Using the LivePlan template

LivePlan's default outline is designed to be a complete starting business plan template for any type of company.

We're frequently asked for industry-specific templates, but because every business is unique, we recommend customizing our default outline to capture the details of your company. A general industry boilerplate may not accurately represent your company. 

Customizing the LivePlan template is straightforward - you can add, remove, or re-order any material in the default outline, and even add your own custom content.

 

What if I don't know what a business plan for my industry should look like?

To see how other, similar businesses have approached their business plans, you may want to use the library of sample business plans within LivePlan. Seeing how other entrepreneurs in your industry have expressed their business ideas can help inspire you to describe your business.

While we don't offer these sample plans as templates, you are always welcome to copy material out of them and paste it into your plan to use as a starting point for your editing.

We also publish industry guides for popular industries. These contain a lot of helpful details on starting companies in those industries.

 

What if I'm unsure what changes to make to my plan outline?

Keep in mind that the essential information in most business plans is quite similar. You'll need to explain how your company is solving a problem and who your target market is. You'll need to explain how you'll be distinct from your competitors. You'll need to build a forecast. All of that is the same in any industry.

If you're not sure how to customize the LivePlan outline, don't worry too much about it. You can start by filling in the default outline. As you do, you may be able to think of other details to add that would help describe the company you're starting. You can add these to your plan at any time.

In other words, don't worry about starting perfectly. Think of your business plan as a living document that evolves as you get deeper into starting your business.

 

Finding great ideas through market research

Another way to determine what information to include in your business plan is to conduct market research. We have a lot of helpful resources to get you started with that on our website Bplans.com:

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