that illustrate your strategic plan of action, looking forward three to five years.
  • Revisit your plan regularly as strategies and objectives evolve.
  • At a minimum, make sure your business plan addresses the following questions:
    • What product or service are we offering?
    • Who is the product or service for?
    • What problem does our product or service offering solve?
    • How will we get the product or service to our target customers?
    • Why is our product or service better than the alternatives?
    • How can we outperform our competitors?
    • What is our unique value proposition?
    • When will things get done, and who is responsible for doing them?
    • If you need to obtain funding, how will you use the funding?
    • When are payments due, and when do payments come in?
    • What is the ultimate purpose of your business?
    • When do you expect to be profitable?

Benefits of Using a Business Plan Template

Creating a business plan can be very time-consuming, especially if you aren’t sure where to begin. Finding the right template for your business needs can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. 

Using a business plan template — instead of creating your plan from scratch — can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Enables you to immediately write down your thoughts and ideas in an organized manner
  • Provides structure to help outline your plan
  • Saves time and valuable resources
  • Helps ensure you don’t miss essential details

Limitations of a Business Plan Template

A business plan template can be convenient, but it has its drawbacks — especially if you use a template that doesn’t fit the specific needs of your business.

Below are some limitations of using a business plan template:

  • Each business is unique and needs a business plan that reflects that. A template may not fit your needs.
  • A template may restrict collaboration with other team members on different aspects of the plan’s development (sales, marketing, and accounting teams).
  • Multiple files containing different versions of the plan may be stored in more than one place.
  • You still have to manually create charts and graphs to add to the plan to support your strategy.
  • Updates to the plan, spreadsheets, and supporting documents have to be made in multiple places (all documents may not update in real time as changes are made).

Improve Your Business Plan with Real-Time Work Management in Smartsheet

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Try Smartsheet for Free Get a Free Smartsheet Demo