Sample Business Plans and Guidance

Sample Business Plans and Guidance

A business plan is not simply for obtaining financing or investors. Regardless of where you are in your operation, you need a business plan. It gives you a roadmap to follow, a measuring stick to help determine whether you are on track. Paying attention to your progress, measured against the stated goals in your business plan, allows you to make corrections in your course if you are not obtaining the results you had planned for.

While the idea of writing your own business plan from scratch may seem overwhelming, there are many resources available to assist you in developing a plan. Below are some you may want to refer to.

The following books are typically available at your local library, which we would recommend taking advantage of if you are trying to save some cash (one in particular is pricey.

business plans handbookBusiness Plans Handbook

Business Plans Handbook by Lynn Pearce is a collection of actual business plans. Within it, you’ll find 24 business plans for companies in industries such as manufacturing, retail, and service. The only changes are the names and addresses of the businesses. Get guidance on how to handle the initial stages of writing a plan, as well as how to structure it, and finally actually creating it.


complete book of business plansThe Complete Book of Business Plans

Cowritten by Brian Hazelgren and Joseph Covello, both entrepreneurs and consultants themselves,

The Complete Book of Business Plans covers everything you need to write a business plan. It addresses how much time you’ll need to create one, when you should start, and some of the major questions you should ask yourself before you commit to launching your business.

How to Write a Business planHow to Write a Business Plan

Written by Mike McKeever, How to Write a Business Plan covers everything from evaluating an idea to see if it has market potential to actually writing the business plan. It also covers how to structure your cash flow, create forecasts, and find sources of financing. It also provides tips for how to pitch to potential investors or lenders to win them over and secure that much-needed capital.


The Perfect Business planThe Perfect Business Plan Made Simple

William Lasher’s The Perfect Business Plan Made Simple offers comprehensive information for how to create a business plan, how to present to investors, creating financial forecasts, and much more. It provides samples of business plans as well as addressing legal issues, and special considerations for services and Internet businesses. It also covers how to create a marketing plan once your business is taking off. Free Sample Business Plans offers more than 500 examples of business plans. Plans are separated by category so you can browse samples similar to your own company. While you are free to use wording, specific phrases, and the structure in these examples, don’t just copy-paste from the business plans you see here! Sample Business Plans

The Center for Business Planning’s index of business plans includes entries in the University of Texas at Austin’s Moot Corp Competition, an event where leading MBAs go through a mock investment pitch. Each business plan in the library was a winner or finalist in this prestigious competition. The judges (venture capitalists) selected these plans as representing the best in marketing strategy and presentation.

In addition to sample plans, you may need statistical data to verify market size and other important details when doing the preliminary research for your business plan. The Cincinnati Library has a comprehensive directory of websites—all of which have been chosen and then reviewed by staff from the Information and Reference Department and Patents Department — to help you locate relevant government data. also has a great compilation of resources for how to start your own business. Get advice on identifying a market need, writing a business plan, and setting up a new venture, among other topics.

Of course, don’t forget your Cincinnati Score Counselor, a free resource available to assist you in developing your business plan. You can request a counselor here.

Brief on Business Plans


Leave a Comment

Name *