Home > Articles > How to Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps

How to Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps

April 11, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Starting a business without a business plan is quite possible. But why would you risk that, especially when you are investing thousands of dollars to set up your startup?  

Whether you aim to secure funding, need a roadmap to achieve business objectives, or want to attract the attention of stakeholders—having a well-crafted business plan is like an indispensable asset for your business. 

But writing a business plan is not that easy. One needs strategic direction, a bit of writing flair, and a thorough understanding of what each section should include. 

A lot for someone who has never written a business plan earlier in their life. 

Well, having a useful guide like this blogpost can nudge you in the right direction and teach you how to write for different business plan components. 

Ready to get started? Let’s dive right in. 

9 Steps to Write Your Business Plan 

From creating your executive summary to conducting market research and preparing your financial plan—here is a step-by-step guide to writing your business plan. 

  1. Draft your executive summary

An executive summary is the first and most important section of your business plan. 

It is after this section that an investor will decide whether or not to proceed with your business proposal. 

Begin this section by introducing your business idea and then summarize the key essentials of a plan in a compelling narrative. Highlight information relating to the market, product, team, competitors, financials, and business goals to help investors get a macro but thorough perspective. 

Also, write your executive summary only after you are done writing for the other aspects of a business plan. This will help you distill essential information and present it appropriately. 

  1. Write a brief company overview

A company overview is a detailed summary describing your business and its future objectives. It offers you a chance to tell your business story to the readers, so make sure it is engaging. 

Begin this section by detailing your company’s information like its name, location, ownership, and business structure.

Clarify if the business would be registered as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Also, introduce the partners if any, and discuss their profit-sharing ratio. 

In this section, you will also highlight the company’s vision statement, its business objectives, and future goals after evaluating your business fundamentals and core values. 

Lastly, don’t forget to talk about the milestones you have already achieved and the history of the company, if it has been operating for a long time. 

  1. Define your market research

Market research and analysis is a crucial part of your business plan. It shows that you have a thorough understanding of the market and the industry you are about to enter. 

In this section, you should talk about the market size and state of market in the current economy. Elaborate further by defining your Total Addressable Market (TAM), Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM), and Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) to help lenders get distilled clarity. 

Additionally, give an overview of your target market and create a buyer’s persona to show what your ideal customer looks like. Talk about the psychographic and demographic details of your ideal customer, i.e. age, gender, income, interests, pain points, behavioral pattern, etc. 

This is essential so that you can create strategies effective for your target market. 

Lastly, include details about the emerging trends in your industry and show how your product fits perfectly within that market. 

  1. Conduct competitor’s analysis

Competitor analysis is an aspect of market research that deeply studies the competitive landscape of your business. 

In this section of your business plan, you will identify your direct and indirect competition and analyze them on grounds of price, features, and target market. 

Such analysis will help you draw your competitive edge in the market. Not only that, it will show the lenders that competition will not come in the way of your business achieving its goals.   

  1. Describe your products and services

This section of your business plan explores your product and service offerings in great detail. 

Here, you will list down all the products and services that will bring money to your business. This includes all sorts of primary and secondary products/ services that are available for sale. 

For instance, if you are planning to start an online pet store, talk about all sorts of products, brands, and pet needs you will be catering to. Also, include the list of services like pet grooming, vet consultation, puppy training, and others you would be offering on your platform. 

When you list down the products also add a brief overview of those products and the prices to give lenders a thorough understanding. 

Instead of making this section purely textual, add infographics and HD images to it engaging and informative. 

  1. Explain your operational plan

This section of your business plan shows how you are going to run the business and turn the idea into a reality. 

It includes a detailed breakdown of each business procedure, right from the client acquisition, to training protocols, quality control practices, and everything else. 

It’s important that you take time and work on your operations plan as it most often works as a guidebook for running a business. 

Now if you are wondering what to include in your operations plan, here are a few things it must definitely have: 

  • Standard operating procedures for running different business activities. 
  • Logistics and distribution of products through different life cycles. 
  • Production workflow, if applicable. 
  • Details of supply chain like vendors and agreements. 
  • Details about the physical location of your business, its dimensions, agreements, etc. 
  • Equipment and technologies to perform everyday business activities and their details. 
  • Staff and hiring plan and an understanding of who will perform what tasks. 

Also, include your long-term plans and show how you plan to reach there with streamlined operations. 

Again, try to add infographics, charts, and diagrams wherever possible to make this section easily absorbable for the readers.  

  1. Outline your marketing and sales strategies

The marketing and sales section of your business plan offers an in-depth overview of your sales and marketing strategies. 

In this section, you will talk about your sales goals, forecasts, and methods to achieve those sales goals. Explain your plans to attract new customers and retain existing clients and discuss your sales strategy in detail.

Further, describe your marketing plan, budget, and methods to track the progress of different marketing activities. 

Dive into detail and explain how you will implement different marketing strategies like print media, pay-per-click, email marketing, social media marketing, events/ launch, and others. 

Overall, offer an overview of your strategies to achieve the most important objective of your business, sales. 

  1. Introduce your management team

Lenders and investors want to know if you have the right people on the team to pull off your business idea. Well, this is your chance to tell them about solid people on your team. 

Introduce the CEO and members of managerial positions in this section. Talk about their experience, expertise, skill sets, achievements, and how they make the right fit for your business. 

Don’t you worry about bragging. This is absolutely the right time to brag about your star team. 

Further, introduce people at the middle and lower levels and explain the organizational hierarchy in your business through a diagram. Also, add the approximate salaries of the people to give the readers a more nuanced understanding.  

  1. Offer detailed financial forecasts

This is the most critical part of your business plan, especially if you are planning to seek funding from investors. 

Now, there are many things you can include in your financial plan. However, if there are 3 quintessential it must include, those are: 

  • Income Statement
  • Balance Sheet 
  • Cash Flow Statement

While making the financial plan, include predictions and forecasts for up to 3-5 years so that investors can gauge the viability and feasibility of your business idea. 

Apart from these key statements, you can also include figures for start-up costs, the cost of goods sold (COGS), revenue forecasts, and break-even analysis in this section. 

Lastly, ensure that you add visual graphs, charts, and diagrams to make your finances easy to grasp and understand.

Let us now see if there is a way to write your business plan effectively without much effort.  

How does AI help in writing your Business Plan?

Writing a business plan from scratch without any assistance, template, or structure can be time-consuming. 

However, with AI making the rounds, it is easier than ever to perform creative and repetitive tasks, efficiently. Especially for someone who finds it difficult to transform their ideas into words, AI can make the task of writing a business plan much easier. 

Now, generative AI tools like Chat GPT and Bard can help you write the contents of your plan. However, they lack the understanding of specific nuances that a business plan must include. 

Using an AI business plan builder instead can be more effective as it structures and plans the contents specifically suited for a business plan. 

All you need to do is answer the questions relating to your business and let AI create a unique business ps easy to get a headstart and then make essential changes thereafter using AI assistance. 

AI will not only make the process less time-consuming, but it will also help in increasing the effectiveness of your business plan by working strategically on the content and structure. 


Business plans are quintessential for any business. Whether you are starting a new venture, expanding the current one, or seeking investment for your startup—having a solid business plan will give you a headstart in the right direction. 

Follow this step-by-step guide or get yourself an AI plan builder to write your business plan in no time. Get started now. 

Author BioUpmetrics is a #1 business planning app that helps small businesses and startups grow their business through effective planning and strategizing. This AI-powered tool offers resources for writing a business plan, financial forecasting, pitch deck creation, and strategy planning.  
Upmetrics offers a one-stop cost-effective solution to anyone and everyone who wants to grow and flourish their business with a solid business roadmap. 

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.