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

By Joe Weller | October 11, 2021

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

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

What Is a Business Plan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business Plan Steps

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

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

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

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

Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan?

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

How to Choose the Right Plan for Your Business

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

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

Is the Order of Your Business Plan Important?

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

The Difference Between Traditional and Lean Business Plans

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

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

How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step

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

Step 1: Executive Summary

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

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

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

Step 2: Description of Business

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

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

Step 3: Market Analysis

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

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

Step 4: Competitive Analysis

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

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

Step 5: Description of Organizational Management

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

Step 6: Description of Products or Services

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

Questions to answer in this section are as follows:

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

Step 7: Marketing Plan

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

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

Step 8: Sales Plan

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

Start by answering the following questions:

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

Step 9: Funding Details (or Request for Funding)

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

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

Step 10: Financial Projections

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

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

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

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Download Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel | Smartsheet

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

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

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

How to Write a Simple Business Plan

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

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

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

Simple Business Plan Template

Simple Business Plan Template

Download Simple Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel |  Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF  | Smartsheet

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

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

How to Write a Business Plan for a Lean Startup

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

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

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

Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Lean Business Plan Templates for Startups

Download Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

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

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

How to Write a Business Plan for a Loan

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

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

Download free financial templates to support your business plan.

Tips for Writing a Business Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources for Writing a Business Plan

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

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

How a Business Plan Helps to Grow Your Business

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

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

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How to Write a Business Plan, Step by Step

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What is a business plan?

1. write an executive summary, 2. describe your company, 3. state your business goals, 4. describe your products and services, 5. do your market research, 6. outline your marketing and sales plan, 7. perform a business financial analysis, 8. make financial projections, 9. summarize how your company operates, 10. add any additional information to an appendix, business plan tips and resources.

A business plan outlines your business’s financial goals and explains how you’ll achieve them over the next three to five years. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan that will offer a strong, detailed road map for your business.

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness

A business plan is a document that explains what your business does, how it makes money and who its customers are. Internally, writing a business plan should help you clarify your vision and organize your operations. Externally, you can share it with potential lenders and investors to show them you’re on the right track.

Business plans are living documents; it’s OK for them to change over time. Startups may update their business plans often as they figure out who their customers are and what products and services fit them best. Mature companies might only revisit their business plan every few years. Regardless of your business’s age, brush up this document before you apply for a business loan .

» Need help writing? Learn about the best business plan software .

This is your elevator pitch. It should include a mission statement, a brief description of the products or services your business offers and a broad summary of your financial growth plans.

Though the executive summary is the first thing your investors will read, it can be easier to write it last. That way, you can highlight information you’ve identified while writing other sections that go into more detail.

» MORE: How to write an executive summary in 6 steps

Next up is your company description. This should contain basic information like:

Your business’s registered name.

Address of your business location .

Names of key people in the business. Make sure to highlight unique skills or technical expertise among members of your team.

Your company description should also define your business structure — such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation — and include the percent ownership that each owner has and the extent of each owner’s involvement in the company.

Lastly, write a little about the history of your company and the nature of your business now. This prepares the reader to learn about your goals in the next section.

» MORE: How to write a company overview for a business plan

need in a business plan

The third part of a business plan is an objective statement. This section spells out what you’d like to accomplish, both in the near term and over the coming years.

If you’re looking for a business loan or outside investment, you can use this section to explain how the financing will help your business grow and how you plan to achieve those growth targets. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity your business presents to the lender.

For example, if your business is launching a second product line, you might explain how the loan will help your company launch that new product and how much you think sales will increase over the next three years as a result.

» MORE: How to write a successful business plan for a loan

In this section, go into detail about the products or services you offer or plan to offer.

You should include the following:

An explanation of how your product or service works.

The pricing model for your product or service.

The typical customers you serve.

Your supply chain and order fulfillment strategy.

You can also discuss current or pending trademarks and patents associated with your product or service.

Lenders and investors will want to know what sets your product apart from your competition. In your market analysis section , explain who your competitors are. Discuss what they do well, and point out what you can do better. If you’re serving a different or underserved market, explain that.

Here, you can address how you plan to persuade customers to buy your products or services, or how you will develop customer loyalty that will lead to repeat business.

Include details about your sales and distribution strategies, including the costs involved in selling each product .

» MORE: R e a d our complete guide to small business marketing

If you’re a startup, you may not have much information on your business financials yet. However, if you’re an existing business, you’ll want to include income or profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet that lists your assets and debts, and a cash flow statement that shows how cash comes into and goes out of the company.

Accounting software may be able to generate these reports for you. It may also help you calculate metrics such as:

Net profit margin: the percentage of revenue you keep as net income.

Current ratio: the measurement of your liquidity and ability to repay debts.

Accounts receivable turnover ratio: a measurement of how frequently you collect on receivables per year.

This is a great place to include charts and graphs that make it easy for those reading your plan to understand the financial health of your business.

This is a critical part of your business plan if you’re seeking financing or investors. It outlines how your business will generate enough profit to repay the loan or how you will earn a decent return for investors.

Here, you’ll provide your business’s monthly or quarterly sales, expenses and profit estimates over at least a three-year period — with the future numbers assuming you’ve obtained a new loan.

Accuracy is key, so carefully analyze your past financial statements before giving projections. Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic.

NerdWallet’s picks for setting up your business finances:

The best business checking accounts .

The best business credit cards .

The best accounting software .

Before the end of your business plan, summarize how your business is structured and outline each team’s responsibilities. This will help your readers understand who performs each of the functions you’ve described above — making and selling your products or services — and how much each of those functions cost.

If any of your employees have exceptional skills, you may want to include their resumes to help explain the competitive advantage they give you.

Finally, attach any supporting information or additional materials that you couldn’t fit in elsewhere. That might include:

Licenses and permits.

Equipment leases.

Bank statements.

Details of your personal and business credit history, if you’re seeking financing.

If the appendix is long, you may want to consider adding a table of contents at the beginning of this section.

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We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Here are some tips to write a detailed, convincing business plan:

Avoid over-optimism: If you’re applying for a business bank loan or professional investment, someone will be reading your business plan closely. Providing unreasonable sales estimates can hurt your chances of approval.

Proofread: Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors can jump off the page and turn off lenders and prospective investors. If writing and editing aren't your strong suit, you may want to hire a professional business plan writer, copy editor or proofreader.

Use free resources: SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers a large network of volunteer business mentors and experts who can help you write or edit your business plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers , which provide free business consulting and help with business plan development, can also be a resource.

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What Is a Business Plan?

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

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

need in a business plan

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

Key Takeaways

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

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Types of Business Plans

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

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

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

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

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

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Write the Perfect Business Plan: 10 Essential Steps

Whether you’re starting a new small business or are already years into operating one, a business plan is one of the best ways to clarify your long-term vision. Follow our step-by-step guide to writing a highly effective business plan.

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hether you’re starting a new small business or are already years into operating one, a business plan is one of the best ways to clarify your long-term vision. While every business plan is different, there are several key elements to consider that will benefit you in the long run. 

Follow our step-by-step guide to writing a highly effective business plan. 

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals and how you plan to achieve them. Ideally, this will become your roadmap for marketing, sales, finance, and growth. 

In other words, a business plan is...

  • An explanation of your overall vision.
  • A valuable tool to plan and track your business fundamentals.
  • An overview of your path to profitability, which can help get funding for your company.

Do You Need A Business Plan?

While it’s not a requirement, having a business plan is strongly recommended. In a recent QuickBooks survey , nearly 70% of current business owners recommended writing a business plan.

Creating a business plan is especially useful in the following scenarios:

  • Applying for business loans
  • Seeking additional rounds of funding or investors 
  • Growing your employee headcount  
  • Attracting top-level management candidates 
  • Looking for opportunities to scale your business

10 Steps To Creating A Comprehensive Business Plan

While not every business plan is the same, there are a few key steps you should take to create an effective and comprehensive document:

1. Create an executive summary

Think of an executive summary as your company's elevator pitch in written form. It should be 1 to 2 pages in length and summarize important information about your company and goals. If you are pitching your business plan to get funding, you should ensure your executive summary appeals to investors.

What should you include in an executive summary?

  • An overview of your business
  • Your company mission statement
  • A concise description of products or services offered
  • A description of your target market and customer demographics
  • A brief analysis of your competition
  • Financial projections and funding requirements
  • Information about your management team
  • Future plans and growth opportunities
  • An overall summary of your business plan

2. Write your company description

Your company description is a more detailed and comprehensive explanation of your business. It should provide a thorough overview of your company, including your company history, your mission, your objectives, and your vision. A company description should help the reader understand the context and background of the business, as well as the key factors that contribute to its success.

What should you include in your company description?

  • Official company name 
  • Type of business structure
  • Physical address(es)
  • Company history and background information
  • Mission statement and core values
  • Management team members and their qualifications
  • Products and services offered
  • Target market and customer segmentation
  • Marketing and sales strategy
  • Goals (both short- and long-term)
  • Vision statement

Novo Note : The company description is your chance to expound on the pain points your company solves. It should also give a reader an accurate impression of who you are. 

3. Conduct and outline market analysis

This is one of the most important steps in building a business plan. Here, you will assess the size and dynamics of the market your business operates in.

How to conduct a market analysis

Market analyses include both quantitative and qualitative data. You may want to conduct surveys or lean on existing industry research to gather this information. You’ll want to answer:

  • What is the size of the market?
  • How much revenue does your industry generate?
  • What trends are impacting this industry?
  • Where are opportunities for innovation?
  • What are the most well-known companies in the industry? What tactics do they use to sell to customers? How do they price their offering?
  • Where are there gaps in the market? 
  • What are your customer demographics? What problems do they have that need solving? What are their values, desires, and purchasing habits?
  • What barriers to entry, if any, exist? These could include startup costs, legal requirements, environmental conditions that impact consumer behavior, and market saturation.

What is your target market?

In this section, you will specify the customer segment(s) you’re targeting . You can divide customers into small segments organized by age, location, income, and lifestyle. The goal is to describe what type of consumer will be most interested in your offering.

Novo Note : Regardless of your company’s size, understanding the trends and opportunities within your target market enables you to build a more effective marketing plan to distinguish yourself from the marketplace and grow your business. This analysis might also help you find potential customers or new products you could offer. 

4. Analyze your competitors

After conducting a market analysis, you need to do a deep dive into your competitors. Look at how the competition is succeeding or failing and how each competitor has positioned itself. For example, you might want to evaluate your competitors’ brand, pricing, and distribution strategies. 

How to conduct a competitive analysis

You’ll want to research your competitors and ask the following questions:

  • What are their strengths?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • What are their customer reviews like?
  • How do they price their offering(s)?
  • What are their value propositions?
  • What marketing and sales channels do they leverage?
  • How are they growing and evolving?

Novo Note : After you develop a strong understanding of the competitive landscape, consider how your business is unique. Solidifying your competitive advantage can help you appeal to your target audience.  

5. Describe your products or services

This is your chance to go into more detail about the products and services you offer! Use this opportunity to note where your offering or service differs from others in the industry. Highlight the standout features of your product, your company’s unique ability to solve customer problems, and your product roadmap.

What to include:

  • Your product catalog
  • Key differentiating features
  • Information about the production process
  • The resources required for production
  • Plans for future product releases

6. Define your marketing and sales strategy

Your marketing plan describes your strategy for connecting with your target market and generating leads. It doesn't need to be full-fledged at this point, but it should answer who you're trying to sell to and how you plan to target them. Investors also want to know how you plan on selling your brand and breaking into the market, so make sure to consider their perspective as you develop your marketing strategy.

  • Your sales and marketing budget
  • Your key sales and marketing objectives
  • Details about your sales process and sales goals
  • Platforms or strategies you’ll employ to reach your target audience
  • PR initiatives, content ideas, and social media strategies

7. Gather your business financials and outline financial projections

Your financials section lays out your company's past and current performance. You can also include a roadmap that dives into financial projections for your business. Aim to include projections for the next five years at a minimum.

  • Income statements
  • Cash flow statements
  • Balance sheets
  • Explanation of any significant changes

Novo Note : Novo offers integrations with accounting software like Quickbooks and Xero , allowing you to seamlessly access all your financial information within your business checking account .

sign up for Novo: powerfully simple business banking with no hidden fees

8. Describe your organization

Your business plan should also include an organizational chart that maps your company’s structure. 

What to include :

  • Company’s management structure
  • Other key personnel, along with their roles and responsibilities
  • Expertise of your team (feature any specialists or experts)

Novo Note : This is also a good place to explain the legal structure of your company — for example, if you are an LLC , a corporation, or a sole proprietorship . 

9. Outline your funding requests

If you’re looking for business funding, include an outline of any funding requests and requirements.

  • Why you are requesting funding
  • What the funding will be used for specifically
  • Desired terms and conditions of funding
  • The length of time over which the funding will be used
  • Type of funding required (for example, debt or equity)

Novo Note : Propose a five-year funding plan, and aim to be as detailed as possible about how you will utilize the funds to grow your business. 

10. Create an appendix

The last section, the appendix, includes supporting documents and additional information not listed elsewhere in your business plan. Not all of these items are necessary to include, so you’ll need to evaluate which are most relevant to your business. You might also want to include a table of contents to help keep the appendix organized.

Items to consider including:

  • Bank statements
  • Business credit history
  • Legal documents
  • Letters of reference

Sample Business Plans

Need an example to help you through the process? Check out the Small Business Administration’s downloadable examples or this even more in-depth one from Harvard Business School.

Tips For Creating A Great Business Plan

Here are some of our favorite tips for creating the most effective and efficient business plan:

  • Keep it short and sweet : You want to be sure people will actually read your business plan, so stay on topic and to the point.
  • Make it digestible : No need to use the fanciest terminology or draft up the most complex graphs. Keep wording and ideas simple and straightforward — it’s the most impactful way to get your information across.
  • Triple-check your work : There’s nothing worse than noticing a grammar, spelling, or mathematical error when you’re presenting your vision. So proofread… and then proofread again!
  • Start early : It’s never too late to write a business plan, but the earlier you do it, the stronger your strategy for growth and expansion will be from the start.
  • Reference credible sources : If you are going to reference third-party research in your business plan, lean on sources that are widely recognized as authorities. Try tapping into trade associations and government resources, like U.S. Census data or data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Set yourself apart : Wherever you can, explain why your product or service stands out and how it can solve a problem.
  • Be objective : Avoid the instinct to only showcase the good. Stakeholders and investors want to know that you are realistic and have a contingency plan if you hit a bump in the road.

Updating Your Business Plan

As with most situations in business (and life), things change! So don’t think that your business plan has to be set in stone after you create it. Instead, you should plan to return to it once a year and make updates.

Be sure to do the following when you review and update your business plan:

  • Analyze your progress: Review your original business plan and compare it to your actual financial data. Are you moving in the right direction, or do you need to reevaluate your strategy?
  • Consider whether your product offerings need to be adjusted: For example, decide if you want to diversify your product offerings or scale back and focus on a singular product. 
  • Reassess your overall goals: Perhaps your sales goals have changed with your new marketing strategy. Or maybe your customer’s needs have changed. In any case, be flexible where needed. 

We know there’s a lot that goes into creating a business plan, but it’s worth it. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for developing a business plan, but our steps outlined above will put you on the right track for developing a comprehensive, investor-friendly document.

Take time to review your business plan annually and make changes as your needs and goals change.

Novo Platform Inc. strives to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee that this content is correct, complete, or up-to-date. This page is for informational purposes only and is not financial or legal advice nor an endorsement of any third-party products or services. All products and services are presented without warranty. Novo Platform Inc. does not provide any financial or legal advice, and you should consult your own financial, legal, or tax advisors.

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October 31, 2023

Block Advisors

How to Write a Business Plan Step-By-Step

October 31, 2023 • Block Advisors

QUICK ANSWER:

  • A business plan outlines your business’s goals, services, financing, and more.
  • Business plans vary in length and complexity but should always include an explanation of what your business will do and how it will do it.
  • Business plans serve as a guide for business owners and employees and are key to boosting investor confidence.

Whether you’re a serial entrepreneur or just getting your first small business idea off the ground, creating a business plan is an important step. Good business planning will help you clarify your goals and objectives, identify strategies, and note any potential issues or roadblocks you might face.

Not every business owner chooses to write a business plan, but many find it to be a valuable step to take when starting a business. Creating a business plan can seem daunting and confusing at first. But taking the time to plan and research can be very beneficial, especially for first-time small business owners.

If you want to learn how to create a business plan or if you feel you just need a little business plan help, read on!

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan serves as a comprehensive document that outlines your business’s goals, services, financing, leadership, and more details essential to its success. Think of the plan as the who, what, and why of your new business:

A small business owner learning how to write a business plan

Who are the major players in your business?

What goods or services do you offer and why are they important?

Why are you in business and why should customers choose you?

Business plans can range in complexity and length, but, at their core, all plans explain what the business will do and how it will do it. A business plan serves as a guide for business owners and employees and should boost investor confidence. Some important advantages of business plans include:

  • Shows investors you have an in-demand product or service, a solid team to achieve business goals, and the potential for growth and scalability.
  • Increases the likelihood of securing a business loan, locking in investments, or raising capital. >>Read: A Guide to Raising Capital as a Small Business Founder
  • Helps recognize partnership opportunities with other companies.
  • Identifies and defines competitors within your given industry.

Looking for an examples of a successful business plan? Check out the SBA’s business plan page for walkthroughs of different business plan outlines.

How to Write a Business Plan: 10 Simple Steps

Starting with a blank page is undoubtedly intimidating. So, begin with a structured business plan template including the key elements for each section. Once your outline is complete, it’ll be time to fill in the details. Don’t worry, you’ll know how to write a business plan in no time. We’ve broken each section down to help you write a business plan in a few simple steps.

1. Brainstorm and Draft an Executive Summary for Your Business Plan

This will be the first page of your business plan. Think of it as your business’ written elevator pitch. In this high level summary, include a mission statement, a short description of the products or services you will be providing, and a summary of your financial and growth projections.

This section will be the first part people read, but you may find it easier to write it last. Writing it after building out the rest of your plan may help you condense the most important information into a concise statement. You’ll need to streamline your thoughts from the other sections into a one page or less summary.

2. Create a Business Description

In this next section, describe your business. Add more specific details than the executive summary. You should include your business’s registered name, the address of your business’s location, basic information about your business structure , and the names of key people involved in the business.

The company description should also answer these two questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you plan to do?

Explain why you’re in business. Show how you are different from competitors. Tell investors why they should finance your company. This section is often more inspirational and emotional. Make sure you grab the reader’s attention. The goal is to get them to believe in your vision as much as you do.

What business structure is right for my company?

Answer these six questions to help you find your fit

3. Outline Your Business Goals

This section should serve as an objective statement. Explain what you want to accomplish and your timeline. Business goals and objectives give you a clear focus. They drive your business to success, so dream big. Include objectives that will help you reach each goal. Don’t forget to make your goals and objectives SMART – that is, they should be:

S pecific | M easurable | A ttainable | R elevant | T ime-bound

4. Conduct and Summarize Market Research

Next, outline your ideal customer with some research. Do the math to estimate the potential size of your target market. Make sure you are choosing the right market for your product, one with plenty of customers who want and need your product. Define your customer’s pain points. Explain your expertise in relation to the market. Show how your product or service fills an important gap and brings value to your customers. Use your findings to build out a value proposition statement.

5. Conduct a Competitive Analysis

In a similar way, you’ll also want to conduct and include a competitive analysis. The purpose of this analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of competitors in your market, strategies that will give you a competitive advantage, and how your company is different. Some people choose to conduct a competitive analysis using the SWOT method .

6. Outline Your Marketing and Sales Strategies

Your marketing sales strategy can make or break your business. Your marketing plan should outline your current sales decisions as well as future marketing strategies. In this section, you should reiterate your value proposition, target markets, and customer segments. Then, include details such as:

  • A launch plan
  • Growth tactics and strategies
  • A customer retention plan
  • Advertising and promotion channels (i.e. social media, print, search engines, etc.)

7. Describe Your Product or Service

By this point, your products or services have probably been mentioned in several areas of the business plan. But it’s still important to include a separate section that outlines their key details. Describe what you’re offering and how it fits in the current market. Also include details about the benefits, production process, and life cycle of your products. If you have any trademarks or patents, include them here. This is also a good time to ask yourself, “Should my plan include visual aids?”

[ Read More Must-Have Tips to Start Your Small Business ]

8. Compile Financial Plans

Financial health is crucial to the success of any business. If you’re just starting your business, you likely won’t have financial data yet. However, you still need to prepare a budget and financial plan. If you have them, include income statements , balance sheets , and cash flow statements . You can also include reporting metrics such as net income and your ratio of liquidity to debt repayment ability.

If you haven’t launched your business yet, include realistic projections of the same information. Set clear financial goals and include projected milestones. Share information about the budget. What are the business operations costs? Ensure you are comprehensive when considering what costs you may need to prepare for.

9. Build a Management and Operations Plan

Identify your team members. Highlight their expertise and qualifications. Outline roles that still need to be filled now to establish your company and later as the business grows. Read More: 8 tax steps to take when hiring employees >>

Include a section detailing your logistics and operations plan. Consider all parts of your operation. Create a plan that provides details on suppliers, production, equipment, shipment and fulfillment, and inventory. This shows how your business will get done.

10. Create an Appendix – A Place for Additional Information and Documents

Lastly, assemble an organized appendix. This section can contain any other relevant information a reader might need to enhance their understanding of other sections. If you feel like the appendix is getting long, consider adding a table of contents at the beginning of this section. Appendices often include documents such as:

  • Licenses and permits
  • Bank statements
  • Resumes of key employees
  • Equipment leases

How to Create a Business Plan: The Bottom Line

A business plan helps you identify clear goals and provides your business direction. Many small business plans are 10-20 pages in length. But as long as the essentials are covered, feel empowered to build a plan that works for you and your company’s needs. Creating a business plan will help you identify your market and target customers, define business aims, and foster long-term financial health.

We’re ready to help you get your business started on the right foot today, and help you find long-term satisfaction as you pursue your business dream. Writing a business plan can be exciting. But if the steps to starting your business are feeling overwhelming, Block Advisors is here to help. Make an appointment today – our experts can assist you with tax prep , bookkeeping , payroll , business formation , and more .

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14 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

Female entrepreneur holding a pen and pointing to multiple sticky notes on the wall. Presenting the many ways having a business plan will benefit you as a business owner.

10 min. read

Updated October 27, 2023

There’s no question that starting and running a business is hard work. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. And, one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of success is to have a business plan.

A business plan is a foundational document that is essential for any company, no matter the size or age. From attracting potential investors to keeping your business on track—a business plan helps you achieve important milestones and grow in the right direction.

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A business plan isn’t just a document you put together once when starting your business. It’s a living, breathing guide for existing businesses – one that business owners should revisit and update regularly.

Unfortunately, writing a business plan is often a daunting task for potential entrepreneurs. So, do you really need a business plan? Is it really worth the investment of time and resources? Can’t you just wing it and skip the whole planning process?

Good questions. Here’s every reason why you need a business plan.

  • 1. Business planning is proven to help you grow 30 percent faster

Writing a business plan isn’t about producing a document that accurately predicts the future of your company. The  process  of writing your plan is what’s important. Writing your plan and reviewing it regularly gives you a better window into what you need to do to achieve your goals and succeed. 

You don’t have to just take our word for it. Studies have  proven that companies that plan  and review their results regularly grow 30 percent faster. Beyond faster growth, research also shows that companies that plan actually perform better. They’re less likely to become one of those woeful failure statistics, or experience  cash flow crises  that threaten to close them down. 

  • 2. Planning is a necessary part of the fundraising process

One of the top reasons to have a business plan is to make it easier to raise money for your business. Without a business plan, it’s difficult to know how much money you need to raise, how you will spend the money once you raise it, and what your budget should be.

Investors want to know that you have a solid plan in place – that your business is headed in the right direction and that there is long-term potential in your venture. 

A business plan shows that your business is serious and that there are clearly defined steps on how it aims to become successful. It also demonstrates that you have the necessary competence to make that vision a reality. 

Investors, partners, and creditors will want to see detailed financial forecasts for your business that shows how you plan to grow and how you plan on spending their money. 

  • 3. Having a business plan minimizes your risk

When you’re just starting out, there’s so much you don’t know—about your customers, your competition, and even about operations. 

As a business owner, you signed up for some of that uncertainty when you started your business, but there’s a lot you can  do to reduce your risk . Creating and reviewing your business plan regularly is a great way to uncover your weak spots—the flaws, gaps, and assumptions you’ve made—and develop contingency plans. 

Your business plan will also help you define budgets and revenue goals. And, if you’re not meeting your goals, you can quickly adjust spending plans and create more realistic budgets to keep your business healthy.

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  • 4. Crafts a roadmap to achieve important milestones

A business plan is like a roadmap for your business. It helps you set, track and reach business milestones. 

For your plan to function in this way, your business plan should first outline your company’s short- and long-term goals. You can then fill in the specific steps necessary to reach those goals. This ensures that you measure your progress (or lack thereof) and make necessary adjustments along the way to stay on track while avoiding costly detours.

In fact, one of the top reasons why new businesses fail is due to bad business planning. Combine this with inflexibility and you have a recipe for disaster.

And planning is not just for startups. Established businesses benefit greatly from revisiting their business plan. It keeps them on track, even when the global market rapidly shifts as we’ve seen in recent years.

  • 5. A plan helps you figure out if your idea can become a business

To turn your idea into reality, you need to accurately assess the feasibility of your business idea.

You need to verify:

  • If there is a market for your product or service
  • Who your target audience is
  • How you will gain an edge over the current competition
  • If your business can run profitably

A business plan forces you to take a step back and look at your business objectively, which makes it far easier to make tough decisions down the road. Additionally, a business plan helps you to identify risks and opportunities early on, providing you with the necessary time to come up with strategies to address them properly.

Finally, a business plan helps you work through the nuts and bolts of how your business will work financially and if it can become sustainable over time.

6. You’ll make big spending decisions with confidence

As your business grows, you’ll have to figure out when to hire new employees, when to expand to a new location, or whether you can afford a major purchase. 

These are always major spending decisions, and if you’re regularly reviewing the forecasts you mapped out in your business plan, you’re going to have better information to use to make your decisions.

7. You’re more likely to catch critical cash flow challenges early

The other side of those major spending decisions is understanding and monitoring your business’s cash flow. Your  cash flow statement  is one of the three key financial statements you’ll put together for your business plan. (The other two are your  balance sheet  and your  income statement  (P&L). 

Reviewing your cash flow statement regularly as part of your regular business plan review will help you see potential cash flow challenges earlier so you can take action to avoid a cash crisis where you can’t pay your bills. 

  • 8. Position your brand against the competition

Competitors are one of the factors that you need to take into account when starting a business. Luckily, competitive research is an integral part of writing a business plan. It encourages you to ask questions like:

  • What is your competition doing well? What are they doing poorly?
  • What can you do to set yourself apart?
  • What can you learn from them?
  • How can you make your business stand out?
  • What key business areas can you outcompete?
  • How can you identify your target market?

Finding answers to these questions helps you solidify a strategic market position and identify ways to differentiate yourself. It also proves to potential investors that you’ve done your homework and understand how to compete. 

  • 9. Determines financial needs and revenue models

A vital part of starting a business is understanding what your expenses will be and how you will generate revenue to cover those expenses. Creating a business plan helps you do just that while also defining ongoing financial needs to keep in mind. 

Without a business model, it’s difficult to know whether your business idea will generate revenue. By detailing how you plan to make money, you can effectively assess the viability and scalability of your business. 

Understanding this early on can help you avoid unnecessary risks and start with the confidence that your business is set up to succeed.

  • 10. Helps you think through your marketing strategy

A business plan is a great way to document your marketing plan. This will ensure that all of your marketing activities are aligned with your overall goals. After all, a business can’t grow without customers and you’ll need a strategy for acquiring those customers. 

Your business plan should include information about your target market, your marketing strategy, and your marketing budget. Detail things like how you plan to attract and retain customers, acquire new leads, how the digital marketing funnel will work, etc. 

Having a documented marketing plan will help you to automate business operations, stay on track and ensure that you’re making the most of your marketing dollars.

  • 11. Clarifies your vision and ensures everyone is on the same page

In order to create a successful business, you need a clear vision and a plan for how you’re going to achieve it. This is all detailed with your mission statement, which defines the purpose of your business, and your personnel plan, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of current and future employees. Together, they establish the long-term vision you have in mind and who will need to be involved to get there. 

Additionally, your business plan is a great tool for getting your team in sync. Through consistent plan reviews, you can easily get everyone in your company on the same page and direct your workforce toward tasks that truly move the needle.

  • 12. Future-proof your business

A business plan helps you to evaluate your current situation and make realistic projections for the future.

This is an essential step in growing your business, and it’s one that’s often overlooked. When you have a business plan in place, it’s easier to identify opportunities and make informed decisions based on data.

Therefore, it requires you to outline goals, strategies, and tactics to help the organization stay focused on what’s important.

By regularly revisiting your business plan, especially when the global market changes, you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever challenges come your way, and pivot faster.

You’ll also be in a better position to seize opportunities as they arise.

  • 13. Tracks your progress and measures success

An often overlooked purpose of a business plan is as a tool to define success metrics. A key part of writing your plan involves pulling together a viable financial plan. This includes financial statements such as your profit and loss, cash flow, balance sheet, and sales forecast.

By housing these financial metrics within your business plan, you suddenly have an easy way to relate your strategy to actual performance. You can track progress, measure results, and follow up on how the company is progressing. Without a plan, it’s almost impossible to gauge whether you’re on track or not.  

Additionally, by evaluating your successes and failures, you learn what works and what doesn’t and you can make necessary changes to your plan. In short, having a business plan gives you a framework for measuring your success. It also helps with building up a “lessons learned” knowledge database to avoid costly mistakes in the future.

  • 14. Your business plan is an asset if you ever want to sell

Down the road, you might decide that you want to sell your business or position yourself for acquisition. Having a solid business plan is going to help you make the case for a higher valuation. Your business is likely to be worth more to a buyer if it’s easy for them to understand your business model, your target market, and your overall potential to grow and scale. 

need in a business plan

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  • Writing your business plan

By taking the time to create a business plan, you ensure that your business is heading in the right direction and that you have a roadmap to get there. We hope that this post has shown you just how important and valuable a business plan can be. While it may still seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the time investment and learning curve for writing one. 

Luckily, you can write a plan in as little as 30 minutes. And there are plenty of excellent planning tools out there if you’re looking for more step-by-step guidance. Whatever it takes, write your plan and you’ll quickly see how useful it can be.

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

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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Table of Contents

  • 6. You’ll make big spending decisions with confidence
  • 7. You’re more likely to catch critical cash flow challenges early

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

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

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

sample business plans and examples

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

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

Table of Contents

Business Plan Format

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

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

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

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

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

need in a business plan

Free Business Plan Template

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

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

1. Executive Summary

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

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

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

Company Description

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

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

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

Products and Services

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

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

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

Executive Summary Business Plan Examples

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

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example

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

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

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

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

2. Market Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Market Opportunity Business Plan Example

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

Business plans examples: Market Opportunity

Tips for Writing Your Market Opportunity Section

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

3. Competitive Landscape

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

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

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

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

Competitive Landscape Business Plan Example

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

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

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

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

Tips for Writing Your Competitive Landscape

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

4. Target Audience

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

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

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

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

Target Audience Business Plan Example

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

Business plans examples: Target Audience

Tips for Writing Your Target Audience Section

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

5. Marketing Strategy

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

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

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

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

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

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

Business plans examples: Marketing Strategy

Tips for Writing Your Marketing Strategy

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

6. Key Features and Benefits

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

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

Key Features and Benefits Business Plan Example

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

Business plans examples: Key Features and Benefits

Tips for Writing Your Key Features and Benefits

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

7. Pricing and Revenue

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

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

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

Pricing and Revenue Business Plan Example

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

Business plans examples: Pricing and Revenue

Tips for Writing Your Pricing and Revenue Section

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

8. Financials

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

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

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

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

Financials Business Plan Example

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

Business plans examples: Financials

Tips for Writing Your Financials Section

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

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

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

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

1. Startups

Startup business plans are for proposing new business ideas.

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

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

2. Feasibility Studies

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

3. Internal Use

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

4. Strategic Initiatives

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

5. Business Acquisition or Repositioning

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

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

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

1. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

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

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

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

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

Why I Like It

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

2. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

Sample business plan: hubspot free editable pdf

We also created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sample Business Plan: LiveFLow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: ThoughtCo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

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

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

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

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

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

8. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Panda Doc

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

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

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

9. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Small Business Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s take a look.

1. LiveFlow

business plan example: liveflow

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Lula Body

Business plan example: Lula body

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Vesta Home Automation

business plan example: Vesta executive summary

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

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

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

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

5. NALB Creative Center

business plan examples: nalb creative center

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

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

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

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

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

6. Curriculum Companion Suites (CSS)

business plan examples: curriculum companion suites

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

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

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

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

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

7. Culina Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: Culina

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

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

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

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The importance of a business plan

Business plans are like road maps: it’s possible to travel without one, but that will only increase the odds of getting lost along the way.

Owners with a business plan see growth 30% faster than those without one, and 71% of the fast-growing companies have business plans . Before we get into the thick of it, let’s define and go over what a business plan actually is.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a 15-20 page document that outlines how you will achieve your business objectives and includes information about your product, marketing strategies, and finances. You should create one when you’re starting a new business and keep updating it as your business grows.

Rather than putting yourself in a position where you may have to stop and ask for directions or even circle back and start over, small business owners often use business plans to help guide them. That’s because they help them see the bigger picture, plan ahead, make important decisions, and improve the overall likelihood of success. ‍

Why is a business plan important?

A well-written business plan is an important tool because it gives entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as their employees, the ability to lay out their goals and track their progress as their business begins to grow. Business planning should be the first thing done when starting a new business. Business plans are also important for attracting investors so they can determine if your business is on the right path and worth putting money into.

Business plans typically include detailed information that can help improve your business’s chances of success, like:

  • A market analysis : gathering information about factors and conditions that affect your industry
  • Competitive analysis : evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
  • Customer segmentation : divide your customers into different groups based on specific characteristics to improve your marketing
  • Marketing: using your research to advertise your business
  • Logistics and operations plans : planning and executing the most efficient production process
  • Cash flow projection : being prepared for how much money is going into and out of your business
  • An overall path to long-term growth

10 reasons why you need a business plan

I know what you’re thinking: “Do I really need a business plan? It sounds like a lot of work, plus I heard they’re outdated and I like figuring things out as I go...”.

The answer is: yes, you really do need a business plan! As entrepreneur Kevin J. Donaldson said, “Going into business without a business plan is like going on a mountain trek without a map or GPS support—you’ll eventually get lost and starve! Though it may sound tedious and time-consuming, business plans are critical to starting your business and setting yourself up for success.

To outline the importance of business plans and make the process sound less daunting, here are 10 reasons why you need one for your small business.

1. To help you with critical decisions

The primary importance of a business plan is that they help you make better decisions. Entrepreneurship is often an endless exercise in decision making and crisis management. Sitting down and considering all the ramifications of any given decision is a luxury that small businesses can’t always afford. That’s where a business plan comes in.

Building a business plan allows you to determine the answer to some of the most critical business decisions ahead of time.

Creating a robust business plan is a forcing function—you have to sit down and think about major components of your business before you get started, like your marketing strategy and what products you’ll sell. You answer many tough questions before they arise. And thinking deeply about your core strategies can also help you understand how those decisions will impact your broader strategy.

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2. To iron out the kinks

Putting together a business plan requires entrepreneurs to ask themselves a lot of hard questions and take the time to come up with well-researched and insightful answers. Even if the document itself were to disappear as soon as it’s completed, the practice of writing it helps to articulate your vision in realistic terms and better determine if there are any gaps in your strategy.

3. To avoid the big mistakes

Only about half of small businesses are still around to celebrate their fifth birthday . While there are many reasons why small businesses fail, many of the most common are purposefully addressed in business plans.

According to data from CB Insights , some of the most common reasons businesses fail include:

  • No market need : No one wants what you’re selling.
  • Lack of capital : Cash flow issues or businesses simply run out of money.
  • Inadequate team : This underscores the importance of hiring the right people to help you run your business.
  • Stiff competition : It’s tough to generate a steady profit when you have a lot of competitors in your space.
  • Pricing : Some entrepreneurs price their products or services too high or too low—both scenarios can be a recipe for disaster.

The exercise of creating a business plan can help you avoid these major mistakes. Whether it’s cash flow forecasts or a product-market fit analysis , every piece of a business plan can help spot some of those potentially critical mistakes before they arise. For example, don’t be afraid to scrap an idea you really loved if it turns out there’s no market need. Be honest with yourself!

Get a jumpstart on your business plan by creating your own cash flow projection .

4. To prove the viability of the business

Many businesses are created out of passion, and while passion can be a great motivator, it’s not a great proof point.

Planning out exactly how you’re going to turn that vision into a successful business is perhaps the most important step between concept and reality. Business plans can help you confirm that your grand idea makes sound business sense.

A graphic showing you a “Business Plan Outline.” There are four sections on the left side: Executive Summary at the top, Company Description below it, followed by Market Analysis, and lastly Organization and Management. There was four sections on the right side. At the top: “Service or Product Line.” Below that, “Marketing and Sales.” Below that, “Funding Request.” And lastly: “Financial Projections.” At the very bottom below the left and right columns is a section that says “Appendix.

A critical component of your business plan is the market research section. Market research can offer deep insight into your customers, your competitors, and your chosen industry. Not only can it enlighten entrepreneurs who are starting up a new business, but it can also better inform existing businesses on activities like marketing, advertising, and releasing new products or services.

Want to prove there’s a market gap? Here’s how you can get started with market research.

5. To set better objectives and benchmarks

Without a business plan, objectives often become arbitrary, without much rhyme or reason behind them. Having a business plan can help make those benchmarks more intentional and consequential. They can also help keep you accountable to your long-term vision and strategy, and gain insights into how your strategy is (or isn’t) coming together over time.

6. To communicate objectives and benchmarks

Whether you’re managing a team of 100 or a team of two, you can’t always be there to make every decision yourself. Think of the business plan like a substitute teacher, ready to answer questions any time there’s an absence. Let your staff know that when in doubt, they can always consult the business plan to understand the next steps in the event that they can’t get an answer from you directly.

Sharing your business plan with team members also helps ensure that all members are aligned with what you’re doing, why, and share the same understanding of long-term objectives.

7. To provide a guide for service providers

Small businesses typically employ contractors , freelancers, and other professionals to help them with tasks like accounting , marketing, legal assistance, and as consultants. Having a business plan in place allows you to easily share relevant sections with those you rely on to support the organization, while ensuring everyone is on the same page.

8. To secure financing

Did you know you’re 2.5x more likely to get funded if you have a business plan?If you’re planning on pitching to venture capitalists, borrowing from a bank, or are considering selling your company in the future, you’re likely going to need a business plan. After all, anyone that’s interested in putting money into your company is going to want to know it’s in good hands and that it’s viable in the long run. Business plans are the most effective ways of proving that and are typically a requirement for anyone seeking outside financing.

Learn what you need to get a small business loan.

9. To better understand the broader landscape

No business is an island, and while you might have a strong handle on everything happening under your own roof, it’s equally important to understand the market terrain as well. Writing a business plan can go a long way in helping you better understand your competition and the market you’re operating in more broadly, illuminate consumer trends and preferences, potential disruptions and other insights that aren’t always plainly visible.

10. To reduce risk

Entrepreneurship is a risky business, but that risk becomes significantly more manageable once tested against a well-crafted business plan. Drawing up revenue and expense projections, devising logistics and operational plans, and understanding the market and competitive landscape can all help reduce the risk factor from an inherently precarious way to make a living. Having a business plan allows you to leave less up to chance, make better decisions, and enjoy the clearest possible view of the future of your company.

Understanding the importance of a business plan

Now that you have a solid grasp on the “why” behind business plans, you can confidently move forward with creating your own.

Remember that a business plan will grow and evolve along with your business, so it’s an important part of your whole journey—not just the beginning.

Related Posts

Now that you’ve read up on the purpose of a business plan, check out our guide to help you get started.

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The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.

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15 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan in 2024

Posted january 21, 2022 by noah parsons.

need in a business plan

As a small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, a business plan can seem more like a hurdle you have to overcome than a useful tool. It’s a barrier that’s keeping you from moving forward with your business. Maybe the bank won’t review your loan application without a business plan or a potential investor has asked to see your business plan before they will meet with you. 

But, writing a business plan doesn’t have to feel like a homework assignment. Instead, think of writing a business plan as an investment in your business. It’s a tool to figure out a strong and financially viable strategy for growth. And, it’s even been scientifically proven that planning will increase your chances of success and help you grow faster. 

Still not convinced? Read on for our definitive list of reasons why you should write a plan for your business.

What is the key purpose of a business plan? 

Imagine you’re setting out on a journey. You know what your final destination is, but you haven’t figured out how to get there. While it might be fun to just start driving and figure things out as you go, your trip will most likely take longer than you anticipated and cost you more. If you instead take a look at a map and chart the best way to get to your destination, you’ll arrive on time and on budget. Planning for your business isn’t that much different. 

The primary purpose of a business plan is to help you figure out where you want to go with your business and how you’re going to get there. It helps you set your direction and determine a winning strategy. A solid business plan will set your business up for success and help you build an unbeatable company.

If you start off without a plan, you may go down some interesting detours, but you’re unlikely to grow quickly or stick to your budget.

Why do you need to write a business plan?

Establishing a strategic roadmap for your business is the primary benefit of writing a business plan. But what does that really look like for you and your business? Here are our top 15 reasons why you should write a business plan.

1. Reduce your risk

Writing a business plan takes some of the risk out of starting a business. It ensures that you’re thinking through every facet of your business to determine if it can truly be viable. 

Does your solution fit the market? Are your startup or operational costs manageable? Will your proposed business model actually generate sales? What sort of milestones would you need to hit to achieve profitability? These are all questions associated with business risk that you can answer with your plan.

For those already running a business, writing a plan can help you better manage ongoing risk. Should you bring on a new employee? What does cash flow look like for your next month, quarter, or even year? Are you on track to meet your milestones or do you need to change your focus? Keep your plan up to date, review it regularly and you can easily answer these questions and mitigate risk.

2. Uncover your business’s potential

Writing a business plan helps you think about the customers you are serving and what their needs are. Exploring those customer needs will help you uncover new opportunities for your business to serve them and potentially expose new products and services that you could offer. When you use your business plan to manage your business, you’ll be able to see the parts of your strategy that are working and those that aren’t. For example, you may have invested in new marketing efforts to sell one of your products, but that strategy just isn’t working out. With a business plan in hand, you’ll be able to see what’s going to plan and where you need to make adjustments to your strategy, pivoting to new opportunities that will drive profitability.

3. Test a new business idea

When you have a new business idea, it really helps to spend a little time thinking through all the details. A business plan will help you think about your target market, your budget, how much money you’ll need to launch, and how your idea will actually work before you spend any real money. A business plan will also help you easily share your idea with other people to get input and feedback before you get started. 

We recommend using a one-page business plan to test ideas quickly and easily. 

4. Attract investors and get funding to start and grow your business

Sharing your business idea with investors requires a business plan. Now, you probably won’t share a long, detailed business plan to get investors interested, but you probably will share your executive summary — which is an overview of your business plan. Investors may never actually ask for your full business plan, but they will certainly ask you questions that you’ll only be able to answer if you’ve taken the time to write a plan. 

At the very least, they’ll want to see your financial forecasts , so you should be prepared for this. If you end up pitching your business to investors, whether in-person or remotely , having a business plan written makes it much easier to translate the right information into a pitch deck. In short, you’ll have all of the right information ready and available to show why your business is worth investing in.

5. Plan for different scenarios

Even if you have a plan in place, things rarely actually go to plan. The world is always changing, customer tastes change, and new competitors arrive on the scene. Having a plan allows you to experiment with different scenarios to see how changes to your business will impact your forecasts, budgets, profitability, and cash flow. 

6. Research shows that business plans definitely work

A Journal of Management Studies study found that businesses that take the time to plan grow 30% faster than those that don’t. Our own 2021 small business research study found that 58% of small business owners that have or are working on a plan feel confident in their business, even amidst a crisis. And a study in Small Business Economics found that entrepreneurs that write business plans for their ideas are 152% more likely to actually start their businesses. There’s plenty of additional research that links planning with success, so it’s a proven fact that you won’t be wasting your time when you write your plan.

7. Build a better budget and a financial forecast

A core component of any business plan is a financial forecast. When you take the time to plan, you’ll have to think through your expense budget, your sales goals, and the cash that it’s going to take to keep your doors open, purchase inventory, and more. 

The beauty of incorporating forecasts into your business plan is that you don’t need to have the exact numbers to start. You can work with general assumptions and compare against competitive benchmarks to set a baseline for your business. As you operate and collect financial data you can then begin to update your forecasts to generate a more accurate view of how your business will operate.

8. Determine your financial needs

Without a business plan, it’s impossible to really know how much money it’s going to take to start and run your business. You don’t just need money for your initial purchases. You need to have enough cash in the bank to keep your business afloat while you get fully up and running. A plan will help you determine exactly how much money you’ll need and help you keep track of your cash flow and runway .

9. Attract employees

Especially if you’re a young startup company, attracting employees can be hard. Without a proven track record, why should someone take a risk to work for you? Having a business plan can help solve that problem. Your plan can help a prospective employee understand your business strategy and plans for growth so that they can feel confident joining your team. It’s also incredibly useful in determining when and if it’s feasible for you to bring on more employees . 

10. Get your team all on the same page

A great strategy for your business can only be successful if your team understands it. By documenting your strategy with a business plan, you can easily get everyone on the same page, working towards the same goals. It’s even better if you regularly review your plan with members of your team. This ensures that everyone is consistently going back to the core strategy documentation, analyzing it, and exploring how it impacts individual and team goals .

11. Manage your business better 

A business plan is all about setting goals for your company — both financial goals and milestones you hope to accomplish. When you use your plan to regularly check in on your business to see how you’re doing and what your progress is, you’re managing your business. Regular review , ideally monthly, will help you build a strong, resilient business.

12. Understand your market and build a marketing plan

No matter how good your idea is, you have to figure out who your ideal customers are and how you’re going to get the word out to them. That’s where a marketing plan comes in. It can be an indispensable tool for figuring out how you get your first customers as well as your thousandth customer. 

13. It’s easier than you think

You may be procrastinating in writing a business plan because it sounds like a lot of work. The truth is that planning is much less complicated than you think. Start small with a one-page business plan that you complete in half an hour . From there, refine your plan until your idea is solid. At that point, you can invest a little more time in a more detailed business plan. Just start with the basics and expand from there.

14. You’ll sleep better at night

When you have a plan for your business, you have peace of mind. You know that you’ve invested the time to figure out a business model that actually works and you’ve considered different financial scenarios so you can handle the unexpected. And, you’ve got a management tool to run your business better than your competitors. 

15. Effectively navigate a crisis

Having a business plan not only helps you create a roadmap for your business but also helps you navigate unforeseen events. Large-scale economic downturns, supply shortages, payment delays, cash flow problems, and any number of other issues are bound to pop up. But, you can be prepared to face each crisis head-on by leveraging your business plan.

A plan helps you assess your current situation, determine how the crisis will alter your plan, and begin to explore what it will take to recover. With a little planning, you can even prepare your business for future downturns with this same process. It’ll make crisis planning easier and ideally recession-proof your business by having the right plan and processes in place.

Don’t wait, start writing your business plan today

There are plenty of reasons to write a business plan, but the real reason is about finding success for you and your business. Taking the time to plan is an investment in yourself and your business that will pay dividends, whether you’re starting a new business or taking your existing business to the next level. 

You can jump-start your business plan writing process with our article covering how to write a business plan in as little as 30-minutes .

If you’re looking for a tool to help you get more from your business plan, we recommend trying out LivePlan . Our business planning and management tool will guide you through the entire process, including all of your financial forecasts, without ever requiring that you open a spreadsheet.

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Noah Parsons

Noah Parsons

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5 Reasons You Need a Business Plan for Long-Term Success

Do You Really Need a Business Plan?

Alyssa Gregory is an entrepreneur, writer, and marketer with 20 years of experience in the business world. She is the founder of the Small Business Bonfire, a community for entrepreneurs, and has authored more than 2,500 articles for The Balance and other popular small business websites.

need in a business plan

Entrepreneurs who are starting a new business often wonder, "Do I really need a business plan? Is writing a business plan really the best use of my time?" The answer to these questions is almost always, "Yes." A business plan is an integral part of starting a new business.

In reality, business plans can take a long time to write, require that you have a tremendous amount of data at your fingertips, depend in part on projections and often are responsible for creating a long list of research you still need to conduct and other work you need to complete.

Plus, not everyone is sold on the usefulness of a business plan. Consider the study of 116 new businesses conducted by Babson College. The study found that the presence of a formal business plan before starting a small business made no difference in the ultimate success of the business, assuming it was one that was not seeking outside funding.

Some also argue that taking the time required to create a business plan can stifle the startup process and cost precious opportunities for a small business.

On the other hand,  one study  found that entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical non-planning entrepreneurs. Other  studies  have shown that while completing a business plan is not a guarantee of success, it does indicate that the type of entrepreneur who completes a business plan is also more likely to run a successful business.

So why not arm yourself with one of the best tools a small business owner can have? If you're still on the fence, consider these five reasons you should write a business plan before doing anything else in your small business.

1. A Business Plan Is Simply a Must-Have for Some Businesses

If you plan to approach a financial institution for a loan, apply for a small business grant , pitch your business idea to investors, or enlist the support of a business partner, a business plan is required.

Potential investors and supporters want to see the true potential of your business idea clearly laid out in hard facts and numbers. A business plan is the best, and generally, the only acceptable way to provide this information.

2. A Business Plan Helps You Make Decisions

There are some sections in a traditional business plan that you simply cannot complete if you are on the fence, undecided, or not fully committed to a certain point. Business plans help you eliminate the gray area because you have to write specific information down in black and white. Making tough decisions is often one of the hardest and most useful parts of writing a business plan.

For example, if you have not decided on exactly what products you will sell at what price points, it will be very difficult for you to complete the Products and Services Section of your business plan. Identifying this and other vital information is a valuable end product of the business planning process.

3. A Business Plan Can Be a Reality Check

Writing a business plan is often the first real struggle for the small business owner who wants to launch a new venture, but doesn't want to consider that his or her business idea may be a bit flawed or is not yet fully developed.

While this is an unwelcome and terrifying thought for an impassioned entrepreneur, identifying gaps early on in the process gives business owners a chance to shore up their research, test their ideas and take steps to make the business stronger and more viable. This may initially be a step back, but any and all further work can bolster the entrepreneur's chance of success before he or she invests time and money in a business that is likely to fail.

4. A Business Plan Can Give You New Ideas

Discovering new ideas, different approaches and fresh perspectives are some of the best things that can happen from the depths of the business planning process. Despite the sometimes negative reputation, a business plan isn't just a long, stiff and structured document.

In fact, an effective business plan is the opposite; it's a flexible, growing and dynamic tool that can help you think creatively and come up with new solutions for some of your toughest business challenges. This is especially true when you consider the Marketing Strategy Section . Here, as you create a blueprint for your marketing activities, creativity and fresh ideas are invaluable.

5. A Business Plan Creates an Action Plan

A business plan is a useful document for any small business owner. But when you use your business plan as a tool to help you outline action items, next steps, and future activities, you are creating a living, breathing document that not only outlines where you are and where you want to be but also gives you the directions you need to get there.

Going back to the original question of whether or not you really need a business plan, you may still be able to build a successful business without a plan, but it is most certainly easier to do with a well-constructed business plan in your hands.

Keep in mind that if you are using your plan as a true business planning tool, you don't have to wait until you have all of the answers to get started. You can create an outline of your plan now, filling in all of the information you have at this point, and then work on the blanks as you learn more about the market. This type of fluid and flexible document can be invaluable to a new business.

For more on business plans, review this business plan outline . Then, for a quick and painless start to the business planning process, try this simple business plan template.

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20 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan in 2024

Written by Dave Lavinsky

20 Reasons Why you need a business plan

What is the Purpose of a Business Plan?

The purpose of a business plan is to provide a clear roadmap for the company’s future. It outlines the vision, goals, and strategies of the business, guiding entrepreneurs and stakeholders in understanding its operations and objectives. A well-crafted business plan template helps attract investors and funding by showcasing the potential for profitability and growth.

Top 20 Reasons Why you Need a Business Plan

1. to prove that you’re serious about your business.

A formal business plan is necessary to show all interested parties — employees, investors, partners and yourself — that you are committed to building the business. Creating your plan forces you to think through and select the strategies that will propel your growth.

2. To Establish Business Milestones

The business plan should clearly lay out the long-term milestones that are most important to the success of your business. To paraphrase Guy Kawasaki, a milestone is something significant enough to come home and tell your spouse about (without boring him or her to death). Would you tell your spouse that you tweaked the company brochure? Probably not. But you’d certainly share the news that you launched your new website or reached $1M in annual revenues.

3. To Better Understand Your Competition

Creating the business plan forces you to analyze the competition. All companies have competition in the form of either direct or indirect competitors, and it is critical to understand your company’s competitive advantages. And if you don’t currently have competitive advantages, to figure out what you must do to gain them.

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4. To Better Understand Your Customer

Why do they buy when they buy? Why don’t they when they don’t? An in-depth customer analysis is essential to an effective business plan and to a successful business. Understanding your customers will not only allow you to create better products and services for them, but will allow you to more cost-effectively reach them via advertising and promotions.

5. To Enunciate Previously Unstated Assumptions

The process of actually writing the business plan helps to bring previously “hidden” assumptions to the foreground. By writing them down and assessing them, you can test them and analyze their validity. For example, you might have assumed that local retailers would carry your product; in your business plan, you could assess the results of the scenario in which this didn’t occur.

6. To Assess the Feasibility of Your Venture

How good is this opportunity? The business plan process involves researching your target market, as well as the competitive landscape, and serves as a feasibility study for the success of your venture. In some cases, the result of your planning will be to table the venture. And it might be to go forward with a different venture that may have a better chance of success.

7. To Document Your Revenue Model

How exactly will your business make money? This is a critical question to answer in writing, for yourself and your investors. Documenting the revenue model helps to address challenges and assumptions associated with the model. And upon reading your plan, others may suggest additional revenue streams to consider.

8. To Determine Your Financial Needs

Does your business need to raise capital? How much? One of the purposes of a business plan is to help you to determine exactly how much capital you need and what you will use it for. This process is essential for raising capital for business and for effectively employing the capital. It will also enable you to plan ahead, particularly if you need to raise additional funding in the future.

9. To Attract Investors

A formal business plan is the basis for financing proposals. The business plan answers investors’ questions such as: Is there a need for this product/service? What are the financial projections? What is the company’s exit strategy? While investors will generally want to meet you in person before writing you a check, in nearly all cases, they will also thoroughly review your business plan.

10. To Reduce the Risk of Pursuing the Wrong Opportunity

The process of creating the business plan helps to minimize opportunity costs. Writing the business plan helps you assess the attractiveness of this particular opportunity, versus other opportunities. So you make the best decisions.

11. To Force You to Research and Really Know Your Market

What are the most important trends in your industry? What are the greatest threats to your industry? Is the market growing or shrinking? What is the size of the target market for your product/service? Creating the business plan will help you to gain a wider, deeper, and more nuanced understanding of your marketplace. And it will allow you to use this knowledge to make decisions to improve your company’s success.

12. To Attract Employees and a Management Team

To attract and retain top quality talent, a business plan is necessary. The business plan inspires employees and management that the idea is sound and that the business is poised to achieve its strategic goals. Importantly, as you grow your company, your employees and not you will do most of the work. So getting them aligned and motivated will be key to your success.

13. To Plot Your Course and Focus Your Efforts

The business plan provides a roadmap from which to operate, and to look to for direction in times of doubt. Without a business plan, you may shift your short-term strategies constantly without a view to your long-term milestones. You wouldn’t go on a long driving trip without a map; think of your business plan as your map.

14. To attract partners

Partners also want to see a business plan, in order to determine whether it is worth partnering with your business. Establishing partnerships often requires time and capital, and companies will be more likely to partner with your venture if they can read a detailed explanation of your company.

15. To Position Your Brand

Creating the business plan helps to define your company’s role in the marketplace. This definition allows you to succinctly describe the business and position the brand to customers, investors, and partners. With the industry, customer and competitive insight you gain during the business planning process, you can best determine how to position your brand.

16. To Judge the Success of Your Business

A formal business plan allows you to compare actual operational results versus the business plan itself. In this way, it allows you to clearly see whether you have achieved your strategic, financing, and operational goals (and why you have or have not).

17. To Reposition Your Business to Deal with Changing Conditions

For example, during difficult economic conditions, if your current sales and operational models aren’t working, you can rewrite your business plan to define, try, and validate new ideas and strategies.

18. To Document Your Marketing Plan

How are you going to reach your customers? How will you retain them? What is your advertising budget? What price will you charge? A well-documented marketing plan is essential to the growth of a business. And the marketing strategies and tactics you use will evolve each year, so revisiting your marketing plan at least annually is critical.

19. To Understand and Forecast Your Company’s Staffing Needs

After completing your business plan, you will not be surprised when you are suddenly short-handed. Rather, your business plan provides a roadmap for your staffing needs, and thus helps to ensure smoother expansion. Importantly your plan can not only help you understand your staffing needs, but ensure your timing is right as it takes time to recruit and train great employees.

20. To Uncover New Opportunities

Through the process of brainstorming, white-boarding and creative interviewing, you will likely see your business in a different light. As a result, you will often come up with new ideas for marketing your product/service and running your business. It’s coming up with these ideas and executing on them which is often the difference between a business that fails or just survives and one that thrives.

Business Plan FAQs

What is a business plan.

A business plan is a document that details your business concept and strategy for growth.

A business plan helps guide your company's efforts and, if applicable, gives investors and lenders the information they need to decide whether or not to fund your company. A business plan template helps you to most easily complete your plan.

Why Do You Need a Business Plan?

A business plan provides details about your company, competition, customers and industry so that you make the best possible decisions to grow your company.

What is the Importance of a Business Plan?

The 3 most important purposes of a business plan are 1) to create an effective strategy for growth, 2) to determine your future financial needs, and 3) to attract investors (including angel investors and VC funding ) and lenders.

Why is a Business Plan Important to an Entrepreneur?

Business plans help entrepreneurs take their visions and turn them into tangible action plans for success.

Need help with your business plan? 

  • Speak with a professional business plan consultant from our team.
  • Use our simple business plan template .
  • Check out our business plan examples .
  • Or, if you’re creating your own PPM, you can save time and money with Growthink’s private placement memorandum template .
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The World’s #1 Business Plan Template

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California fast-food workers will get $20 minimum wage, starting Monday

Vanessa Romo

Vanessa Romo

Alina Selyukh 2016

Alina Selyukh

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A McDonald's worker hands food to a customer at a drive-thru window in Los Angeles, on Sept. 28. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

A McDonald's worker hands food to a customer at a drive-thru window in Los Angeles, on Sept. 28.

California fast-food workers cooking Big Macs or whipping Frappuccinos will start making a minimum wage of $20 an hour on Monday. For many, this means a 25% raise.

The new state minimum uniquely focuses on a particular segment, fast food, affecting some of the country's biggest chains, including McDonald's, Starbucks, Subway and Pizza Hut.

It's a big win for cooks, cashiers and other fast-food workers – some of the lowest-paid jobs in the U.S. – whose wages have been growing at a faster clip since the pandemic, after decades of stagnation.

California is one of the country's most expensive states; about half a million people are estimated to work in fast food here, mostly women, immigrants and people of color. Many live below the poverty line.

Uber and Lyft threaten to halt operations in Minneapolis over minimum wage law

Uber and Lyft threaten to halt operations in Minneapolis over minimum wage law

Sandra Jauregui from Sacramento is counting down the days to her first bigger paycheck in two weeks. After 18 years working at several Jack in the Box franchises, her pay will jump from $17.50 to $20. That means she could be bringing home another $120 each paycheck.

"It's super great," says Jauregui, 52, speaking in Spanish. "At the very least it'll give me some breathing room ... and make it easier to pay the rent and other bills."

Chipotle, McDonald's warn of price hikes, less work

But the dramatic pay raise has also touched off a heated debate about the impact on local businesses. Smaller franchise restaurant owners warn they'll have to raise prices, reduce worker's hours, cut jobs or even close shop.

California's pay hike is a result of a contentious deal struck by labor leaders, including the large Service Employees International Union, and fast-food companies last year. The new wage law applies to fast-food chains with at least 60 locations nationwide, with exemptions for some bakeries and smaller fast-food outposts inside grocery stores, airports and other venues.

Several fast-food executives have suggested prices would go up 2.5% to 3.5% to offset higher wages; Jack in the Box, Starbucks, McDonald's and Chipotle have all warned of upcoming price hikes. That's on top of price increases many restaurants have been rolling out for months. The cost of eating out has stubbornly inched higher even as inflation has cooled elsewhere .

Other chains plan to speed up their use of automation, including kiosks and robots. A major Pizza Hut franchisee cited the wage hike as the reason for layoffs of more than 1,000 delivery drivers this year, in a switch to apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash that pushes more delivery fees onto shoppers.

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One big Pizza Hut franchisee in California cited the upcoming wage hike as a reason for laying off more than 1,000 delivery drivers in a shift to delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

One big Pizza Hut franchisee in California cited the upcoming wage hike as a reason for laying off more than 1,000 delivery drivers in a shift to delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Franchisees weigh cuts to workers' hours

Many restaurant owners expect workers to be working fewer hours. That was the main side-effect a decade ago, when Seattle hiked its minimum wage to $15, research suggests .

"I am used to being a champion of labor and I'm in this odd position," says Michaela Mendelsohn, a longtime advocate for LGBT workers and also owner of six El Pollo Loco restaurants with about 170 employees.

Her restaurants lost shoppers after a pre-emptive price increase in February, she says. Now, the focus is on cutting costs by simplifying operations, changing how long it takes workers to make sauces, for example, or to close up for the night.

Minimum-wage workers in 22 states will be getting raises on Jan. 1

Minimum-wage workers in 22 states will be getting raises on Jan. 1

"We're having to get more efficient," Mendelsohn says. "So really what's left is ... to reduce labor hours. And I hate saying that."

In recent years, the battle for higher minimum wages has increasingly played out at the city, county and state levels as the federal minimum wallows at $7.25 an hour .

Broadly, California often sets the bar for many business decisions that other states later follow. Advocates hope something similar will happen with fast-food pay – spreading to other industries in the state and across the country.

California's minimum previously rose to $16 an hour on Jan. 1.

Workers are thrilled, but also anxious

Employers' warnings have left many workers with mixed feelings about the raise, despite the potential for extra spending power.

The Jack in the Box worker Jauregui, 52, has been cobbling together two salaries, working about 54 hours a week between the restaurant and a laundromat.

She says she's always trying to save a bit to treat her grandchildren – she has custody of three of them – who are constantly growing out of clothes and shoes. And although she marched alongside fellow SEIU members to win the wage increase, she is fearful of the downside.

These millionaires want to tax the rich, and they're lobbying working-class voters

These millionaires want to tax the rich, and they're lobbying working-class voters

"My boss told me that he won't reduce my hours but that he will cut others' hours," Jauregui said.

All this makes California's wage hike a high-profile case study for how exactly a higher minimum wage reverberates through the local economy.

"This policy is going to be really different in different parts of California," says Jacob Vigdor, professor of public policy and governance at the University of Washington, who has studied the effects of Seattle's 2014 minimum wage hike.

The research found that after the minimum wage rose from $9.47 to $13 – in the early years of the Fight For $15 labor campaign – workers generally didn't lose jobs even though they did lose hours. And they ended up with higher pay.

"The restaurant business is a really tough business," Vigdor says. "Restaurants open and close all the time, even in places where the minimum wage hasn't changed for more than a decade. ... Generally speaking, we found that in the restaurant industry, businesses were able to find ways to adapt to higher wage costs."

KQED's Farida Jhabvala Romero contributed to this report.

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Why is Japan changing its ban on exporting lethal weapons, and why is it so controversial?

FILE - Britain's Defense Minister Grant Shapps, right, Italy's Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, left, and Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, center, attend a joint press conference after a signing ceremony for Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) at the defense ministry on Dec. 14, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan. Japan’s Cabinet on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, approved a plan to sell future next-generation fighter jets that it’s developing with Britain and Italy to other countries, in the latest move away from the country’s postwar pacifist principles. (David Mareuil/Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE - Britain’s Defense Minister Grant Shapps, right, Italy’s Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, left, and Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, center, attend a joint press conference after a signing ceremony for Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) at the defense ministry on Dec. 14, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan. Japan’s Cabinet on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, approved a plan to sell future next-generation fighter jets that it’s developing with Britain and Italy to other countries, in the latest move away from the country’s postwar pacifist principles. (David Mareuil/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Britain’s Defense Minister Grant Shapps, right, Italy’s Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, left, and Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, center, shake hands after a signing ceremony for the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) at the defense ministry, Dec. 14, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan. (David Mareuil/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara speaks during a news conference at the parliament building in Tokyo on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, following the Cabinet’s decision to ease Japan’s strict defense equipment transfer rules. Japan’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to sell future next-generation fighter jets that it’s developing with Britain and Italy to other countries, in the latest move away from the country’s postwar pacifist principles. (Keisuke Hosojima/Kyodo News via AP)

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Cabinet OK’d a plan to sell future next-generation fighter jets to other countries on Tuesday, its latest step away from the pacifist principles the country adopted at the end of World War II.

The controversial decision to allow international arms sales is expected to help secure Japan’s role in a year-old project to develop a new fighter jet together with Italy and the U.K., but it’s also part of a move to build up Japan’s arms industry and bolster its role in global affairs.

For now, Tokyo says that it doesn’t plan to export co-developed lethal weapons other than the new fighters, which aren’t expected to enter service until 2035.

Here is a look at what the latest change is about and why Japan is rapidly easing weapons export rules.

WHAT’S CHANGING?

On Tuesday, the Cabinet approved a revision to its guidelines for selling defense equipment overseas, and authorized sales of the future jet. The government says that it has no plans to export other co-developed lethal weapons under the guidelines, and it would require Cabinet approval to do so.

Britain's Defense Minister Grant Shapps, right, Italy's Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, left, and Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, center, shake hands after a signing ceremony for the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) at the defense ministry, Dec. 14, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan. (David Mareuil/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Japan has long prohibited most arms exports under the country’s pacifist constitution, although it’s begun to take steps toward a change amid rising regional and global tensions. In 2014, it began to export some non-lethal military supplies, and last December, it approved a change that would allow sales of 80 lethal weapons and components that it manufactures under licenses from other countries back to the licensors. The change, which was made in December, cleared the way for Japan to sell U.S.-designed Patriot missiles to the United States, helping replace munitions that Washington is sending to Ukraine.

The decision on jets will allow Japan to export lethal weapons it co-produces to other countries for the first time.

WHAT IS THE NEW FIGHTER JET?

Japan is working with Italy and the U.K. to develop an advanced fighter jet to replace its aging fleet of American-designed F-2 fighters, and the Eurofighter Typhoons used by the U.K. and Italian militaries.

Japan, which was previously working on a homegrown design to be called the F-X, agreed in December 2022 to merge its effort with a British-Italian program called the Tempest. The joint project, known as the Global Combat Air Program, is based in the U.K., and hasn’t yet announced a new name for its design.

Japan hopes the new plane will offer better sensing and stealth capabilities amid growing tensions in the region, giving it a technological edge against regional rivals China and Russia.

WHY IS JAPAN CHANGING ITS STANCE ON ARMS EXPORTS?

In its decision, the Cabinet said that the ban on exporting finished products would hinder efforts to develop the new jet, and limit Japan to a supporting role in the project. Italy and the U.K. are eager to make sells of the jet in order to defray development and manufacturing costs.

U.K. Defense Minister Grant Shapps has repeatedly said Japan needs “updating” to not cause the project to stall.

Kishida sought Cabinet approval before signing the GCAP agreement in February, but it was delayed by resistance from his junior coalition partner, the Buddhist-backed Komeito party.

Exports would also help boost Japan’s defense industry, which historically has catered only to the country’s Self Defense Force, as Kishida seeks to build up the military. Japan began opening the door to some exports in 2014, but the industry has still struggled to win customers.

The change also comes as Kishida is planning an April state visit to Washington, where he is expected to stress Japan’s readiness to take a greater role in military and defense industry partnerships.

Japan sees China’s rapid military buildup and its increasing assertiveness as threats, especially growing tensions in the disputed East and South China Seas. Japan also sees increasing joint military exercises between China and Russia around Japan as a threat.

WHY ARE ARMS EXPORTS DIVISIVE?

Because of its wartime past as an aggressor and the devastation that followed its defeat in World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that limits its military to self-defense and long maintained a strict policy to limit transfers of military equipment and technology and ban all exports of lethal weapons.

Opposition lawmakers and pacifist activists have criticized Kishida’s government for committing to the fighter jet project without explaining to the public or seeking approval for the major policy change.

Recent polls show public opinion is divided on the plan.

To address such concerns, the government is limiting exports of co-developed lethal weapons to the jet for now, and has promised that no sales will be made for use in active wars. If a purchaser begins using the jets for war, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said, Japan will stop providing spare parts and other components.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Potential markets for the jet include the 15 countries with which Japan has defense partnership agreements, such as the United States, Germany, India and Vietnam. A defense official said Taiwan — a self-governed island that China claims as its own territory — is not being considered. He spoke on condition of anonymity due to briefing rules.

More weapons and components could be added to the approved list under the new export guidelines.

When Kishida goes to Washington in April, he’s likely to talk to U.S. leaders about potential new defense and weapons industry cooperation. The new policy could also help Japan push for a bigger role in alliances and regional defense partnerships like Australia, the U.S. and the U.K.'s AUKUS.

Follow AP’s Asia-Pacific coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

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Refunds for Benefytt customers who paid for health plans and products

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Did you pay  Benefytt , which also did business as “MyBenefitsKeeper,” for a health plan or product that didn’t deliver the comprehensive insurance coverage the company promised? You might be getting some of your money back.

The FTC will return nearly $100 million dollars to Benefytt customers who paid for health plans the FTC says were falsely marketed as comprehensive health insurance or an “Obamacare” plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Here’s what to know about refunds:

  • Customers who paid Benefytt $1,000 or more between 2017 and 2022 will get some money back. Checks will be mailed automatically and should arrive within the next two weeks.
  • Cash or deposit the check as soon as possible. Refund checks expire after 90 days. 
  • For more information or questions, call the refund administrator, Epiq Systems, at 888-574-3126.
  • The FTC never requires you to pay money or give account information to cash a refund check. Anyone who contacts you and says they’ll help you file for a refund or get your money back — if you pay them first — is a scammer.

Before you sign up for health coverage or products:

  • Compare plans, coverage, and prices at a trusted source .  HealthCare.gov and state marketplaces are the first stop for information about comprehensive, ACA-compliant health insurance coverage.
  • Find out more about the seller.  Ask for the name of the agent and the agency that's offering you a plan. Search online for the names plus “complaint,” “scam,” or “fraud.” Read what others are saying.
  • Check with your  state insurance commissioner’s office  to see if they have a license and find out if there are complaints. If they don’t have a license, what they’re selling is not insurance.

Resist pressure to make a decision on the spot. Legitimate health plans won’t pressure you to make a decision on the spot, and they’ll always give you a chance to compare their plan with other options.

Did you pay Benefytt for a health plan or product?  You might be getting a refund.  Learn more: ftc.gov/refunds

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I had over $15k in bills that I am being told to pay because they did not pay them and money that I paid towards and beyond the "deductible" for services and then was stuck. I spoke with several attorneys but nobody wanted to discuss.

As much as I appreciate the refund, 124.13. It doesn't touch the amount owed to the hospital. I do believe we still owe 37,000.00. Nor the premiums paid for nothing. The way I see it...is the big wigs of this scam, took our money and spent it on themselves. Sell everything they have and there families have to repay these people us. I'm sick over this debt of ours.

I have given them $15,184.80 in the past 10 years too my benefit keeper. I should be getting a big refund for this scam

ALTTHOUGH IM HAPPY THAT THIS WS NOTICED AND THE COMPANY WAS PUNISHED IT DOESNT MAKE UP FOR THE $10,000 THAT WAS LOST WITH THIS COMPANY IN BOGUS COVERAGES AND CLAIM ...$340 IS WHAT I GOT

In reply to ALTTHOUGH IM HAPPY THAT THIS… by TAYLOR ATCHISON

My refund was $197 even though I paid them over 3 years!

I've been paying for a Medicare plan I did not SIGNUP for. I NEVER had access to the company, the card, or the benefit letter. The company has many products listed that they deal with...and to even find the address and proper phone number has been a nightmare. I'm in process of reporting to FTC as my bank keeps getting mislead (3x s). Wish me luck $13,000.+ Has been deducted in total.

In reply to I've been paying for a… by EDrach.

Report Medicare fraud to Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Hulu on Disney+ launches Wednesday. What you need to know

Disney Bundle subscribers will now see integrated Hulu content on their Disney+ app.

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Subscribers of both Disney+ and Hulu can now access Hulu content through the Disney+ app, as the Burbank media and entertainment giant launched its one-app integration of the two streaming services Wednesday.

Known as Hulu on Disney+, the combined experience brings shows such as FX’s “The Bear” and Hulu Original “Only Murders in the Building” right onto the Disney+ homepage, allowing viewers to peruse those shows alongside already-existing Disney series and movies, such as “The Mandalorian” and “Loki.” Hulu content is also fully merged into search and recommendations.

The Bob Iger-led company announced plans in December to combine Hulu with Disney+ and initiated a beta test to see how viewers would react to the integration.

The move is part of Disney’s plan to increase viewer engagement and reduce churn on Disney+, which has 111.3 million subscribers globally. Disney has lost billions on its direct-to-consumer business as it tries to compete with Netflix, but the company has told investors that its streaming segment will begin to turn a profit by the end of fiscal 2024 . Streaming losses have been a key component of a nasty activist shareholder campaign ahead of next week’s annual meeting.

Disney+ has typically served up family-friendly content and major brands such as Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel, whereas Hulu’s offering has been the streaming home of more adult-oriented programming.

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Last week, Disney unveiled a political-style attack ad aimed at Peltz and his co-nominee, former Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo, which blasted the former’s credentials.

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Disney executives described the combined app experience as the most extensive technical advancement to the Disney+ streaming platform since it launched in November 2019 .

“Watching Hulu on Disney+ is going to be simple, easy and seamless,” Aaron LaBerge, president and chief technology officer of Disney Entertainment and ESPN, told reporters Tuesday. “It’s going to make it stickier and more engaging, which is also going to be great for our business.”

The price of the bundle plan starts at $9.99 with ads.

Here’s what this means for viewers and why Disney wanted to combine the two.

Hulu and Disney+ will still remain as standalone apps

Just because Hulu content will be available on Disney+ doesn’t mean the Hulu app is going away.

Both Hulu and Disney+ will still be available as standalone services, though Disney+ only subscribers will see more in-app options to upgrade to the combined service. Upgrading to the bundle of Hulu on Disney+ will start at $2 more per month, Disney said.

a Hulu remote button inside a mouse ears icon that is fading at the edges

As Disney looks for cost cuts, what’s the future of Hulu?

Walt Disney Co. took control of Hulu as part of its $71-billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Now Chief Executive Bob Iger says ‘everything is on the table.’

Feb. 14, 2023

Beta tests of the integrated app showed higher engagement

Though the beta test was more limited than the full combo seen Wednesday, Disney executives were pleased with what they saw.

Engagement with the one-app beta phase “exceeded our expectations across every single metric, with significant growth week over week,” said Joe Earley, president of Disney Entertainment’s direct-to-consumer division.

Those metrics included hours per subscriber, or the amount of time viewers spent watching; the percentage of subscribers who were watching; and the number of titles watched, he said.

“In every way that we were measuring and watching, the behavior exceeded it,” he said.

That’s important because increasing engagement and reducing churn helps to boost advertising dollars.

“It’s whole goal is to make happier subscribers ... provide them convenience, deeper engagement, better retention, increase the value of the Disney bundle for our subscribers,” Earley said.

The one-app experience still won’t include Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV will remain a standalone service “for the foreseeable future,” Earley said, describing the service as “very, very healthy” and “an important part” of the direct-to-consumer system.

Disney will get a taste of what this kind of live content integration could look like in June, when Latin American streaming service Star+ will be consolidated into Disney+ , a move that will bring the ESPN networks in Latin America into Disney+.

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Ronna McDaniel, TV News and the Trump Problem

The former republican national committee chairwoman was hired by nbc and then let go after an outcry..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.”

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Today, the saga of Ronna McDaniel and NBC and what it reveals about the state of television news headed into the 2024 presidential race. Jim Rutenberg, a “Times” writer at large, is our guest.

It’s Monday, April 1.

Jim, NBC News just went through a very public, a very searing drama over the past week, that we wanted you to make sense of in your unique capacity as a longtime media and political reporter at “The Times.” This is your sweet spot. You were, I believe, born to dissect this story for us.

Oh, brother.

Well, on the one hand, this is a very small moment for a major network like NBC. They hire, as a contributor, not an anchor, not a correspondent, as a contributor, Ronna McDaniel, the former RNC chairwoman. It blows up in a mini scandal at the network.

But to me, it represents a much larger issue that’s been there since that moment Donald J. Trump took his shiny gold escalator down to announce his presidential run in 2015. This struggle by the news media to figure out, especially on television, how do we capture him, cover him for all of his lies, all the challenges he poses to Democratic norms, yet not alienate some 74, 75 million American voters who still follow him, still believe in him, and still want to hear his reality reflected in the news that they’re listening to?

Right. Which is about as gnarly a conundrum as anyone has ever dealt with in the news media.

Well, it’s proven so far unsolvable.

Well, let’s use the story of what actually happened with Ronna McDaniel and NBC to illustrate your point. And I think that means describing precisely what happened in this situation.

The story starts out so simply. It’s such a basic thing that television networks do. As elections get underway, they want people who will reflect the two parties.

They want talking heads. They want insiders. They want them on their payroll so they can rely on them whenever they need them. And they want them to be high level so they can speak with great knowledge about the two major candidates.

Right. And rather than needing to beg these people to come on their show at 6 o’clock, when they might be busy and it’s not their full-time job, they go off and they basically put them on retainer for a bunch of money.

Yeah. And in this case, here’s this perfect scenario because quite recently, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee through the Trump era, most of it, is now out on the market. She’s actually recently been forced out of the party. And all the networks are interested because here’s the consummate insider from Trump world ready to get snatched up under contract for the next election and can really represent this movement that they’ve been trying to capture.

So NBC’S key news executives move pretty aggressively, pretty swiftly, and they sign her up for a $300,000 a year contributor’s contract.

Nice money if you can get it.

Not at millions of dollars that they pay their anchors, but a very nice contract. I’ll take it. You’ll take it. In the eyes of NBC execs she was perfect because she can be on “Meet the Press” as a panelist. She can help as they figure out some of their coverage. They have 24 hours a day to fill and here’s an official from the RNC. You can almost imagine the question that would be asked to her. It’s 10:00 PM on election night. Ronna, what are the Trump people thinking right now? They’re looking at the same numbers you are.

That was good, but that’s exactly it. And we all know it, right? This is television in our current era.

So last Friday, NBC makes what should be a routine announcement, but one they’re very proud of, that they’ve hired Ronna McDaniel. And in a statement, they say it couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team. So all’s good, right? Except for there’s a fly in the ointment.

Because it turns out that Ronna McDaniel has been slated to appear on “Meet the Press,” not as a paid NBC contributor, but as a former recently ousted RNC chair with the “Meet The Press” host, Kristen Welker, who’s preparing to have a real tough interview with Ronna McDaniel. Because of course, Ronna McDaniel was chair of the party and at Trump’s side as he tried to refuse his election loss. So this was supposed to be a showdown interview.

From NBC News in Washington, the longest-running show in television history. This is “Meet The Press” with Kristen Welker.

And here, all of a sudden, Kristin Welker is thrown for a loop.

In full disclosure to our viewers, this interview was scheduled weeks before it was announced that McDaniel would become a paid NBC News contributor.

Because now, she’s actually interviewing a member of the family who’s on the same payroll.

Right. Suddenly, she’s interviewing a colleague.

This will be a news interview, and I was not involved in her hiring.

So what happens during the interview?

So Welker is prepared for a tough interview, and that’s exactly what she does.

Can you say, as you sit here today, did Joe Biden win the election fair and square?

He won. He’s the legitimate president.

Did he win fair and square?

Fair and square, he won. It’s certified. It’s done.

She presses her on the key question that a lot of Republicans get asked these days — do you accept Joe Biden was the winner of the election?

But, I do think, Kristen —

Ronna, why has it taken you until now to say that? Why has it taken you until now to be able to say that?

I’m going to push back a little.

McDaniel gets defensive at times.

Because I do think it’s fair to say there were problems in 2020. And to say that does not mean he’s not the legitimate president.

But, Ronna, when you say that, it suggests that there was something wrong with the election. And you know that the election was the most heavily scrutinized. Chris Krebs —

It’s a really combative interview.

I want to turn now to your actions in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

And Welker actually really does go deeply into McDaniel’s record in those weeks before January 6.

On November 17, you and Donald Trump were recorded pushing two Republican Michigan election officials not to certify the results of the election. And on the call —

For instance, she presses McDaniel on McDaniel’s role in an attempt to convince a couple county commissioner level canvassers in Michigan to not certify Biden’s victory.

Our call that night was to say, are you OK? Vote your conscience. Not pushing them to do anything.

McDaniel says, look, I was just telling them to vote their conscience. They should do whatever they think is right.

But you said, do not sign it. If you can go home tonight, do not sign it. How can people read that as anything other than a pressure campaign?

And Welker’s not going to just let her off the hook. Welker presses her on Trump’s own comments about January 6 and Trump’s efforts recently to gloss over some of the violence, and to say that those who have been arrested, he’ll free them.

Do you support that?

I want to be very clear. The violence that happened on January 6 is unacceptable.

And this is a frankly fascinating moment because you can hear McDaniel starting to, if not quite reverse some of her positions, though in some cases she does that, at least really soften her language. It’s almost as if she’s switching uniforms from the RNC one to an NBC one or almost like breaking from a role she was playing.

Ronna, why not speak out earlier? Why just speak out about that now?

When you’re the RNC chair, you kind of take one for the whole team, right? Now, I get to be a little bit more myself.

She says, hey, you know what? Sometimes as RNC chair, you just have to take it for the team sometimes.

Right. What she’s really saying is I did things as chairwoman of the Republican National committee that now that I no longer have that job, I can candidly say, I wished I hadn’t done, which is very honest. But it’s also another way of saying I’m two faced, or I was playing a part.

Ronna McDaniel, thank you very much for being here this morning.

Then something extraordinary happens. And I have to say, I’ve never seen a moment like this in decades of watching television news and covering television news.

Welcome back. The panel is here. Chuck Todd, NBC News chief political analyst.

Welker brings her regular panel on, including Chuck Todd, now the senior NBC political analyst.

Chuck, let’s dive right in. What were your takeaways?

And he launches right into what he calls —

Look, let me deal with the elephant in the room.

The elephant being this hiring of McDaniel.

I think our bosses owe you an apology for putting you in this situation.

And he proceeds, on NBC’S air, to lace into management for, as he describes it, putting Welker in this crazy awkward position.

Because I don’t know what to believe. She is now a paid contributor by NBC News. I have no idea whether any answer she gave to you was because she didn’t want to mess up her contract.

And Todd is very hung up on this idea that when she was speaking for the party, she would say one thing. And now that she’s on the payroll at NBC, she’s saying another thing.

She has credibility issues that she still has to deal with. Is she speaking for herself, or is she speaking on behalf of who’s paying her?

Todd is basically saying, how are we supposed to know which one to believe.

What can we believe?

It is important for this network and for always to have a wide aperture. Having ideological diversity on this panel is something I prided myself on.

And what he’s effectively saying is that his bosses should have never hired her in this capacity.

I understand the motivation, but this execution, I think, was poor.

Someone said to me last night we live in complicated times. Thank you guys for being here. I really appreciate it.

Now, let’s just note here, this isn’t just any player at NBC. Chuck Todd is obviously a major news name at the network. And him doing this appears to just open the floodgates across the entire NBC News brand, especially on its sister cable network, MSNBC.

And where I said I’d never seen anything like what I saw on “Meet the Press” that morning, I’d never seen anything like this either. Because now, the entire MSNBC lineup is in open rebellion. I mean, from the minute that the sun comes up. There is Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

We weren’t asked our opinion of the hiring. But if we were, we would have strongly objected to it.

They’re on fire over this.

believe NBC News should seek out conservative Republican voices, but it should be conservative Republicans, not a person who used her position of power to be an anti-democracy election denier.

But it rolls out across the entire schedule.

Because Ronna McDaniel has been a major peddler of the big lie.

The fact that Ms. McDaniel is on the payroll at NBC News, to me that is inexplicable. I mean, you wouldn’t hire a mobster to work at a DA’s office.

Rachel Maddow devotes an entire half hour.

It’s not about just being associated with Donald Trump and his time in the Republican Party. It’s not even about lying or not lying. It’s about our system of government.

Thumbing their noses at our bosses and basically accusing them of abetting a traitorous figure in American history. I mean, just extraordinary stuff. It’s television history.

And let’s face it, we journalists, our bosses, we can be seen as crybabies, and we’re paid complaining. Yeah, that’s what we’re paid to do. But in this case, the NBC executives cannot ignore this, because in the outcry, there’s a very clear point that they’re all making. Ronna McDaniel is not just a voice from the other side. She was a fundamental part of Trump’s efforts to deny his election loss.

This is not inviting the other side. This is someone who’s on the wrong side —

Of history.

Of history, of these moments that we’ve covered and are still covering.

And I think it’s fair to say that at this point, everyone understands that Ronna McDaniel’s time at NBC News is going to be very short lived. Yeah, basically, after all this, the executives at NBC have to face facts it’s over. And on Tuesday night, they release a statement to the staff saying as much.

They don’t cite the questions about red lines or what Ronna McDaniel represented or didn’t represent. They just say we need to have a unified newsroom. We want cohesion. This isn’t working.

I think in the end, she was a paid contributor for four days.

Yeah, one of the shortest tenures in television news history. And look, in one respect, by their standards, this is kind of a pretty small contract, a few hundred thousand dollars they may have to pay out. But it was way more costly because they hired her. They brought her on board because they wanted to appeal to these tens of millions of Americans who still love Donald J. Trump.

And what happens now is that this entire thing is blown up in their face, and those very same people now see a network that, in their view, in the view of Republicans across the country, this network will not accept any Republicans. So it becomes more about that. And Fox News, NBC’S longtime rival, goes wall to wall with this.

Now, NBC News just caved to the breathless demands from their far left, frankly, emotionally unhinged host.

I mean, I had it on my desk all day. And every minute I looked at that screen, it was pounding on these liberals at NBC News driving this Republican out.

It’s the shortest tenure in TV history, I think. But why? Well, because she supports Donald Trump, period.

So in a way, this leaves NBC worse off with that Trump Republican audience they had wanted to court than maybe even they were before. It’s like a boomerang with a grenade on it.

Yeah, it completely explodes in their face. And that’s why to me, the whole episode is so representative of this eight-year conundrum for the news media, especially on television. They still haven’t been able to crack the code for how to handle the Trump movement, the Trump candidacy, and what it has wrought on the American political system and American journalism.

We’ll be right back.

Jim, put into context this painful episode of NBC into that larger conundrum you just diagnosed that the media has faced when it comes to Trump.

Well, Michael, it’s been there from the very beginning, from the very beginning of his political rise. The media was on this kind of seesaw. They go back and forth over how to cover him. Sometimes they want to cover him quite aggressively because he’s such a challenging candidate. He was bursting so many norms.

But at other times, there was this instinct to understand his appeal, for the same reason. He’s such an unusual candidate. So there was a great desire to really understand his voters. And frankly, to speak to his voters, because they’re part of the audience. And we all lived it, right?

But just let me take you back anyway because everything’s fresh again with perspective. And so if you go back, let’s look at when he first ran. The networks, if you recall, saw him as almost like a novelty candidate.

He was going to spice up what was expected to be a boring campaign between the usual suspects. And he was a ratings magnet. And the networks, they just couldn’t get enough of it. And they allowed him, at times, to really shatter their own norms.

Welcome back to “Meet the Press,” sir.

Good morning, Chuck.

Good morning. Let me start —

He was able to just call into the studio and riff with the likes of George Stephanopoulos and Chuck Todd.

What does it have to do with Hillary?

She can’t talk about me because nobody respects women more than Donald Trump.

And CNN gave him a lot of unmitigated airtime, if you recall during the campaign. They would run the press conferences.

It’s the largest winery on the East Coast. I own it 100 percent.

And let him promote his Trump steaks and his Trump wine.

Trump steaks. Where are the steaks? Do we have steaks?

I mean, it got that crazy. But again, the ratings were huge. And then he wins. And because they had previously given him all that airtime, they’ve, in retrospect, sort of given him a political gift, and more than that now have a journalistic imperative to really address him in a different way, to cover him as they would have covered any other candidate, which, let’s face it, they weren’t doing initially. So there’s this extra motivation to make up for lost ground and maybe for some journalistic omissions.

Right. Kind of correct for the lack of a rigorous journalistic filter in the campaign.

Exactly. And the big thing that this will be remembered for is we’re going to call a lie a lie.

I don’t want to sugarcoat this because facts matter, and the fact is President Trump lies.

Trump lies. We’re going to say it’s a lie.

And I think we can’t just mince around it because they are lies. And so we need to call them what they are.

We’re no longer going to use euphemisms or looser language we’re. Going to call it for what it is.

Trump lies in tweets. He spreads false information at rallies. He lies when he doesn’t need to. He lies when the truth is more than enough for him.

CNN was running chyrons. They would fact check Trump and call lies lies on the screen while Trump is talking. They were challenging Trump to his face —

One of the statements that you made in the tail end of the campaign in the midterms that —

Here we go.

That — well, if you don’t mind, Mr. President, that this caravan was an invasion.

— in these crazy press conferences —

They’re are hundreds of miles away, though. They’re hundreds and hundreds of miles away. That’s not an invasion.

Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings —

Well, let me ask — if I may ask one other question. Mr. President, if I may ask another question. Are you worried —

That’s enough. That’s enough.

And Trump is giving it right back.

I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.

Very combative.

So this was this incredibly fraught moment for the American press. You’ve got tens of millions of Trump supporters seeing what’s really basic fact checking. These look like attacks to Trump supporters. Trump, in turn, is calling the press, the reporters are enemies of the people. So it’s a terrible dynamic.

And when January 6 happens, it’s so obviously out of control. And what the traditional press that follows, traditional journalistic rules has to do is make it clear that the claims that Trump is making about a stolen election are just so abjectly false that they don’t warrant a single minute of real consideration once the reporting has been done to show how false they are. And I think that American journalism really emerged from that feeling strongly about its own values and its own place in society.

But then there’s still tens of millions of Trump voters, and they don’t feel so good about the coverage. And they don’t agree that January 6 was an insurrection. And so we enter yet another period, where the press is going to have to now maybe rethink some things.

In what way?

Well, there’s a kind of quiet period after January 6. Trump is off of social media. The smoke is literally dissipating from the air in Washington. And news executives are kind of standing there on the proverbial battlefield, taking a new look at their situation.

And they’re seeing that in this clearer light, they’ve got some new problems, perhaps none more important for their entire business models than that their ratings are quickly crashing. And part of that diminishment is that a huge part of the country, that Trump-loving part of the audience, is really now severed from him from their coverage.

They see the press as actually, in some cases, being complicit in stealing an election. And so these news executives, again, especially on television, which is so ratings dependent, they’ve got a problem. So after presumably learning all these lessons about journalism and how to confront power, there’s a first subtle and then much less subtle rethinking.

Maybe we need to pull back from that approach. And maybe we need to take some new lessons and switch it up a little bit and reverse some of what we did. And one of the best examples of this is none other than CNN.

It had come under new management, was being led by a guy named Chris Licht, a veteran of cable news, but also Stephen Colbert’s late night show in his last job. And his new job under this new management is we’re going to recalibrate a little bit. So Chris Licht proceeds to try to bring the network back to the center.

And how does he do that?

Well, we see some key personalities who represented the Trump combat era start losing air time and some of them lose their jobs. There’s talk of, we want more Republicans on the air. There was a famous magazine article about Chris Licht’s balancing act here.

And Chris Licht says to a reporter, Tim Alberta of the “Atlantic” magazine, look, a lot in the media, including at his own network, quote unquote, “put on a jersey, took a side.” They took a side. And he says, I think we understand that jersey cannot go back on him. Because he says in the end of the day, by the way, it didn’t even work. We didn’t change anyone’s mind.

He’s saying that confrontational approach that defined the four years Trump was in office, that was a reaction to the feeling that TV news had failed to properly treat Trump with sufficient skepticism, that that actually was a failure both of journalism and of the TV news business. Is that what he’s saying?

Yeah. On the business side, it’s easier call, right? You want a bigger audience, and you’re not getting the bigger audience. But he’s making a journalistic argument as well that if the job is to convey the truth and take it to the people, and they take that into account as they make their own voting decisions and formulate their own opinions about American politics, if tens of millions of people who do believe that election was stolen are completely tuning you out because now they see you as a political combatant, you’re not achieving your ultimate goal as a journalist.

And what does Licht’s “don’t put a jersey back on” approach look like on CNN for its viewers?

Well, It didn’t look good. People might remember this, but the most glaring example —

Please welcome, the front runner for the Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump.

— was when he held a town hall meeting featuring Donald J. Trump, now candidate Trump, before an audience packed with Trump’s fans.

You look at what happened during that election. Unless you’re a very stupid person, you see what happens. A lot of the people —

Trump let loose a string of falsehoods.

Most people understand what happened. It was a rigged election.

The audience is pro-Trump audience, was cheering him on.

Are you ready? Are you ready? Can I talk?

Yeah, what’s your answer?

Can I? Do you mind?

I would like for you to answer the question.

OK. It’s very simple to answer.

That’s why I asked it.

It’s very simple. You’re a nasty person, I’ll tell you that.

And during, the CNN anchor hosting this, Kaitlan Collins, on CNN’s own air, it was a disaster.

It felt like a callback to the unlearned lessons of 2016.

Yeah. And in this case, CNN’s staff was up in arms.

Big shakeup in the cable news industry as CNN makes another change at the top.

Chris Licht is officially out at CNN after a chaotic run as chairman and CEO.

And Chris Licht didn’t survive it.

The chief executive’s departure comes as he faced criticism in recent weeks after the network hosted a town hall with Donald Trump and the network’s ratings started to drop.

But I want to say that the CNN leadership still, even after that, as they brought new leadership in, said, this is still the path we’re going to go on. Maybe that didn’t work out, but we’re still here. This is still what we have to do.

Right. And this idea is very much in the water of TV news, that this is the right overall direction.

Yeah. This is, by no means, isolated to CNN. This is throughout the traditional news business. These conversations are happening everywhere. But CNN was living it at that point.

And this, of course, is how we get to NBC deciding to hire Ronna McDaniel.

Right. Because they’re picking up — right where that conversation leaves off, they’re having the same conversation. But for NBC, you could argue this tension between journalistic values and audience. It’s even more pressing. Because even though MSNBC is a niche cable network, NBC News is part of an old-fashioned broadcast network. It’s on television stations throughout the country.

And in fact, those networks, they still have 6:30 newscasts. And believe it or not, millions of people still watch those every night. Maybe not as many as they used to, but there’s still some six or seven million people tuning in to nightly news. That’s important.

Right. We should say that kind of number is sometimes double or triple that of the cable news prime time shows that get all the attention.

On their best nights. So this is big business still. And that business is based on broad — it’s called broadcast for a reason. That’s based on broad audiences. So NBC had a business imperative, and they argue they had a journalistic imperative.

So given all of that, Jim, I think the big messy question here is, when it comes to NBC, did they make a tactical error around hiring the wrong Republican which blew up? Or did they make an even larger error in thinking that the way you handle Trump and his supporters is to work this hard to reach them, when they might not even be reachable?

The best way to answer that question is to tell you what they’re saying right now, NBC management. What the management saying is, yes, this was a tactical error. This was clearly the wrong Republican. We get it.

But they’re saying, we are going to — and they said this in their statement, announcing that they were severing ties with McDaniel. They said, we’re going to redouble our efforts to represent a broad spectrum of the American votership. And that’s what they meant was that we’re going to still try to reach these Trump voters with people who can relate to them and they can relate to.

But the question is, how do you even do that when so many of his supporters believe a lie? How is NBC, how is CNN, how are any of these TV networks, if they have decided that this is their mission, how are they supposed to speak to people who believe something fundamentally untrue as a core part of their political identity?

That’s the catch-22. How do you get that Trump movement person who’s also an insider, when the litmus test to be an insider in the Trump movement is to believe in the denialism or at least say you do? So that’s a real journalistic problem. And the thing that we haven’t really touched here is, what are these networks doing day in and day out?

They’re not producing reported pieces, which I think it’s a little easier. You just report the news. You go out into the world. You talk to people, and then you present it to the world as a nuanced portrait of the country. This thing is true. This thing is false. Again, in many cases, pretty straightforward. But their bread and butter is talking heads. It’s live. It’s not edited. It’s not that much reported.

So their whole business model especially, again, on cable, which has 24 hours to fill, is talking heads. And if you want the perspective from the Trump movement, journalistically, especially when it comes to denialism, but when it comes to some other major subjects in American life, you’re walking into a place where they’re going to say things that aren’t true, that don’t pass your journalistic standards, the most basic standards of journalism.

Right. So you’re saying if TV sticks with this model, the kind of low cost, lots of talk approach to news, then they are going to have to solve the riddle of who to bring on, who represents Trump’s America if they want that audience. And now they’ve got this red line that they’ve established, that that person can’t be someone who denies the 2020 election reality. But like you just said, that’s the litmus test for being in Trump’s orbit.

So this doesn’t really look like a conundrum. This looks like a bit of a crisis for TV news because it may end up meaning that they can’t hire that person that they need for this model, which means that perhaps a network like NBC does need to wave goodbye to a big segment of these viewers and these eyeballs who support Trump.

I mean, on the one hand, they are not ready to do that, and they would never concede that that’s something they’re ready to do. The problem is barring some kind of change in their news model, there’s no solution to this.

But why bar changes to their news model, I guess, is the question. Because over the years, it’s gotten more and more expensive to produce news, the news that I’m talking about, like recorded packages and what we refer to as reporting. Just go out and report the news.

Don’t gab about it. Just what’s going on, what’s true, what’s false. That’s actually very expensive in television. And they don’t have the kind of money they used to have. So the talking heads is their way to do programming at a level where they can afford it.

They do some packages. “60 Minutes” still does incredible work. NBC does packages, but the lion’s share of what they do is what we’re talking about. And that’s not going to change because the economics aren’t there.

So then a final option, of course, to borrow something Chris Licht said, is that a network like NBC perhaps doesn’t put a jersey on, but accepts the reality that a lot of the world sees them wearing a jersey.

Yeah. I mean, nobody wants to be seen as wearing a jersey in our business. No one wants to be wearing a jersey on our business. But maybe what they really have to accept is that we’re just sticking to the true facts, and that may look like we’re wearing a jersey, but we’re not. And that may, at times, look like it’s lining up more with the Democrats, but we’re not.

If Trump is lying about a stolen election, that’s not siding against him. That’s siding for the truth, and that’s what we’re doing. Easier said than done. And I don’t think any of these concepts are new.

I think there have been attempts to do that, but it’s the world they’re in. And it’s the only option they really have. We’re going to tell you the truth, even if it means that we’re going to lose a big part of the country.

Well, Jim, thank you very much.

Thank you, Michael.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

[PROTESTERS CHANTING]

Over the weekend, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in some of the largest domestic demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Israel invaded Gaza in the fall.

[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

Some of the protesters called on Netanyahu to reach a cease fire deal that would free the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7. Others called for early elections that would remove Netanyahu from office.

During a news conference on Sunday, Netanyahu rejected calls for early elections, saying they would paralyze his government at a crucial moment in the war.

Today’s episode was produced by Rob Szypko, Rikki Novetsky, and Alex Stern, with help from Stella Tan.

It was edited by Brendan Klinkenberg with help from Rachel Quester and Paige Cowett. Contains original music by Marion Lozano, Dan Powell, and Rowan Niemisto and was engineered by Chris Wood. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.

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  • April 2, 2024   •   29:32 Kids Are Missing School at an Alarming Rate
  • April 1, 2024   •   36:14 Ronna McDaniel, TV News and the Trump Problem
  • March 29, 2024   •   48:42 Hamas Took Her, and Still Has Her Husband
  • March 28, 2024   •   33:40 The Newest Tech Start-Up Billionaire? Donald Trump.
  • March 27, 2024   •   28:06 Democrats’ Plan to Save the Republican House Speaker
  • March 26, 2024   •   29:13 The United States vs. the iPhone
  • March 25, 2024   •   25:59 A Terrorist Attack in Russia
  • March 24, 2024   •   21:39 The Sunday Read: ‘My Goldendoodle Spent a Week at Some Luxury Dog ‘Hotels.’ I Tagged Along.’
  • March 22, 2024   •   35:30 Chuck Schumer on His Campaign to Oust Israel’s Leader
  • March 21, 2024   •   27:18 The Caitlin Clark Phenomenon
  • March 20, 2024   •   25:58 The Bombshell Case That Will Transform the Housing Market
  • March 19, 2024   •   27:29 Trump’s Plan to Take Away Biden’s Biggest Advantage

Hosted by Michael Barbaro

Featuring Jim Rutenberg

Produced by Rob Szypko ,  Rikki Novetsky and Alex Stern

With Stella Tan

Edited by Brendan Klinkenberg ,  Rachel Quester and Paige Cowett

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Engineered by Chris Wood

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Ronna McDaniel’s time at NBC was short. The former Republican National Committee chairwoman was hired as an on-air political commentator but released just days later after an on-air revolt by the network’s leading stars.

Jim Rutenberg, a writer at large for The Times, discusses the saga and what it might reveal about the state of television news heading into the 2024 presidential race.

On today’s episode

need in a business plan

Jim Rutenberg , a writer at large for The New York Times.

Ronna McDaniel is talking, with a coffee cup sitting on the table in front of her. In the background is footage of Donald Trump speaking behind a lecture.

Background reading

Ms. McDaniel’s appointment had been immediately criticized by reporters at the network and by viewers on social media.

The former Republican Party leader tried to downplay her role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. A review of the record shows she was involved in some key episodes .

There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.

We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson and Nina Lassam.

Jim Rutenberg is a writer at large for The Times and The New York Times Magazine and writes most often about media and politics. More about Jim Rutenberg

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'Housewife prepper' reveals the 'backup plan' homeowners need to survive a disaster and take care of family

'housewife prepper' online accounts have garnered millions of views.

Jason Nelson, founder of PrepperBeef.com, explained how most people overlook how much food their family would need in case of a catastrophe, and gave tips on how to better prepare.

U.S. Army veteran who launched prepping food company shares how Americans can prep for emergencies

Jason Nelson, founder of PrepperBeef.com, explained how most people overlook how much food their family would need in case of a catastrophe, and gave tips on how to better prepare.

A Montana woman known as the "Housewife prepper" is helping millions of people get ready for emergencies and be prepared in the event of a natural disaster, conflict with a foreign nation or another pandemic.

The "Housewife Prepper" TikTok and Instagram pages were started in 2023 by Carrie, a California native who lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her husband, Colton.

Her first video was posted after last year's Chinese balloon incident when the high-altitude device flew across North American airspace. The U.S. Air Force eventually shot it down off the coast of South Carolina.

"I was like, oh my gosh, you know, this is a no-controlled situation. We need to start preparing for anything," Carrie told Fox News Digital. "We're allowing this other country in our airspace, like what's next?

WOULD YOU SURVIVE A DOOMSDAY SCENARIO? PREPPERS OFFER AMERICANS TIPS TO WEATHER A SUPPLY CHAIN CRISIS

Housewife prepper woman preparing for disaster

The popular "Housewife Prepper" accounts have garnered millions of views.  (Photo by Camille Delbos/Art In All of Us/Corbis via Getty Image / Getty Images)

The video included essentials people could utilize in case of a domestic attack, such as batteries, a solar crank radio and stockpiled water. After positive comments flooded in and the clip garnered over 4 million views in the first two weeks, Carrie continued offering followers advice.

While old media and Hollywood incarnations of the "prepper" are often depicted as paranoid, lonely men rampant with conspiracies, prepping has slowly become more mainstream, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a March report by Zion Market Research, the global survival tools market is expected to reach $2.46 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 7 percent from 2023 to 2030.

Companies have cropped up dedicated to freeze-dried food for long-term storage and large corporations like Costco have started supplying emergency food packages.

"We should all be aware of what's going on and take care of our families ourselves and not rely on the government to take care of us in a disaster situation," Carrie told Fox News Digital.

As a woman, Carrie naturally doesn't look the part of the once-fringe idea of prepping as depicted in television and movies. But her videos have been consumed by millions of people from all different demographics.

"Everyone should be prepping. Women, we are naturally gatherers, you know, we're the ones that go to the store and we do all the shopping. So, I think that's just I grew up with those traditional values and I'm using that in my marriage," she said.

BUNKERS AREN'T JUST FOR BILLIONAIRES: INSIDE UNDERGROUND SPACES FOR AVERAGE AMERICANS

Doomsday prepping

Doomsday prepping has grown significantly as an industry since the COVID-19 pandemic.  (Steve Pfost/Newsday RM /BSIP/Universal Images Group/Victor J. Blue/Cooper Neill/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Now, she is branching out, buying propane, emergency antibiotics and other things that help to provide. She said that women, who in the past have been described as nurturers, should be trying to prevent the worst in any situation, especially if they have kids.

Growing up in California, Carrie's father always made sure the family was prepared for earthquakes. He would stock her car with jumper cables, dried food and a "bug-out bag," a travel kit packed with survival supplies in case of rapid evacuation.

A typical bug-out bag, Carrie said, should include radios, batteries, first-aid kits, clothing, water packets, freeze-dried foods, radiation meters, and other electronic devices that can still operate in the event of a lightning or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike.

She said that experience instilled in her the importance of always being prepared for any disaster. Each family member, including children and pets, should have a designated bag that can last 72 hours.

After that point, Carrie said people should rely on the community, neighbors and friends and make sure everyone has access to tools that can be used to get water from buildings or siphon gas from a station or another vehicle. Water filters to retrieve clean liquid from a river or nearby lake could also prove useful.

At home, people can outfit their residences with solar panels, solar or tri-fuel generators that run on propane, natural gas, or petrol, freeze-dried goods, large drums of water, emergency medicines and kits, body heaters, extra flashlights, spare batteries, candles and respirators.

Carrie and Colton said personal self-defense should be the top focus for those preparing for a potential disaster.

JEFF BEZOS BUYS $68 MILLION MANSION IN MIAMI'S EXCLUSIVE ‘BILLIONAIRE BUNKER’

USA Bunker Company building process

Veteran-owned and operated USA Bunker Company offers shelters ranging from $21,000 to the upper-hundred of thousands. (ExSpar Inc/FOX News Digital / Fox News)

"If you live in Oklahoma, you need to prepare for tornadoes, Florida, hurricanes, Texas, maybe the border, you know, things like that. That's when carrying self-defense on you in any form comes in handy," Carrie added.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, demand significantly increased for self-defense and wilderness survival classes, suggesting that the public is accepting some of the core aspects of prepping. Carrie and Colton agreed.

"Most of the feedback that we received from followers, even our close friends and family, has been that shift, that prepping is more of a way of life and just something that needs to be done, not something that was negatively looked at," Colton continued.

One of the most surprising revelations, Carrie said, is that many young adults are preparing now more than ever.

"I think with food prices, people, if they see something on sale, they are buying it and they're stocking up," she said. "So, they're prepping for multiple reasons, food shortages, medication shortages, job loss, anything."

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS  

Colton compared the idea of prepping to fire escape plans rolled out in grade schools across the U.S., where students and staff are trained on what to do if the building is engulfed in flames.

"It's having a backup plan to the backup plan," he said.

need in a business plan

IMAGES

  1. 9 Key Elements of an Effective Business Plan

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  2. Creating a Business Plan: Why it Matters and Where to Start

    need in a business plan

  3. How to Create a Business Plan in 1 Day [Updated 2022]

    need in a business plan

  4. Writing A Business Plan

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  5. How to Write a Business Plan

    need in a business plan

  6. A Complete Guide On Small Business Plan Examples (2022)

    need in a business plan

COMMENTS

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

    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 ...

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

    Download Now: Free Business Plan Template. Writing a business plan doesn't have to be complicated. In this step-by-step guide, you'll learn how to write a business plan that's detailed enough to impress bankers and potential investors, while giving you the tools to start, run, and grow a successful business.

  3. How to Write a Simple Business Plan

    A business plan is a document that communicates a company's goals and ambitions, along with the timeline, finances, and methods needed to achieve them. Additionally, it may include a mission statement and details about the specific products or services offered. A business plan can highlight varying time periods, depending on the stage of your company and its goals.

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

    Learn about the best business plan software. 1. Write an executive summary. This is your elevator pitch. It should include a mission statement, a brief description of the products or services your ...

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

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

  6. How To Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps (2024)

    While your plan will be unique to your business and goals, keep these tips in mind as you write. 1. Know your audience. When you know who will be reading your plan—even if you're just writing it for yourself to clarify your ideas—you can tailor the language and level of detail to them.

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

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

  8. How to Write the Perfect Business Plan: 10 Essential Steps

    10 Steps To Creating A Comprehensive Business Plan. While not every business plan is the same, there are a few key steps you should take to create an effective and comprehensive document: ‍. 1. Create an executive summary. Think of an executive summary as your company's elevator pitch in written form.

  9. How to Write a Business Plan in 10 Steps

    Don't worry, you'll know how to write a business plan in no time. We've broken each section down to help you write a business plan in a few simple steps. 1. Brainstorm and Draft an Executive Summary for Your Business Plan. This will be the first page of your business plan.

  10. Your Complete Guide to Writing a Business Plan: What You Need ...

    6. Financials. The financial section of your business plan is critical, especially if you want to circulate the plan to investors or lenders. The purpose of this section is threefold: to 1) outline your business's financial plan, 2) demonstrate your profit potential, and 3) share your financing needs.

  11. 14 Critical Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

    Here's every reason why you need a business plan. 1. Business planning is proven to help you grow 30 percent faster. Writing a business plan isn't about producing a document that accurately predicts the future of your company. The process of writing your plan is what's important. Writing your plan and reviewing it regularly gives you a ...

  12. Business Plan

    Here is a basic template that any business can use when developing its business plan: Section 1: Executive Summary. Present the company's mission. Describe the company's product and/or service offerings. Give a summary of the target market and its demographics.

  13. 24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

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

  14. So Do You Really Need a Business Plan to Start a Business?

    When you need an untraditional business plan. An untraditional business plan is a shorter, more simplified version of a traditional business plan. These can range from a one-page mini plan to several pages focusing on just one part of a traditional business plan. Here's when an untraditional business plan can come in handy: 1.

  15. The Importance of a Business Plan: 10 Reasons You Need a Road Map For

    To outline the importance of business plans and make the process sound less daunting, here are 10 reasons why you need one for your small business. 1. To help you with critical decisions. The primary importance of a business plan is that they help you make better decisions. Entrepreneurship is often an endless exercise in decision making and ...

  16. 15 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan in 2024

    Here are our top 15 reasons why you should write a business plan. 1. Reduce your risk. Writing a business plan takes some of the risk out of starting a business. It ensures that you're thinking through every facet of your business to determine if it can truly be viable.

  17. 5 Reasons You Need a Business Plan for Long-Term Success

    A business plan is the best, and generally, the only acceptable way to provide this information. 2. A Business Plan Helps You Make Decisions. There are some sections in a traditional business plan that you simply cannot complete if you are on the fence, undecided, or not fully committed to a certain point. Business plans help you eliminate the ...

  18. 20 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan in 2024

    Top 20 Reasons Why you Need a Business Plan. 1. To Prove That You're Serious About Your Business. A formal business plan is necessary to show all interested parties — employees, investors, partners and yourself — that you are committed to building the business. Creating your plan forces you to think through and select the strategies that ...

  19. California fast-food workers will get $20 minimum wage, starting ...

    California fast-food workers cooking Big Macs or whipping Frappuccinos will start making a minimum wage of $20 an hour on Monday. For many, this means a 25% raise. The new state minimum uniquely ...

  20. Why is Japan changing its ban on exporting lethal weapons?

    The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business.

  21. Refunds for Benefytt customers who paid for health plans and products

    When it comes to small business loans, time is money. That was especially true early in the pandemic: when many small businesses were struggling to stay open, and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds were limited.

  22. Hulu on Disney+ launches Wednesday. What you need to know

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    The Sunday Read: 'My Goldendoodle Spent a Week at Some Luxury Dog 'Hotels.' I Tagged Along.'

  24. Business Cell Phone and Mobile Plans

    Account creation and initial purchase must be completed in one transaction. Taxes and fees apply. New line with device payment purchase agreement and Business Unlimited Pro plan required. iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 15, Google Pixel 8, Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S24 offers also available with Business Unlimited Plus plan. 0% APR.

  25. 'Housewife prepper' reveals the 'backup plan' homeowners need to

    According to a March report by Zion Market Research, the global survival tools market is expected to reach $2.46 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 7 percent ...