Suggested Business Plan Outline

Get started with your business plan. 


Suggested Business Plan Outline



1. Business Plan Summary


  • Describe your products and services
  • Describe the history of your business
  • Describe the legal structure of your business
  • Describe your experience in this business
  • Describe why the business is or will be successful


2. Market Analysis and Marketing


  • Describe your product and services, their features and benefits to the customer
  • How is your product made or how will your services be provided?
  • Who are your suppliers?
  • How will your services/products be delivered?
  • What is happening in your industry and how will this impact your business?
  • Who are your customers, how many will you have, what is important to them?
  • Who are your competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses and how can you capitalize on this?
  • What advantages do you have over your competitors?
  • What image will you have for the business?  Business cards, website, tag lines?
  • How will you set your prices?  How do your prices compare to your competition? What discounts or promotions might you offer?
  • How will you promote your business?


3.  Operations


  • Who will handle which functions in the business and what are their duties and qualifications?
  • How many employees will you have and what will be the cost of hiring?
  • What will the owners’ draw be?
  • Who will be your accountant, insurance agent, lawyer and other advisors?
  • What permits, licenses or other regulations are you required to have to operate your business?
  • How will you manage accounting, finances, record keeping, invoicing and accounts receivable?
  • How will you manage sales tax, payroll and other taxes?
  • What contingency plans do you have?


4.  Financials


  • Start Up Budget (new businesses)
  • Cash flow projection
  • Profit and Loss statements (existing businesses)
  • Loan Budget (if applying for finance)

About the author

Holly Perlowitz

Holly Perlowitz, CPA, serves as Business Development Manager for Community Capital New York. An experienced financial services professional with expertise in lending, operations, compliance and accounting/finance, Holly began her career in public accounting with Deloitte, followed by Chase and then Emigrant Bank, where she held a senior management role at Emigrant Mortgage Company. 
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from St. Thomas Aquinas College and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has served on the Board of Family Services of Westchester, the Advisory Board of the Center for Financial Education and chairs a committee for the Relay for Life Event in Ossining.