The place to start and grow your business

Business Plan Tools and Examples

Thinking through your business idea carefully and putting together a solid business plan is essential for every entrepreneur. This is true whether or not you need to raise money to start up your business—even if you don’t need to approach a bank or other lender, putting your business plan into writing is a key step in the path to success.

Despite what many people think, business plans do not need to be complicated or intimidating. To help you get started, WESST offers a business plan template and a sample business plan, both downloadable from this page. Feel free to adapt the template to suit your own unique business needs.

Planning PhaseTools/Samples

Business Plan

Business Plan Outline (PDF)
A great business plan outline that provides a guide for information that you will need in order to start and grow your business. This outline can be used as part of WESST’s loan application process.

Sample Business Plan – Whispers in the Wind (PDF)
Get a sense of what a completed business plan looks like with this fictitious company.

Sample Mission Statements (PDF)
Every business should have a mission statement that provides a focus and direction for the company. It serves multiple purposes for the business like including it in your plan and posting it in your business so clients/customers know what your business mission is.

Goal Setting Worksheet (PDF)
A quick one-page worksheet to get you started thinking about your business.

Understanding Your Market

Industry Analysis Worksheet (PDF)
A quick worksheet to help you start analyzing your industry.

Marketing and Promotion Worksheet (PDF)
This worksheet helps you start thinking about your promotional strategy.

Marketing Methods Worksheet (PDF)
A sampling of marketing methods you can employ to promote your product or service. 

Defining Your Product

Product Analysis Worksheet (PDF)
A one-page worksheet that helps you really start narrowing in on what makes your product/service absolutely unique. Why would someone buy from you instead of your competitor? This is key information for your marketing strategy.

Pricing Worksheet (PDF)
This worksheet walks you through key price modeling, including break-even analysis.

Managing Your Finances

You may need to enable editing and enable content to use the spreadsheets in Excel.

Financial Statements Template (xls file)
A multiple tabbed spreadsheet that allows you to create pro-forma (projections) financial statements including Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Analysis

Multiple Product Break-Even Calculator (xls file)
This break-even model takes the Pricing Worksheet (above) to another level. Calculate your break-even analysis using four different products (or services). Instructions included in the workbook.

Startup/Expansion Cost Calculator (Interactive PDF)
A fillable PDF worksheet to tabulate your start-up/expansion costs.

Startup Risk and Startup Valuation Calculators (via EquityNet)
Gives a benchmark for start-up risk and valuation (you will be leaving the WESST website). Provided for informational purposes only. Always consult a CPA for actual valuation or start-up risk evaluations.