Using the LivePlan template

LivePlan's default outline is designed to be a complete starting business plan template for any 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 reorder any material in the default outline and even add your 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 from 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 guides contain many helpful details on starting companies in those industries.

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

Remember that most business plans' essential information 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. You can start by filling out 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

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

Was this article helpful?
16 out of 20 found this helpful