Business Plan Outline




Here’s a basic business plan outline, which we used for our own plan to sell the Publishing and Agents business in 2008 to new owners, while continuing to work as a writer and consultant. Then, this plan was used to find a new partner for the successor company The Publishing Connection.


You can use a number of formats for writing a business plan. The elements to include depend on your business and whether you are a start-up or have a history.  Here’s the outline we have used for a number of plans.  It’s adapted from the categories suggested to us by a VC broker and the sample plans provided by Business Plan Pro, which is one of the software programs we use in writing a business plan. We also use this software for creating many of the charts and graphs that create a compelling presentation for your business.


Executive Summary

Keys to Success


Company Summary

Company Ownership

Company History

Company Location and Facilities


Products and Services

Product and Service Description

Competitive Comparison

Sales Literature



Service and Support

Future Products and Services


Market Analysis Summary

Market Segmentation

Customer Profile

Target Market Segment Strategy

Service Business Analysis

Business Participants

Distributing a Service (or Product)

Competition and Buying Patterns

Main Competitors


Strategy and Implementation Summary

Strategy Pyramids

Value Proposition

Competitive Edge

Marketing Strategy

Pricing Strategy

Promotion Strategy


Public Relations

Distribution Strategy

Sales Strategy

Sales Programs

Strategic Alliances


Management Summary

Organizational Structure

Management Team

Management Team Gaps

Personnel Plan


Financial Plan

Important Assumptions

Key Financial Indicators

Break-Even Analysis

Monthly Projected Profit and Loss

Projected Cash Flow

Projected Balance Sheet

Capital Requirements





Appendix (some possible things to include)

Web Site Pages

Flyers and Advertising

Current Service and Operations

Processing Orders

Product Strategy

Research and Development