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Project Management Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

project management business plan

Project Management Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their project management companies.

If you’re unfamiliar with creating a project management business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process. For most entrepreneurs it is, but for you, it won’t be since we’re here to help. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.

In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write a project management business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your project management business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a project management business or grow your existing project management company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your project management business to improve your chances of success. Your project management business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Project Management Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a project management business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for project management companies.

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How to write a business plan for a project management business.

If you want to start a project management business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The guide below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your project management business plan.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of project management business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a project management business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of project management businesses?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan.

  • Give a brief overview of the project management industry.
  • Discuss the type of project management business you are operating.
  • Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers.
  • Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team.
  • Offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Overview

In your company overview, you will detail the type of project management business you are operating.

For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of project management businesses:

  • Marketing project management : this type of project management involves overseeing projects related to marketing and advertising.
  • Construction project management: this type of project management involves overseeing responsibilities related to planning and the logistics of a construction project.
  • Engineering project management: this type of project management is responsible for overseeing engineering projects to ensure they’re completed appropriately.
  • IT project management: this type of project management involves overseeing job duties such as establishing IT goals, overseeing the IT team’s processes and ensuring all project-related employees have the necessary resources to complete the project.

In addition to explaining the type of project management business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, the number of clients with positive outcomes, reaching X number of clients served, etc.
  • Your legal business Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the project management industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the project management industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends.

The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your project management business plan:

  • How big is the project management industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your project management business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your project management business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: small businesses, midsize companies and corporations.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of project management business you operate. Clearly, corporations would respond to different marketing promotions than small businesses, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other project management businesses.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This includes in-house employees, online programs, or software. You need to mention such competition as well.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as

  • What types of clients do they serve?
  • What type of project management business are they?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide your own staff?
  • Will you offer products or services that your competition doesn’t?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a project management business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of project management company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you provide consulting, scheduling, budgeting, or staffing?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your plan, you are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the site of your project management company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your project management business located in a business district, a standalone office, or purely online? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your project management marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
  • Attend industry events and tradeshows
  • Reach out to websites
  • Distribute flyers
  • Engage in email marketing
  • Advertise on social media platforms
  • Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your project management business, including answering calls, planning and providing project services, client interaction,  billing clients and/or vendors, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to book your Xth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your project management business to a new city.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your project management business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing project management businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a project management business or successfully running a small consulting firm.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you manage 5 clients per day, and/or offer consulting services? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your project management business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a project management business:

  • Cost of equipment and office supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a list of project management services you plan to offer.

Writing a business plan for your project management business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will understand the project management industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful project management business.

Project Management Business Plan Template FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my project management business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your project management business plan.

How Do You Start a Project Management Business?

Starting a project management business is easy with these 14 steps:

  • Choose the Name for Your Project Management Business
  • Create Your Project Management Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Project Management Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Project Management Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Project Management Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Project Management Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Project Management Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Project Management Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Project Management Business
  • Open for Business

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OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to see how a Growthink business planning advisor can create your business plan for you.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template For Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

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Blog Marketing

How to Write a Project Management Plan [4 Examples]

By Midori Nediger , Dec 11, 2023

Project Management Plan Blog Header

Have you ever been part of a project that didn’t go as planned?

It doesn’t feel good.

Wasted time, wasted resources. It’s pretty frustrating for everyone involved.

That’s why it’s so important to create a comprehensive project management plan   before your project gets off the ground.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to create and design a successful project management plan.

We’ll also showcase easy-to-customize project plan templates you can create today with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor. Let’s get started!

  Click to jump ahead:

What is a project management plan?

What are the 5 stages of a project management plan, what are the 7 components of a project management plan, 5 things you need to know before creating a project management plan, how do you write a project plan, the takeaway: project plan best practices.

A project management plan is a formal document that defines how a project is going to be carried out by outlining the scope, goals, budget, timeline and deliverables of a project. Its crucial role lies in ensuring the project stays on course.

You write a project plan  during the project planning stage of the  project life cycle , and it must be approved by stakeholders before a project can move on the execution stage.

If some of these terms are new to you, you can get up to speed with this post on project management terms . 

This means your project plan must be engaging, organized, and thorough enough to gain the support of your stakeholders.

business plan template project management

Further Reading : New to project management? Read our blog post on the 4 stages of the project life cycle .

The importance of a project management plan

A well-developed project management plan sets the foundation for a successful project by providing a roadmap that guides the project team toward successful project completion. A good project management plan can ensure that:

  • Project objectives and goals are clearly defined and understood
  • Project scope is effectively managed
  • Resources are allocated efficiently to maximize productivity and minimize waste
  • Risks are identified, assessed and mitigated
  • Project tasks and activities are well-organized and executed in a timely manner.
  • Communication among team members , stakeholders and project sponsors is effective and transparent
  • Changes to the project are properly evaluated, approved and implemented
  • Lessons learned and best practices are documented for future reference and improvement
  • Stakeholders are engaged and satisfied with the project outcomes
  • The project is delivered within the specified timeline, budget and quality standards

The Project Management Institute (PMI) outlines five key stages of the project management plan, which are commonly known as the project management process groups. These stages provide a framework for managing projects effectively. The five stages are as follows:

Initiation: This is the first stage of the project management plan. It involves identifying and defining the project’s purpose, objectives and scope.

Planning: In the planning stage, detailed plans are developed to guide the execution and control of the project. This includes defining project deliverables, developing a project schedule, estimating resources and costs, identifying risks and creating a comprehensive project management plan.

Execution: The execution stage involves putting the project plan into action. Project tasks are performed, resources are allocated and project team members work towards achieving project objectives.

Monitoring and Control: During this stage, project progress is regularly monitored and actual performance is compared against planned performance. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are tracked, and necessary adjustments are made to keep the project on track. This stage involves assessing risks, addressing issues and changes and ensuring that project objectives are being met.

Closure: The closure stage marks the end of the project. It involves finalizing all project activities, completing any remaining deliverables, obtaining client or stakeholder approval,and formally closing out the project. Lessons learned are documented and a project review is conducted to identify areas for improvement in future projects.

It’s important to note that these stages are iterative, and project management is often an ongoing process. Throughout the project lifecycle, project managers may need to revisit and adjust plans based on changing circumstances and new information.

Before you start assembling your own plan, you should be familiar with the main components of a typical project plan .

A project management plan should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary: A short description of the contents of the report
  • Project Scope & Deliverables: An outline of the boundaries of the project, and a description of how the project will be broken down into measurable deliverables
  • Project Schedule: A high-level view of project tasks and milestones ( Gantt charts are handy for this)
  • Project Resources: The budget, personnel, and other resources required to meet project goals
  • Risk and Issue Management Plan: A list of factors that could derail the project and a plan for how issues will be identified, addressed, and controlled
  • Communication Management Plan: A plan for how team and stakeholder communication will be handled over the course of the project
  • Cost and Quality Management Plan: This section encompasses the project’s budget, cost estimation,and cost control mechanisms. It also includes quality assurance and control measures as well as any testing or verification activities to be performed.

Basically, a project plan should tell stakeholders what needs to get done, how it will get done, and when it will get done.

That said, one size doesn’t fit all. Every project management plan must be tailored to the specific industry and circumstances of the project. You can use a project management app for smoother project planning.

For example, this marketing plan looks client facing. It is tailored to sell the client on the agency:

business plan template project management

Whereas this commercial development plan focuses on specific objectives and a detailed timeline:

Light Commercial Development Project Management Plan Template

With those basics out of the way, let’s get into some tips for creating a project management plan that’s as engaging as it is professional.

Further Reading : If you’re looking to create a proposal, read our in-depth business proposal guide. Then try our job proposal templates or business proposal templates .

Before diving into creating a project management plan, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the project objectives and the expectations of stakeholders involved.

Without a firm grasp of these fundamental elements, your project may face significant challenges or fail to deliver the desired outcomes.

Here are key points to consider when creating a project management plan:

  • Project Objectives: Clearly understand the project objectives and what you want to achieve. Identify the desired outcomes, deliverables and the purpose of the project.
  • Scope of the Project: Determine the boundaries and extent of the project. Define what is included and excluded to ensure clarity and prevent scope creep .
  • Stakeholders: Identify all stakeholders who will be impacted by or have an interest in the project. Understand their needs, expectations and level of involvement.
  • Resources: Assess the resources required to execute the project successfully. This includes human resources, budget, equipment and materials. Determine their availability and allocation.
  • Risks and Constraints: Identify potential risks, uncertainties and constraints that may affect the project. Understand the challenges, limitations and potential obstacles that need to be addressed.

Now that you have these key areas identified, let’s get started with creating your project plan!

To write a successful project plan, follow these 5 steps below to create an effective project plan that serves as a valuable tool for project management:

1. Highlight the key elements of your project plan in an executive summary  

An executive summary is a brief description of the key contents of a project plan .

I t’s usually the first thing stakeholders will read, and it should act like a Cliff’s-notes version of the whole plan.

It might touch on a project’s value proposition, goals, deliverables, and important milestones, but it has to be concise (it is a summary, after all). First, make sure you develop a proof of concept .

In this example, an executive summary can be broken into columns to contrast the existing problem with the project solution:

business plan template project management

The two-column format with clear headers helps break up the information, making it extremely easy to read at a glance.

Here’s another example of a project management plan executive summary. This one visually highlights key takeaways with big fonts and helpful icons:

business plan template project management

In this case, the highlighted facts and figures are particularly easy to scan (which is sure to make your stakeholders happy).

But your executive summary won’t always be so simple.

For larger projects, your executive summary will be longer and more detailed.

This project management plan template has a text-heavy executive summary, though the bold headers and different background colors keep it from looking overwhelming:

Green Stripes Project Management Plan Template

It’s also a good idea to divide it up into sections, with a dedicated header for each section:

business plan template project management

Regardless of how you organize your executive summary, it should give your stakeholders a preview of what’s to come in the rest of the project management plan.

2. Plot your project schedule visually with a Gantt chart

A carefully planned project schedule is key to the success of any project. Without one, your project will likely crumble into a mess of missed deadlines, poor team management, and scope creep.

Luckily, project planning tools like Gantt charts and project timelines make creating your project schedule easy. You can visually plot each project task, add major milestones, then look for any dependencies or conflicts that you haven’t accounted for.

For example, this Gantt chart template outlines high-level project activities over the course of an entire quarter, with tasks color-coded by team:

business plan template project management

A high-level roadmap like the one above is probably sufficient for your project management plan. Every team will be able to refer back to this timeline throughout the project to make sure they’re on track.

But before project kickoff, you’ll need to dig in and break down project responsibilities by individual team member, like in this Gantt chart example:

business plan template project management

In the later execution and monitoring phases of the project, you’ll thank yourself for creating a detailed visual roadmap that you can track and adjust as things change.

You can also use a project management tool to keep your team organized.

Further Reading:   Our post featuring  Gantt chart examples  and more tips on how to use them for project management.

3. Clarify the structure of your project team with a team org chart

One of the hardest aspects of project planning is assembling a team and aligning them to the project vision.

And aligning your team is all about communication–communicating the project goals, communicating stakeholder requests, communicating the rationale behind big decisions…the list goes on.

This is where good project documentation is crucial! You need to create documents that your team and your stakeholders can access when they have questions or need guidance.

One easy thing to document visually is the structure of your team, with an organizational chart like this one:

business plan template project management

In an organizational chart you should include some basic information like team hierarchy and team member contact information. That way your stakeholders have all of the information they need at their fingertips.

But in addition to that, you can indicate the high-level responsibilities of each team member and the channels of communication within the team (so your team knows exactly what they’re accountable for).

Here’s another simple organizational structure template that you can use as a starting point:

business plan template project management

Create an organizational chart with our organizational chart maker .

4. Organize project risk factors in a risk breakdown structure

A big part of project planning is identifying the factors that are likely to derail your project, and coming up with plans and process to deal with those factors. This is generally referred to as risk management .

The first step in coming up with a risk management plan is to list all of the factors at play, which is where a risk breakdown structure comes in handy. A risk breakdown structure is a hierarchical representation of project risks, organized by category.

This risk breakdown structure template, for example, shows project risk broken down into technical risk, management risk, and external risk:

business plan template project management

Once you’ve constructed your risk breakdown structure, you’ll be ready to do a deep dive into each risk (to assess and plan for any triggers and outcomes).

Streamline your workflow with business process management software .

5. Plan ahead: create project status reports to communicate progress to stakeholders

As I mentioned earlier, communication is fundamental in any project.

But even so, something that’s often overlooked by project managers is a communication management plan–a plan for how the project team is going to communicate with project stakeholders . Too often, project communication defaults to ad-hoc emails or last-minute meetings.

You can avoid this by planning ahead. Start with a project kickoff meeting and include a project status report template as part of your communication plan.

Here’s an example of a simple project status report that you might send to stakeholders on a weekly basis:

business plan template project management

This type of report is invaluable for communicating updates on project progress. It shows what you’ve accomplished in a clear, consistent format, which can help flag issues before they arise, build trust with your stakeholders , and makes it easy to reflect on project performance once you’ve reached your goals.

You might also want to include a broader status report for bigger updates on a monthly or quarterly basis, like this one:

business plan template project management

The above template allows you to inform stakeholders of more major updates like new budget requirements, revised completion dates, and project performance ratings.

You can even include visualization of up-to-date project milestones, like this example below:

business plan template project management

Want more tips on creating visuals to enhance your communications? Read our visual communication guide for businesses . 

4 Project management plan examples

A project management plan is probably the most important deliverable your stakeholders will receive from you (besides the project itself).

It holds all of the information that stakeholders will use to determine whether your project moves forward or gets kicked to the curb.

That’s why it’s a good idea to start with a project management plan template. Using a template can help you organize your information logically and ensure it’s engaging enough to hold your stakeholders’ attention.

Construction bid proposal template

Your construction bid proposal is probably competing against several other bidders. So, it’s important to get it right.

Start with a meticulous project overview, like in the second page of this template:

business plan template project management

Though you may think this project will be similar to others you’ve done in the past, it’s important to nail the details.

This will also help you understand the scope of work so you can estimate costs properly and arrive at a quote that’s neither too high or low. Ontario Construction News has great advice on this process.

Simple project management plan template

This simple project management plan template that clearly lays out all of the information your stakeholders will need:

business plan template project management

Simple project management communication plan template

A key part of project management is making sure everyone’s in the loop. A project communication plan ensures everyone knows how, where, who and when the team will communicate during the course of the project. Also construction scheduling is a critical aspect of the project management plan as it helps to ensure that all necessary tasks are completed within the allocated time frame and budget.

The key is to figure out what kind of communications is valuable to stakeholders and what is simply overwhelming and won’t lead to better decisions.

This template clearly outlines all of these factors to help manage expectations and eliminate confusion about what will get communicated and when:

Simple Project Management Communication Plan Template

Commercial development project plan template

The below project management plan template is simple and minimal, but still uses a unique layout and simple visuals to create an easy-to-read, scannable project overview.

This template is perfect for building or construction management , or any technical projects:

Nordic Commercial Development Project Plan Template

When picking a project plan template, look for one that’s flexible enough to accommodate any changes your stakeholders might request before they’ll approve the project. You never know what might change in the early planning stages of the project! You can also use project management tools to help you with your planning!

  • Use headers, columns, and highlights to make your executive summary easy to read
  • Plot your project schedule with a Gantt chart (with tasks color-coded by department or team member)
  • Use visuals like organizational charts and risk breakdown structures to communicate across your team and with stakeholders
  • Pick a flexible template that you can update to align with stakeholder requests

Project Management Plan: Samples, Examples & Free Template

Learn how to create a project management plan that actually works and ensures you get your project over the line on time and on budget, with samples and examples

Table of Contents

What is a project management plan, what is a project management plan used for, what are the main elements of a project plan, how to write a project management plan, sample project management plan outline, using our project management plan template to build your project plan, project management plan: faq's.

A project management plan is a comprehensive document that outlines how a project will be executed, monitored, controlled and closed. For project managers and their teams, it's the ultimate toolkit for achieving their objectives while managing day-to-day pressures such as time, cost, scope, resourcing and risk. This guide outlines what a project management plan is used for, why it's important , and offers a step-by-step guide on how to make one that actually works.

Your project plan document is where you go deep on the ins, outs, overs, and unders of your project. It's where you break this vision down into the day-to-day execution of your project, covering everything you need to do to reach your project goals.

A detailed project plan will plot out everything from timelines to budget, resourcing to deliverables, and more, giving you a blueprint of what needs to be done (and when) that you can use to guide — and assess — your project.

The key components of a project management plan are:

Project Objectives

Scope Statement

Schedule Management

Cost Management

Resource Management

Communication Plan

Stakeholder Management

Procurement Management

Closure Criteria

Project Organization

Ready to get down to business? Here are 5 key things you need to do when writing a project plan.

1. Identify the baselines for your project

Before you begin writing a project plan, you need to make sure you have the basics down. Start by identifying the baselines for the project’s scope, schedule and cost, as the rest of your project planning will need to fit in around those constraints.

As mentioned above, these baselines should already be roughly outlined in your project charter — but here’s where you really start to map them out and create accurate estimates. And the more detailed, the better, because these are what you’ll be using for comparison to measure how your project performs.

2. Identify your project dependencies

Or in other words, ask yourself: what needs to happen before this other thing can happen? Identifying your project dependencies at the outset of your project means you can plan your timelines more efficiently, spot potential blockers, and ensure that you avoid unnecessary delays.

3. Identify project stakeholders

You’ll already have done the groundwork for this in your stakeholder analysis, but as you flesh out your project management plan and think through the phases of your project in more detail, you’ll likely start to find more project stakeholders at each phase.

Now is also a good time to go deeper on which stakeholders need to be informed and involved at which stages, for a more comprehensive stakeholder management plan you can use at each phase of your project.

4. Identify project milestones

What are the key markers of your project’s progress? It can be a concrete deliverable, the end of a phase in a stage-gate process — whatever milestones make sense to you, breaking your project down into manageable chunks, each with a defined goal, helps to keep the team motivated, allows you to celebrate each achievement, and signposts how the overall progress is coming along.  Learn more about using Milestones here .

planned vs actual milestones Teamwork

5. Identify who’s responsible for what

Once you start to get a big-picture understanding of the work that’s needed and the resources you have to complete it, you can start deciding who should do what. Giving each item an owner is essential to getting things done. No more “oh, was I supposed to do that?” — once you identify who’s responsible for what, you can ensure accountability and transparency.

The 5 Stages of Team Development

The 5 Stages of Team Development

All teams develop according to some natural patterns and using that knowledge, you can offer some guidance to build the kind of team that communicates well and finds better ways to collaborate and achieve the goals you’ve established. Here’s what you need to know.

Now let's go through a sample project plan. In the below example, we highlight the main sections of the plan and what needs to be included in each one to set your project up for success.

Section 1: Executive summary

The executive summary offers a concise overview of the entire project. It includes key highlights such as the project's purpose, objectives, scope, timeline, budget, and major stakeholders. It's often the first section stakeholders read to get a high-level understanding of the project.

Section 2: Project introduction

This section sets the stage by providing context and background information about the project. It explains why the project is being undertaken and introduces the main objectives and scope of the project.

Section 3: Project objectives

Here, the project's specific goals and objectives are outlined in detail. Objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to provide clarity and guidance.

Section 4: Project scope

The scope section defines what is included and excluded from the project. It helps prevent scope creep by establishing clear boundaries and also mentions any assumptions and constraints that may affect the project.

Section 5: Schedule management

This section details the project's timeline, including milestones and deadlines. It breaks down the project into tasks and identifies task dependencies. Often, visual representations like Gantt charts are used for clarity.

Section 6: Cost management

Here, the project budget is presented, including cost estimates for various project components. It may also outline cost control measures to ensure the project stays within budget.

Section 7: Quality management

This section focuses on the quality standards and objectives for the project. It describes quality control and assurance processes, as well as any inspection and testing procedures that will be implemented.

Project management template

Save time on setup without sacrificing attention to detail. With our project management template, you can quickly create project management plans that help you complete your project on time and on budget.

Section 8: Resource management

In this section, the project team is introduced, and roles and responsibilities are defined. It addresses resource allocation, scheduling, and, if applicable, procurement needs.

Section 9: Risk management

The risk management section identifies potential risks and uncertainties that could impact the project. It discusses risk assessment, prioritization, and mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of these risks.

Section 10: Communication plan

The communication plan outlines how project information will be shared with stakeholders and team members. It specifies communication methods, frequency, and reporting channels to ensure effective communication throughout the project.

Section 11: Stakeholder management

This section lists project stakeholders and analyzes their interests, influence, and expectations. It also outlines strategies for engaging and managing these stakeholders to ensure their needs are addressed.

Section 12: Procurement management

If procurement of goods or services is involved, this section explains the procurement strategy, vendor selection criteria, and how contracts will be managed.

Section 13: Change management

Change management procedures are detailed here, including how changes to the project scope, schedule, or other aspects will be requested, evaluated, approved, and communicated.

Section 14: Closure criteria

Criteria for determining when the project is complete and ready for closure are specified in this section. It may also include plans for project handover and post-project evaluation.

Section 15: Project organization

This section describes the project team's structure, roles, and responsibilities, ensuring everyone understands their positions and reporting lines. It may also mention external stakeholders and their roles if applicable.

Once you’ve documented your project management plan, bring it to life with a project management tool that will help you to stay on track, keep your team accountable, and promote transparency.

Here are 3 ways you can use to supercharge your project management plan.

Add your supporting documentation to Teamwork Spaces


Use the and Teamwork Spaces integration to link a project in with a space in Teamwork Spaces, so your important project documents are only ever a click away.

Some documents you might want to add in addition to your project charter and project management plan include:

Scoping documents

Risk assessments

Change management plans

SOPs for important project processes

List of stakeholders and their roles

Outline of approval processes

Communications management plan

Any other best practices documentation or supporting info as necessary

You can even embed task lists into your pages and mark tasks as complete right from Teamwork Spaces, so you can keep work flowing without even needing to switch tabs.

Start adding your Milestones

Break down your work into Milestones and task lists that are going to help you reach them. With, you can assign an owner to each Milestone, map out your Milestone due dates and see them represented in the project calendar, and even get a full change history for milestones so you can track any edits.

Visualize your task dependencies with a Gantt chart

Gantt chart-style views are a useful way to get a visual representation of your tasks and their dependencies, allowing for better scheduling and resourcing. In, you can drag and drop to quickly rearrange your project schedule , without throwing everything out of order or straying off-plan.

Remember: software should support the way you work, not dictate it. So regardless of methodology or team type, create a project plan that works for you and your team — and find a tool that helps you put it into action.

Use our project plan template

Now that you know how to create a project management plan that actually works, you’re ready to implement using our team management software . To help you get up and running quickly, we’ve created a ready to use project plan template . Our project template will help you quickly create project plans that ensure all of your projects are completed on time and on budget

What is a project management plan template?

A project management plan template is a pre-designed framework that provides a structured format for creating a project management plan. It serves as a starting point for project managers and teams to develop their specific project plans, saving time and ensuring that key project management components are properly addressed.

How can a template help you build a great project management plan?

A template can help you build a great project management plan by saving time, ensuring comprehensive coverage of project management aspects, and incorporating industry best practices and visual aids for clarity. They also support collaboration, version control, and customization to fit the unique needs of each project, making them a valuable tool for project managers in achieving successful project outcomes.

What is the main purpose of a project management plan?

The main purpose of a project management plan is to provide a comprehensive and structured roadmap for successfully executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing a project. It serves as a central document that outlines project objectives, scope, schedule, budget, quality standards, resource allocation, risk management strategies, and communication approaches.

What tools do I need to help manage a project plan?

To effectively manage a project plan, you'll need a set of tools and software that cover various aspects of project management. These include project management software, communication and collaboration platforms, file and document management solutions, time and task tracking apps, and budgeting and financial management tools.

What steps are involved in the project planning process?

The steps involved in the project planning process include defining specific project objectives and scope, identifying deliverables and key milestones, budgets, risk assessment and quality control measures. It should also include a communication plan and stakeholder engagement strategies.

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Project Plan Template

Get your Project Plan Template for Word or open it in ProjectManager, the best way to manage your projects online.

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Download this free project plan template for Word to scope your work and break it down into manageable components; then schedule and assign the tasks needed to complete your project.

You can also use this project management plan template to manage workloads and tasks as changes occur. A project plan is the foundation of the work you do to lead a project to successful completion.

Once everything is sorted on the Word doc, open ProjectManager’s free project plan template. It lets you build a dynamic project plan that can be managed in five different project views: Gantt chart, task list, kanban board, calendar and spreadsheet. Plus, your team can collaborate on the project in real time and track progress along the way with dashboards and instant status reports. Get started for free with ProjectManager and build a better project plan.

Free project plan template

What Is a Project Plan Template?

A project plan template is a document that compiles all the guidelines and procedures the project management team needs to execute a project. Project plan templates allow project managers to save time during the project planning phase and also help them ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

How to Use This Project Plan Template

Project planning starts with a thorough project plan document. Follow these planning steps to ensure that your project plan covers all project aspects. This means you’ll be less likely to run into surprises.

1. Planning Basis

Project scope.

Begin with the project scope. What activities and tasks as defined in your project must be completed to make the project a success? Use the project charter as a springboard. You can also use a work breakdown structure to identify all the activities, tasks, deliverables and milestones of your project.

Project Milestones

Based on your project charter or work breakdown structure, note the milestones or major events or phases in your project, and collect them in a chart with three columns for the milestone, a description and its delivery date. Examples of milestones are when the business case is approved when the project team is appointed or the project management office is established.

Project Management Phases

The next step is detailing the phases of the project, which is defined as a set of activities, such as the project’s initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closure. These should also be noted in a chart with the phase followed by a description of it and its sequence.

Project Tasks

You need to note the tasks that are necessary to complete the project, too. There are many project tasks such as developing a quality plan, formulating supplier contracts and performing project closure. Write them out in a chart listing the phase, activity, description and sequence.

Effort & Resource Requirements

This leads to the effort likely needed to complete the above tasks. List the task with the amount of time you believe necessary to finish the task. This in turn goes hand in glove with resources, so you want to take the task and attach a resource or team member to it. This is the person responsible for completing the task.

2. Project Plan

Project schedule.

Now you’re ready to create a project schedule from the summary above. Use the phases and activities to create a Gantt chart to easily visualize the project timeline, the work needed and its duration.

Task Dependencies

You want to add the dependencies, or tasks that are linked to others and can potentially block team members if not done in a timely and sequential manner. In fact, there are four types of task dependencies: finish-to-start, finish-to-finish, start-to-start and start-to-finish. List the key dependencies in a chart with the activity, what it depends on and the type of dependency.

Project Assumptions and Constraints

List any assumptions you have about the project. Then note the project constraints. Finally, in an appendix, you’ll want to attach the supporting documentation, such as the project schedule, business case, feasibility study, project charter, etc.

3. Budget, Risk and Change Management

Project budget.

The project budget is one of the most critical components of any project plan. That’s because the project budget determines the amount of money available for your project. Therefore, you need to be very careful when creating yours.

First, gather your project tasks, identify the resource requirements for each and lastly estimate their costs. Once you have the costs for each project task, you can add them to get your estimated project cost value. That value will be your cost baseline and the base for your project budget.

Every project plan needs a risk management section. Our project plan template has a risk log so you can list the potential risks that could affect your project plan. From there you can develop your risk mitigation strategies and assign risk owners.

Change Management Process

Every project plan needs to be changed during the execution phase for several reasons. For example, new project requirements might arise and cause changes to the original plan. As a project manager, you must oversee how changes are made to your project. Our change management log helps you keep track of any changes made to your project plan.

4. Appendix

Each project management plan is unique, and its components might vary depending on the requirements of your project. These are the most commonly used documents:

  • Project Budget Template
  • Change Request Template
  • Change Order Template
  • Scope Management Plan
  • Cost Management Plan
  • Risk Management Plan

Why You Need a Project Plan Template

Now that you’ve downloaded the free project plan template, you are ready to get your project on track to a successful completion! The project plan is crucial, as it is the fundamental project planning document from which your project is formally managed.

The project plan is made up of goals, activities, tasks and resources needed to complete the project as outlined in the project business case and the project charter. You want to have a description of the major phases of the project, a schedule of activities, tasks and their duration, dependencies, resources, timeframes, etc. Then list the assumptions and constraints in the project planning process.

When you’re creating a project management plan, follow these steps: note the project scope, identify milestones and tasks, estimate costs, quantify the effort required, allocate the resources, make a schedule , list dependencies and document it for approval. Your project management plan template needs to incorporate components such as the scope management plan, cost management plan and schedule management plan, among others.

A Project Plan Template, showing the first steps in the form-fillable project management plan template document

While the business case from earlier in the project planning process may offer a general project view, the project plan goes into greater detail once the project scope and charter are formalized and a team is hired. Although you write the project plan during the project planning phase, it doesn’t stay in a drawer once complete. This project plan template should be considered a living document that’ll be revisited and referred to throughout the project life cycle. This is because the project management plan is a roadmap that project managers use during the execution phase when they need information about the project schedule, costs, scope and budget.

Once your document is finalized, it’s time to build a dynamic project plan and schedule. Project planning software can help you transfer your project plan onto a Gantt chart so you can create a timeline, schedule work, design phases, attach documents and track progress along the way. Then share the plan with your team, who can use multiple project views, such as the task list, sheet, calendar and kanban board.

ProjectManager's kanban view

When Do I Use the Project Plan Template?

The project management life cycle is made up of five phases: the initiation phase, the planning phase, the execution phase, the monitoring and the closure phase. Planning comes in after you’ve initiated the project but before it’s executed.

For example, during the initiation phase, there are many documents that are created to set up the project plan, such as a feasibility study to identify the problem you want to solve, the scope of the project and the deliverables you want. This feeds into the business case , which compares costs versus benefits. The statement of work (SOW) looks at the project goals, objectives, scope and deliverables.

These don’t constitute a project plan, but they do lay the foundation on which you’ll build your plan. This is when you take the broad strokes from the initiation phase and break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Each of these tasks must be achieved within the project timeframe.

Who Uses the Project Plan Template?

It’s important to note that the project manager is tasked with the ownership of creating the project plan, but work isn’t done in isolation. The project manager must work in congress with the team, experts and others who can provide insight and guidance into developing a realistic project management plan.

Teams are assembled for their skills and experience working on such projects, so it makes sense that you need ideas on how to plan the project. Of course, the team will have access to the project plan throughout the execution phase of the project. They’ll be assigned tasks and be responsible for delivering them on time and within budget.

Others who will use the project plan include stakeholders and executives, or anyone with a vested interest in the successful outcome of the project. The project manager will present to these groups throughout the project life cycle to keep them abreast of progress and ensure that actual progress matches what’s been outlined in the project plan.

Free Project Management Templates

There are dozens of free project management templates for Word and Excel available on our site. Some of them are useful during the project planning process. Here are a few that can help build your project plan.

Action Plan Template

Your project plan has to align with a larger strategy which is outlined in an action plan. The free action plan template provides you with a space to lay out the needed steps and concrete tasks to reach your project goal. The action plan gives you a frame in which to capture the main thrust of the project to help you prioritize tasks in your plan.

Gantt Chart Template

The Gantt chart is the workhorse of project management planning. It’s a visual tool that organizes your tasks on a timeline . It helps you prioritize and set durations for each task, shows phases and breaks up larger projects into more manageable phases.

WBS Template

Another key tool when building your project schedule is the work breakdown structure (WBS). This is a technique for working backward from your final deliverable to outline each step that gets you there. It’s a thorough way to make sure you don’t miss any puzzle pieces of your larger project. This project management template takes you through that process.

Related Content

Now that you’ve downloaded your free project management plan template and it reflects your project plan, you’re ready for the job at hand. But, whether you’re a project management journeyman or apprentice, you never want to stay complacent. Industries and businesses don’t stand still, and you have to do your best to stay up-to-date on new trends.

There are many free project management templates and topics of discussion on ProjectManager that can be easily filtered to bring you the content that’s most relevant to your interests. Subjects include, but aren’t limited to, project management software, scheduling, risk and task management, collaboration, time tracking, Gantt charts, reporting and, of course, planning.

As the subject at hand is planning, we’ve compiled three of the most recent and relevant posts on project planning. Enjoy!

  • Project Documentation: 15 Essential Project Documents
  • How to Choose a Project Planner
  • How to Create a Program Management Plan
  • Agile Sprint Plan Template

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ProjectManager is a great project planning tool. It offers the features you need to plan, track and report on your project. There are online and interactive Gantt charts that take the pain out of having to build one manually.

The software is also online so it’s easy to access from anywhere and on any device. Better still, it makes sharing necessary documents and tasks easy, and both the project manager and team members can get automated notifications to streamline the reporting process.

Why not plan your next project on ProjectManager? Our project management software has been repeatedly ranked #1 on Gartner’s GetApp in its project management software category. ProjectManager has been helping businesses both big and small to lead their projects to success, including such innovative organizations as NASA.

Our project management software is big enough to handle the largest and most complex project planning challenges while being user-friendly and intuitive. There’s no learning curve or long and involved training involved, and a team of customer service reps is available to answer any question you may have. Sign up for a free 30-day trial today and start planning your projects online.

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Project Management Plan

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If you are someone with a decent knowledge of planning, strategizing, and increasing a company’s profit through it, then a project management business might be your cup of tea.

Several business owners want their business’s voice to be heard and recognized, but with a hundred other tasks to do, they are left with no time to plan or look back on the progress of their strategies. And here’s where project management teams can help.

And if you are planning to start your project management business, you’ll need a project management business plan.

We have created a project management plan template for you to get a good idea about what a perfect project management plan should look like and what details you should include in your plan.

Industry Overview

The project management market was valued at 5.37 billion dollars in 2020 and is expected to rise going forward too.

The major reason behind the rise of this market is the value addition and results in it offers. Also, as project managers become experts at what they do, the demand and value of their services rise too.

But at the same time, you must have proof that your services can add value to your client’s business. Proper planning and in-depth knowledge of the industry and its trends can help you do that.

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Things to Consider Before Writing Project Management Business Plan

Identify your niche.

Although you might be tempted to take up different projects, you need to niche down and find out which area you want to turn into your area of expertise. Taking up similar projects helps you find out and develop optimal solutions to the major problems that exist in that market.

Note down your deliverables

Note down what would be included in your set of deliverables. It helps you set the right customer expectations and also helps you manage your resources more effectively.

Note down common risks in the industry

Smart people learn from other people’s mistakes, and so should you. Analyze common risks and how to avoid them, so you get to provide better services to your clients. It also helps you get through common problems that hold other businesses back. Hence, it is necessary to analyze common risks for the betterment of your business.

Find out ways to reach out to your potential customers

There would be definite ways that would help you reach out to potential customers better and faster. Your business needs to find these mediums and market your business to help you increase your audience’s awareness regarding your brand. It also ensures that you get results equivalent to your marketing efforts.

Such mediums could be a specific social networking site, email, websites, print ads, online communities, and so on. You should research to find out which is the best for your niche.

Chalking Out Your Business Plan

The project management plan is required to understand how the project will be executed, monitored, controlled, and closed during the project development life cycle.

Before you start writing your project management plan, spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of project management plans.

Not only will that give you a good idea of what it is you’re aiming for, but it will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their plans.

Project Management Plan Outline

This is the standard project management plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Project Purpose, Objectives, and Success Criteria
  • Project Deliverables
  • Assumptions, Dependencies, and Constraints
  • Definitions and Acronyms
  • Evolution of the Plan
  • External Interfaces
  • Internal Structure
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Estimation Plan
  • Staffing Plan
  • Staff Training Plan
  • Resource Acquisition Plan
  • Project Commitments
  • Data Control Plan
  • Requirements Control Plan
  • Schedule Control Plan
  • Budget Control Plan
  • Communication, Tracking, and Reporting Plan
  • Metrics Collection Plan
  • Risk Management Plan
  • Financial Management Plan (Cost/Budget Management)
  • Issue Resolution Plan
  • Project Close-Out Plan
  • Process Model
  • Methods, Tools, and Techniques
  • Configuration Management Plan
  • Quality Assurance Plan
  • Documentation Plan
  • Process Improvement Plan

After  getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this project management plan template into your plan and modify the required information and download your project management plan pdf and doc file. It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your plan.

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Download a sample project management business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free project management business plan pdf to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your project management business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

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About the Author

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Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more

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10 Free Business Plan Templates in Word, Excel, & ClickUp

ClickUp Contributor

February 13, 2024

Turning your vision into a clear and coherent business plan can be confusing and tough. 

Hours of brainstorming and facing an intimidating blank page can raise more questions than answers. Are you covering everything? What should go where? How do you keep each section thorough but brief?

If these questions have kept you up at night and slowed your progress, know you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve put together the top 10 business plan templates in Word, Excel, and ClickUp—to provide answers, clarity, and a structured framework to work with. This way, you’re sure to capture all the relevant information without wasting time. 

And the best part? Business planning becomes a little less “ugh!” and a lot more “aha!” 🤩

What is a Business Plan Template?

What makes a good business plan template, 1. clickup business plan template, 2. clickup sales plan template, 3. clickup business development action plan template, 4. clickup business roadmap template, 5. clickup business continuity plan template, 6. clickup lean business plan template, 7. clickup small business action plan template, 8. clickup strategic business roadmap template , 9. microsoft word business plan template by microsoft, 10. excel business plan template by vertex42.

A business plan template is a structured framework for entrepreneurs and business executives who want to create business plans. It comes with pre-arranged sections and headings that cover key elements like the executive summary , business overview, target customers, unique value proposition, marketing plans, and financial statements.  

A good business plan template helps with thorough planning, clear documentation, and practical implementation. Here’s what to look for:

  • Comprehensive structure: A good template comes with all the relevant sections to outline a business strategy, such as executive summary, market research and analysis, and financial projections 
  • Clarity and guidance: A good template is easy to follow. It has brief instructions or prompts for each section, guiding you to think deeply about your business and ensuring you don’t skip important details
  • Clean design: Aesthetics matter. Choose a template that’s not just functional but also professionally designed. This ensures your plan is presentable to stakeholders, partners, and potential investors
  • Flexibility : Your template should easily accommodate changes without hassle, like adding or removing sections, changing content and style, and rearranging parts 🛠️ 

While a template provides the structure, it’s the information you feed it that brings it to life. These pointers will help you pick a template that aligns with your business needs and clearly showcases your vision.

10 Business Plan Templates to Use in 2024

Preparing for business success in 2024 (and beyond) requires a comprehensive and organized business plan. We’ve handpicked the best templates to help you guide your team, attract investors, and secure funding. Let’s check them out.

ClickUp Business Plan Template

If you’re looking to replace a traditional business plan document, then ClickUp’s Business Plan Template is for you!

This one-page business plan template, designed in ClickUp Docs , is neatly broken down into the following sections:

  • Company description : Overview, mission, vision, and team
  • Market analysis : Problem, solution, target market, competition, and competitive advantage
  • Sales and marketing strategy : Products/services and marketing channels
  • Operational plan : Location and facilities, equipment and tools, manpower, and financial forecasts
  • Milestones and metrics: Targets and KPIs

Customize the template with your company logo and contact details, and easily navigate to different sections using the collapsible table of contents. The mini prompts under each section guide you on what to include—with suggestions on how to present the data (e.g., bullet lists, pictures, charts, and tables). 

You can share the document with anyone via URL and collaborate in real time. And when the business plan is ready, you have the option to print it or export it to PDF, HTML, or Markdown.

But that’s not all. This template is equipped with basic and enterprise project management features to streamline the business plan creation process . The Topics List view has a list of all the different sections and subsections of the template and allows you to assign it to a team member, set a due date, and attach relevant documents and references.

Switch from List to Board view to track and update task statuses according to the following: To Do, In Progress, Needs Revision, and Complete. 

This template is a comprehensive toolkit for documenting the different sections of your business plan and streamlining the creation process to ensure it’s completed on time. 🗓️

ClickUp Sales Plan Template

If you’re looking for a tool to kickstart or update your sales plan, ClickUp’s Sales Plan Template has got you covered. This sales plan template features a project summary list with tasks to help you craft a comprehensive and effective sales strategy. Some of these tasks include:

  • Determine sales objectives and goals
  • Draft positioning statement
  • Perform competitive analysis
  • Draft ideal customer persona
  • Create a lead generation strategy

Assign each task to a specific individual or team, set priority levels , and add due dates. Specify what section of the sales plan each task belongs to (e.g., executive summary, revenue goals, team structure, etc.), deliverable type (such as document, task, or meeting), and approval state (like pending, needs revisions, and approved).

And in ClickUp style, you can switch to multiple views: List for a list of all tasks, Board for visual task management, Timeline for an overview of task durations, and Gantt to get a view of task dependencies. 

This simple business plan template is perfect for any type of business looking to create a winning sales strategy while clarifying team roles and keeping tasks organized. ✨

ClickUp Business Development Action Plan Template

Thinking about scaling your business’s reach and operations but unsure where or how to start? It can be overwhelming, no doubt—you need a clear vision, measurable goals, and an actionable plan that every member of your team can rally behind. 

Thankfully, ClickUp’s Business Development Action Plan Template is designed to use automations to simplify this process so every step toward your business growth is clear, trackable, and actionable.

Start by assessing your current situation and deciding on your main growth goal. Are you aiming to increase revenue, tap into new markets, or introduce new products or services? With ClickUp Whiteboards or Docs, brainstorm and collaborate with your team on this decision.

Set and track your short- and long-term growth goals with ClickUp’s Goals , break them down into smaller targets, and assign these targets to team members, complete with due dates. Add these targets to a new ClickUp Dashboard to track real-time progress and celebrate small wins. 🎉

Whether you’re a startup or small business owner looking to hit your next major milestone or an established business exploring new avenues, this template keeps your team aligned, engaged, and informed every step of the way.

ClickUp Business Roadmap Template

ClickUp’s Business Roadmap Template is your go-to for mapping out major strategies and initiatives in areas like revenue growth, brand awareness, community engagement, and customer satisfaction. 

Use the List view to populate tasks under each initiative. With Custom Fields, you can capture which business category (e.g., Product, Operations, Sales & Marketing, etc.) tasks fall under and which quarter they’re slated for. You can also link to relevant documents and resources and evaluate tasks by effort and impact to ensure the most critical tasks get the attention they deserve. 👀

Depending on your focus, this template provides different views to show just what you need. For example, the All Initiatives per Quarter view lets you focus on what’s ahead by seeing tasks that need completion within a specific quarter. This ensures timely execution and helps in aligning resources effectively for the short term.

This template is ideal for business executives and management teams who need to coordinate multiple short- and long-term initiatives and business strategies.

ClickUp Business Continuity Plan Template

In business, unexpected threats to operations can arise at any moment. Whether it’s economic turbulence, a global health crisis, or supply chain interruptions, every company needs to be ready. ClickUp’s Business Continuity Plan Template lets you prepare proactively for these unforeseen challenges.

The template organizes tasks into three main categories:

  • Priorities: Tasks that need immediate attention
  • Continuity coverage: Tasks that must continue despite challenges
  • Guiding principles: Resources and protocols to ensure smooth operations

The Board view makes it easy to visualize all the tasks under each of these categories. And the Priorities List sorts tasks by those that are overdue, the upcoming ones, and then the ones due later.

In times of uncertainty, being prepared is your best strategy. This template helps your business not just survive but thrive in challenging situations, keeping your customers, employees, and investors satisfied. 🤝

ClickUp Lean Business Plan Template

Looking to execute your business plan the “lean” way? Use ClickUp’s Lean Business Plan Template . It’s designed to help you optimize resource usage and cut unnecessary steps—giving you better results with less effort.

In the Plan Summary List view, list all the tasks that need to get done. Add specific details like who’s doing each task, when it’s due, and which part of the Business Model Canvas (BMC) it falls under. The By Priority view sorts this list based on priorities like Urgent, High, Normal, and Low. This makes it easy to spot the most important tasks and tackle them first.

Additionally, the Board view gives you an overview of task progression from start to finish. And the BMC view rearranges these tasks based on the various BMC components. 

Each task can further be broken down into subtasks and multiple checklists to ensure all related action items are executed. ✔️

This template is an invaluable resource for startups and large enterprises looking to maximize process efficiencies and results in a streamlined and cost-effective way.

ClickUp Small Business Action Plan Template

The Small Business Action Plan Template by ClickUp is tailor-made for small businesses looking to transform their business ideas and goals into actionable steps and, eventually, into reality. 

It provides a simple and organized framework for creating, assigning, prioritizing, and tracking tasks. And in effect, it ensures that goals are not just set but achieved. Through the native dashboard and goal-setting features, you can monitor task progress and how they move you closer to achieving your goals.

Thanks to ClickUp’s robust communication features like chat, comments, and @mentions, it’s easy to get every team member on the same page and quickly address questions or concerns.

Use this action plan template to hit your business goals by streamlining your internal processes and aligning team efforts.

ClickUp Strategic Business Roadmap Template 

For larger businesses and scaling enterprises, getting different departments to work together toward a big goal can be challenging. The ClickUp Strategic Business Roadmap Template makes it easier by giving you a clear plan to follow.

This template is packaged in a folder and split into different lists for each department in your business, like Sales, Product, Marketing, and Enablement. This way, every team can focus on their tasks while collectively contributing to the bigger goal.

There are multiple viewing options available for team members. These include:

  • Progress Board: Visualize tasks that are on track, those at risk, and those behind
  • Gantt view: Get an overview of project timelines and dependencies
  • Team view: See what each team member is working on so you can balance workloads for maximum productivity

While this template may feel overwhelming at first, the getting started guide offers a step-by-step breakdown to help you navigate it with ease. And like all ClickUp templates, you can easily customize it to suit your business needs and preferences.

Microsoft Word Business Plan Template by Microsoft

Microsoft’s 20-page traditional business plan template simplifies the process of drafting comprehensive business plans. It’s made up of different sections, including:

  • Executive summary : Highlights, objectives, mission statement, and keys to success
  • Description of business: Company ownership and legal structure, hours of operation, products and services, suppliers, financial plans, etc.
  • Marketing: Market analysis, market segmentation, competition, and pricing
  • Appendix: Start-up expenses, cash flow statements, income statements, sales forecast, milestones, break-even analysis, etc.

The table of contents makes it easy to move to different sections of the document. And the text placeholders under each section provide clarity on the specific details required—making the process easier for users who may not be familiar with certain business terminology.

Excel Business Plan Template by Vertex42

No business template roundup is complete without an Excel template. This business plan template lets you work on your business financials in Excel. It comes with customizable tables, formulas, and charts to help you look at the following areas:

  • Highlight charts
  • Market analysis
  • Start-up assets and expenses
  • Sales forecasts
  • Profit and loss
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow projections
  • Break-even analysis

This Excel template is especially useful when you want to create a clear and visual financial section for your business plan document—an essential element for attracting investors and lenders. However, there might be a steep learning curve to using this template if you’re not familiar with business financial planning and using Excel.

Try a Free Business Plan Template in ClickUp

Launching and running a successful business requires a well-thought-out and carefully crafted business plan. However, the business planning process doesn’t have to be complicated, boring, or take up too much time. Use any of the above 10 free business plan formats to simplify and speed up the process.

ClickUp templates go beyond offering a solid foundation to build your business plans. They come with extensive project management features to turn your vision into reality. And that’s not all— ClickUp’s template library offers over 1,000 additional templates to help manage various aspects of your business, from decision-making to product development to resource management .

Sign up for ClickUp’s Free Forever Plan today to fast-track your business’s growth! 🏆

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Business Plan Template

Collaborate with your team, craft your business plan, and present your ideas visually with the Business Plan Template.

Trusted by 65M+ users and leading companies

About the Business Plan Template

A solid business plan is the key to the success of any project. That's why we have designed a comprehensive business plan template that makes organizing and outlining your business objectives a breeze. This template will help you streamline your process and visualize your goals, creating a roadmap for your business journey.

What's a business plan template?

A business plan template is a pre-structured framework that outlines the core aspects of a business plan. It helps organize and detail key components, providing a clear picture of what the business aims to achieve. Miro's business plan template includes:

Problem: Identify the core problem that the business plans to solve.

Solution: Outline the solution to address the problem.

Resources: Detail the resources required, including time, workforce, and materials.

Benefit: Define the benefits of implementing the proposed solution.

Risks: Analyze potential risks and how they will be mitigated.

Scope: Describe the extent and limitations of the project.

Stakeholders: List the parties involved and their interests.

Costs: Estimate the financial aspects of the project.

Metrics: Identify the key performance indicators to measure success.

How to use the business plan template in Miro

Using Miro's business plan template is an effortless and effective way to craft your business strategy. Here's a step-by-step guide to making the most of this template:

Choose the template: Select the business plan template from Miro's Template Library, tailored to fit any business type.

Define the problem: Identify the core problem your business intends to solve. Use Miro's tagging feature to add relevant tags for easy reference.

Outline the solution: Describe how your product or service addresses the problem. Use Miro's automated diagramming to create flow diagrams or charts illustrating the solution process.

List the resources: Detail all necessary resources, including time, workforce, and materials. Create categories and use color coding to organize them effectively.

Highlight the benefit: Define the benefits and why your solution is preferable. Incorporate visual aids like icons to emphasize key points.

Analyze the risks: List potential risks and their mitigation strategies. Use sticky notes to jot down thoughts and ideas collaboratively.

Describe the scope: Clarify the project's limitations and extent.

Identify stakeholders: List the parties involved using symbols or avatars to represent various stakeholders.

Estimate costs: Break down the financial aspects using tables or charts to present the information clearly.

Determine metrics: Set key performance indicators and use Miro's graphs to visualize the success measures.

Customize your plan: Add, remove, or change any fields to suit your specific project. You can expand the quadrants, adding data or other artifacts as needed.

Collaborate and share: Invite team members to collaborate in real time, adding comments and feedback. Miro's collaboration features support seamless teamwork.

To finish, prepare a presentation. With features like frames and the Presentation Mode , you can visually guide stakeholders through your strategy. And remember, ensure that all details are accurate and aligned with your goals.

With this quick guide and Miro's various sets of features, creating a business plan becomes a collaborative and creative process. The ability to visualize, tag, and present your plan ensures a rich and engaging experience for everyone involved. Whether you're a startup or an established business, Miro's business plan template offers the flexibility and robustness needed to succeed in today's competitive landscape.

Can I customize the business plan template in Miro?

Yes, add, remove, or change any fields to fit the specific needs of your project.

How can I share the business plan template with my team?

Miro's collaboration tools make it easy to share your template with team members, either through a direct link or by inviting them to your workspace.

Is the business plan template suitable for small businesses and startups?

Yes, the template is designed to be flexible and can be adapted to businesses of any size, including startups and small enterprises.

Get started with this template right now.

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Stakeholder Analysis Template

Works best for:.

Project Management, Strategic Planning, Project Planning

Managing stakeholders is integral to completing a project on time and meeting expectations, so here’s how to use a stakeholder analysis to help. A stakeholder analysis empowers you to meet expectations and complete projects on time by identifying individuals, groups, and organizations with a vested interest in a program or process. In a typical stakeholder analysis, you’ll prioritize stakeholders based on their influence on a project and seek to understand how best to interface with them throughout the course of the project.

App Dev Thumbnail

App Development Canvas Template

Market Research, Product Management, User Experience

Ever noticed that building a successful app requires lots of players and moving parts? If you’re a project manager, you definitely have. Lucky for you, an app development canvas will let you own and optimize the entire process. It features 18 boxes, each one focusing on a key aspect of app development, giving you a big-picture view. That way you can fine-tune processes and get ahead of potential problems along the way—resulting in a smoother path and a better, tighter product.


AARRR Template

Marketing, Strategic Planning, Project Planning

Sometimes called “Pirate Metrics” because of the name (go ahead, say it, it’s fun), AARRR is a valuable approach for startups to consider. That’s because AARRR stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue—five key types of user behavior that are highly measurable and drive growth. Ask and answer the right questions around each of these five factors, and you’ll be able to establish clear goals and identify the best steps to help reach them.

Value Chain Analysis Thumbnail

Value Chain Analysis Template

Leadership, Strategic Planning, Workflows

First coined by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, the value chain analysis helps your team evaluate your business activities so you can find ways to improve your competitive advantage. A value chain is a set of activities that a company performs in order to deliver a valuable product from start to finish. The analysis itself allows your team to visualize all the business activities involved in creating the product—and helps you identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and miscommunication within the process.

Whats on your Radar Thumbnail

What's on Your Radar Template

Business Management, Operations, Strategic Planning

Do you or your team feel overburdened by tasks? Having trouble focusing on particular problems? What’s on Your Radar is a thought exercise in which you plot ideas according to their importance or relevance. Designers and teams use what’s on your radar to ensure that their ideas are within the scope of a given project. They also rely on the method to assess whether a given solution is likely to solve the problem at hand. But even if you’re not a designer, the method can help assign priorities and ground your ideas in reality.

business-model-canvas hero-image EN 3-2

Business Model Canvas Template

Leadership, Agile Methodology, Strategic Planning

Your business model: Nothing is more fundamental to who you are, what you create and sell, or ultimately whether or not you succeed. Using nine key building blocks (representing nine core business elements), a BMC gives you a highly usable strategic tool to develop and display your business model. What makes this template great for your team? It’s quick and easy to use, it keeps your value proposition front and center, and it creates a space to inspire ideation.

Business growth

Business tips

21 project management templates to organize any workflow

Hero image with an icon of a Gantt chart for product roadmaps and project management

I recently went on a 20-hour road trip that involved stuffing three adults, two dogs, a baby, and two grandparents' worth of Christmas gifts into a Subaru Forester. 

While turning said compact SUV into Mary Poppins' handbag, I realized the only way to make it work was to abide by a structure I could replicate when we had to unload at hotels along the way.

That's what project management templates are to project managers: replicable systems of organization that keep everything efficiently structured.

If you're one of those people packing all those tasks and teams into a single, unified, potentially 4WD structure, these downloadable templates should help you set a workflow foundation.

What are project management templates?

In our case, these are shareable spreadsheets that can be customized and inserted into processes across various project types. They give people (you) effective starting places for building out repetitive processes, so you don't have to start from scratch every time. 

While project managers in particular may use them most, other team leads could find them useful for iterative processes within HR, financial, sales, and marketing teams.

Project management template example

To illustrate, here's an example of a project management template in action:

A marketing executive for a software company uses a project plan template to start every new campaign proposal. This template summarizes the goals, tasks, timelines, and budget, so they can submit a structured proposal to get approval from stakeholders before kicking off the campaign.

Project management planning templates

These project management planning templates can be used for a wide range of project types. Use these for basic plan proposals, briefs, organization, and even management role descriptions.

1. Project management template

 Mockup showcasing Zapier's project management template

That's it; the search is over. If you're looking for a one-stop project management template, you can probably just stop here. This baby has it all: project names, color-coded priority markers, description fields, deliverable timelines and progress, and hour tracking. 

Best for: Effectively organizing multiple projects in one place

2. Project plan template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's project plan template

For those who like to apply a little structure to new projects (generally a key characteristic of most project managers), this project plan template has you covered. Designed for general use, it's got fields for overall timelines, individual task timelines, goals, and resource expense tracking. 

Best for: Showing what you plan to do, how long it'll take, and how much it'll cost

3. Gantt chart project plan template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's Gantt chart template

If Gantt is your chart of choice, this is the template for you. This project scheduling spreadsheet visualizes your project, so you can easily see where tasks and phases stand at a glance. Just fill it in with your dates and task names, update the dates, and let the spreadsheet do the rest of the heavy lifting.

Best for: Visually tracking project progress and timelines

4. Project proposal template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's project proposal template

For those who need a more formal, standardized method of kicking off projects, a template for a project proposal makes sense. By clearly laying out your project's timelines, budget, purpose, methodologies, and risks, you can help ensure stakeholder buy-in is—like the plastic topper holding suitcases and baby toys on top of a Subaru—secured.

Best for: Outlining project concepts for early buy-in

5. Business project proposal template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's business project proposal template

If you need a slightly less detailed project proposal for business use cases, this document should help. This simpler version of our project proposal template includes fields for an executive summary, multiple goals, a task roadmap, a schedule, a budget, and necessary resources.

Best for: Simplified project proposals for business use cases

6. Project brief template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's project brief template

Whether you need a document to submit a project for approval or just like the clarity of starting projects with a concise summary, a project brief covers your bases. This simple project management template has only a few fields that give a very basic, high-level overview of a project that's either under consideration or underway.

Best for: Succinctly summarizing an upcoming or in-progress project

7. Agile feature rollout Kanban board template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's agile feature rollout template

Agile teams are their own animal, and they get their own Kanban board template to match. This highly detailed spreadsheet even has drag-and-drop functionality to mirror typical Kanban software functionality as projects progress through feature rollout phases. To use this one, check out more detailed spreadsheet DIY instructions .

Best for: Agile teams with structured feature rollouts

8. Construction project template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's construction project template

If you're looking to plan a construction project, try this template. A variation on the general project management spreadsheet, this one has simplified fields for timelines with day totals, cost estimates, and customizable dropdowns for assigning tasks to relevant contractors and personnel.

Best for: Planning projects in construction or with multiple contractors

9. Project manager planner template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's project manager planner template

For team leads looking to lasso multiple projects and team members into a single, easy-to-review document, this project manager planner template could be your rope. (Pardon the rodeo metaphor—I come from a cow town.) This simple template can be organized by filters, like task, date, assignee, and project status, to give you an instant look at who's doing what, when, and for how long. 

Then, fill in the assignee block as you go to keep track of utilization by period. I recommend using this as a recurring template with a structured timeline: start it fresh by week, month, sprint, or project.

Best for: Organizing tasks and tracking team member utilization

Budgeting and financial templates

Though some of the project management planning templates above include fields for projecting budgets, they may not allow for the kind of granularity you need for more detailed budgeting or expense reporting. That's where these come in.

10. Project budget allocation template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's project budget allocation template

For a more detailed look at the likely costs of executing a project, you'll need a project budget allocation template. This form is dedicated solely to communicating the estimated costs and allocated amounts for specific items within a project to give all stakeholders a more transparent financial picture.

Best for: Calculating and communicating budgets for specific items in a project

11. Resource management project plan template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's resource management template

When you're planning a project, you also need to plan for expenses. This resource management plan template can serve as your one-stop shop for all things project budget so you can break resources down into quantities and estimates.

Best for: Detailed estimates for individual resources

12. Timesheet template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's timesheet template

Most of these templates are for bigger-picture planning and documentation from the manager's perspective, but managers are just one piece of the project puzzle. This timesheet template should help your team members track the time they spend working on a daily basis.

Best for: Tracking individual working time

13. Timesheet invoice template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's timesheet invoice template

While the timesheet template is designed for general clocking in and out, this invoice is perfect for drilling into individuals' time spent on specific tasks, so you can stay on top of—and ideally under—budgets.

Best for: Individual time and cost logging by task

14. Project-based invoice template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's project-based invoice template

If you want your teams to submit time and incurred costs on completed projects and tasks without having to clock in and out manually, a simpler project-based invoice template is probably more your speed. 

Best for: Reporting the costs of completed projects and tasks

Sales and marketing templates

All the templates up to this point should be great options for generalists, but sales and marketing projects tend to have their own unique workflows. These templates may not apply to all project managers, but they should help sales and marketing managers and team leads stay on top of their projects.

15. Sales dashboard template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's sales dashboard template

As your completed projects stack up, it'll be worth your while to see how those projects are performing. This—quite frankly, very impressive—sales dashboard spreadsheet gives you a high-level, real-time view of individualized performance by team member. While it's geared toward sales performance tracking, it can also be formatted to show accrued expenses by individual, project, or team.

Best for: Visualizing accrued revenues or expenses

16. Social media calendar template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's social media calendar template

Take it from someone who gets anxious at the thought of social media posting: social media can be complicated. But it doesn't have to be if you use this calendar template to help align teams on content scheduling. This should help you get a clear picture of upcoming holidays and track posting patterns, so you can maximize your efforts with less anxiety. (I'll stick to making drafts and then deleting them.)

Best for: Organizing social media content schedules

17. Content calendar template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's content calendar template

If your content marketing operation tends toward robusticity, this is the template you didn't know you've been waiting for (and probably the last occasion I'll ever have for using the word "robusticity"). Use this template to keep all your content ducks in a row, whether you're recording podcasts, filming ads, writing blog posts, or even just hiring someone to do all the above for you.

Best for: Organizing content-related tasks and timelines

18. Marketing project proposal template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's marketing project proposal template

Sure, all project proposals have the same basic foundation: goals, timelines, projected expenses, slick color-coding, etc. But this marketing-specific project proposal template is specially formulated to help marketing team leads get buy-in, so they can prove the impact and import of their impending campaign.

Best for: Securing buy-in for marketing projects

19. Sales project proposal template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's sales project proposal template

Designed to flexibly include either B2C or B2B use cases, this sales-oriented project proposal template will help sales team leads prove viable ROI for their initiatives. Fill it out with pain points, timelines, and descriptions to show this sales project is worthwhile for all parties involved.

Best for: Outlining sales proposals with quotes

20. Marketing communication plan

Mockup showcasing Zapier's marketing communication plan template

Every great marketing campaign starts with one thing (along with money, personnel, time, software…): a plan. This communication plan template will set you up for success with an easy-to-follow reference document that aligns all team members on dates, projects, and contacts.

Best for: Creating a simple reference for aligning marketing teams

21. Annual marketing strategy calendar template

Mockup showcasing Zapier's annual marketing strategy calendar template

For those marketing team leads who like to think ahead—so, all marketing team leads—an easily editable calendar is your best friend. This spreadsheet is separated by tab to help you organize campaign timelines, project start and end dates, and relevant milestones, so you can ensure all projects line up with greater team goals and availability.

Best for: Organizing high-level annual strategy

Benefits of using a project management template

Can you manage a project without a template? Sure. But you can also try to cook Julia Child's coq au vin on your own—or you could just use her recipe.

The obvious reason for using any template is simplicity, but there's a lot more to gain than just time and effort. Here's why you should consider using a project management template like one of the above:

Workflow standardization: Incorporating standardized templates into workflows ensures all stakeholders know what to expect and keeps procedures consistent.

Scalability: As shareable and iterable assets, templates scale easily and ensure processes stay standardized as teams grow.

Improved organization: When you use templates with preset fields, you know every document is labeled, searchable, and includes the information you expect.

Transparency: With clearly outlined timelines, budgets, tasks, resources, and workflows, templates give everyone a clear idea of what's entailed in each element of their unique processes.

Automation: The best thing about templates is that they can be integrated with automation triggers, so they can be shared, filled, and delivered automatically.

Automating your project management templates

Now that you've got a truckload (compact-SUV-load doesn't quite have the same ring) of project management templates at your disposal, you can make them even more powerful with automation.

You can use Zapier to create no-code automations, so your Google Sheet template can talk to all the other apps you use. Here are some examples to get you started, but you can connect Google Sheets to thousands of other apps with Zapier.

Send emails via Gmail when Google Sheets rows are updated

Google Sheets logo

Send Slack messages whenever Google Sheets rows are updated

Slack logo

Or you can use Zapier's simple project plan template to keep track of everything in one app.

Zapier is a no-code automation tool that lets you connect your apps into automated workflows, so that every person and every business can move forward at growth speed. Learn more about how it works .

Templates alone can be hugely helpful when managing projects. But when you add automation to the mix, you can make them even more powerful, creating more structured workflows that seamlessly incorporate the tools your team depends on.

Related reading:

The best free project management software

How project management automation makes your job easier

How to streamline project management with automation and AI

How to make the most of your project management software

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Bryce Emley picture

Bryce Emley

Currently based in Albuquerque, NM, Bryce Emley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NC State and nearly a decade of writing and editing experience. His work has been published in magazines including The Atlantic, Boston Review, Salon, and Modern Farmer and has received a regional Emmy and awards from venues including Narrative, Wesleyan University, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Pablo Neruda Prize. When he isn’t writing content, poetry, or creative nonfiction, he enjoys traveling, baking, playing music, reliving his barista days in his own kitchen, camping, and being bad at carpentry.

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What is project planning? (Plus, 7 steps to write a successful project plan)

Julia Martins contributor headshot

Organize your projects with project plans to keep things on track—before you even start. A project plan houses all the necessary details of your project, such as goals, tasks, scope, deadlines, and deliverables. This shows stakeholders a clear roadmap of your project, ensures you have the resources for it, and holds everyone accountable from the start. In this article, we teach you the seven steps to create your own project plan.

Project plans are essential to keeping your project organized and on track. A great project plan will help you kick off your work with all the necessary pieces—from goals and budgets to milestones and communication plans—in one place. Save yourself time (and a few headaches) by creating a work plan that will make your project a success.

What is a project planning?

Project planning is the second stage in the project management process, following project initiation and preceding project execution. During the project planning stage, the project manager creates a project plan, which maps out project requirements. The project planning phase typically includes setting project goals, designating project resources, and mapping out the project schedule.

What is a project plan?

If you're still unsure about what a project plan is, here's how it differs from other project elements:

Project plan vs. work plan: A project plan and a work plan are the same thing. Different teams or departments might prefer one term or another—but they both ultimately describe the same thing: a list of big-picture action steps you need to take to hit your  project objectives .

Project plan vs. project charter: A project charter is an outline of your project. Mostly, you use project charters to get signoff from key stakeholders before you start. Which means your project charter comes before your project plan. A project charter is an outline of a simple project plan—it should only include your project objectives, scope, and responsibilities. Then, once your charter has been approved, you can create a project plan to provide a more in-depth blueprint of the key elements of your project.

Project plan vs. project scope: Your project scope defines the size and boundaries of your project. As part of your project plan, you should outline and share the scope of your project with all project stakeholders. If you’re ever worried about scope creep , you can refer back to your pre-defined scope within your project plan to get back on track.

Project plan vs. agile project: Agile project management is a framework to help teams break work into iterative, collaborative components . Agile frameworks are often run in conjunction with scrum and sprint methodologies. Like any project, an Agile project team can benefit from having a project plan in place before getting started with their work.

Project plan vs. work breakdown structure: Similar to a project plan, your work breakdown structure (WBS) helps you with project execution. While the project plan focuses on every aspect of your project, the WBS is focused on deliverables—breaking them down into sub-deliverables and project tasks. This helps you visualize the whole project in simple steps. Because it’s a visual format, your WBS is best viewed as a Gantt chart (or timeline), Kanban board , or calendar—especially if you’re using project management software .

Why are project plans important?

Project plans set the stage for the entire project. Without one, you’re missing a critical step in the overall project management process . When you launch into a project without defined goals or objectives, it can lead to disorganized work, frustration, and even scope creep. A clear, written project management plan provides a baseline direction to all stakeholders, while also keeping everyone accountable. It confirms that you have the resources you need for the project before it actually begins.

A project plan also allows you, as the person in charge of leading execution, to forecast any potential challenges you could run into while the project is still in the planning stages. That way, you can ensure the project will be achievable—or course-correct if necessary. According to a study conducted by the  Project Management Institute , there is a strong correlation between project planning and project success—the better your plan, the better your outcome. So, conquering the planning phase also makes for better project efficiency and results.

[Product UI] Brand campaign project plan in Asana, spreadsheet-style list (Lists)

7 steps to write a project plan to keep you on track

To create a clear project management plan, you need a way to track all of your moving parts . No matter what type of project you’re planning, every work plan should have:

Goals and project objectives

Success metrics

Stakeholders and roles

Scope and budget

Milestones , deliverables , and project dependencies

Timeline and schedule

Communication plan.

Not sure what each of these mean or should look like? Let’s dive into the details:

Step 1: Define your goals and objectives

You’re working on this project plan for a reason—likely to get you, your team, or your company to an end goal. But how will you know if you’ve reached that goal if you have no way of measuring success?

Every successful project plan should have a clear, desired outcome. Identifying your goals provides a rationale for your project plan. It also keeps everyone on the same page and focused on the results they want to achieve. Moreover, research shows that employees who know how their work is contributing to company objectives are 2X as motivated . Yet only 26% of employees have that clarity. That’s because most goal-setting happens separate from the actual work. By defining your goals within your work plan, you can connect the work your team is doing directly to the project objectives in real-time.

What's the difference between project goals and project objectives?

In general, your project goals should be higher-level than your project objectives. Your project goals should be SMART goals that help you measure project success and show how your project aligns with business objectives . The purpose of drafting project objectives, on the other hand, is to focus on the actual, specific deliverables you're going to achieve at the end of your project. Your project plan provides the direction your team needs to hit your goals, so you can create a workflow that hits project objectives.

Your project  plan  provides the direction your team needs to hit your goals, by way of your project objectives. By incorporating your goals directly into your planning documentation, you can keep your project’s North Star on hand. When you’re defining your project scope, or outlining your project schedule, check back on your goals to make sure that work is in favor of your main objectives.

Step 2: Set success metrics

Once you’ve defined your goals, make sure they’re measurable by setting key success metrics. While your goal serves as the intended result, you need success metrics to let you know whether or not you’re performing on track to achieve that result. The best way to do that is to set  SMART goals . With SMART goals, you can make sure your success metrics are clear and measurable, so you can look back at the end of your project and easily tell if you hit them or not.

For example, a goal for an event might be to host an annual 3-day conference for SEO professionals on June 22nd. A success metric for that goal might be having at least 1,000 people attend your conference. It’s both clear and measurable.

Step 3: Clarify stakeholders and roles

Running a project usually means getting  collaborators  involved in the execution of it. In your project management plan, outline which team members will be a part of the project and what each person’s role will be. This will help you decide who is responsible for each task (something we’ll get to shortly) and let stakeholders know how you expect them to be involved.

During this process, make sure to define the various roles and responsibilities your stakeholders might have. For example, who is directly responsible for the project’s success? How is your project team structured (i.e. do you have a project manager, a project sponsor , etc.)? Are there any approvers that should be involved before anything is finalized? What cross-functional stakeholders should be included in the project plan? Are there any  risk management factors  you need to include?

Consider using a system, such as a  RACI chart , to help determine who is driving the project forward, who will approve decisions, who will contribute to the project, and who needs to remain informed as the project progresses.

Then, once you’ve outlined all of your roles and stakeholders, make sure to include that documentation in your project plan. Once you finalize your plan, your work plan will become your cross-functional source of truth.

Step 4: Set your budget

Running a project usually costs money. Whether it’s hiring freelancers for content writing or a catering company for an event, you’ll probably be spending some cash.

Since you’ve already defined your goals and stakeholders as part of your project plan, use that information to establish your budget. For example, if this is a cross-functional project involving multiple departments, will the departments be splitting the project cost? If you have a specific goal metric like event attendees or new users, does your proposed budget support that endeavor?

By establishing your project budget during the project planning phase (and before the spending begins), you can get approval, more easily track progress, and make smart, economical decisions during the implementation phase of your project. Knowing your budget beforehand helps you with resource management , ensuring that you stay within the initial financial scope of the project. Planning helps you determine what parts of your project will cost what—leaving no room for surprises later on.

Step 5: Align on milestones, deliverables, and project dependencies

An important part of planning your project is setting milestones, or specific objectives that represent an achievement. Milestones don’t require a start and end date, but hitting one marks a significant accomplishment during your project. They are used to measure progress. For example, let’s say you’re working to develop a  new product for your company . Setting a milestone on your project timeline for when the prototype is finalized will help you measure the progress you’ve made so far.

A project deliverable , on the other hand, is what is actually produced once you meet a milestone. In our product development example, we hit a milestone when we produced the deliverable, which was the prototype. You can also use project dependencies —tasks that you can’t start until others are finished. Dependencies ensure that work only starts once it’s ready. Continuing the example, you can create a project dependency to require approval from the project lead before prototype testing begins.  

If you’re using our free project plan template , you can easily organize your project around deliverables, dependencies, and milestones. That way, everyone on the team has clear visibility into the work within your project scope, and the milestones your team will be working towards.

Step 6: Outline your timeline and schedule

In order to achieve your project goals, you and your stakeholders need clarity on your overall project timeline and schedule. Aligning on the time frame you have can help you better prioritize during strategic planning sessions.

Not all projects will have clear-cut timelines. If you're working on a large project with a few unknown dates, consider creating a  project roadmap  instead of a full-blown project timeline. That way, you can clarify the order of operations of various tasks without necessarily establishing exact dates.

Once you’ve covered the high-level responsibilities, it’s time to focus some energy on the details. In your  work plan template , start by breaking your project into tasks, ensuring no part of the process is skipped. Bigger tasks can even be broken down into smaller subtasks, making them more manageable.

Then, take each task and subtask, and assign it a start date and end date. You’ll begin to visually see everything come together in a  cohesive project timeline . Be sure to add stakeholders, mapping out who is doing what by when.

[Product UI] Brand campaign project in Asana, Gantt chart-style view (Timeline)

Step 7: Share your communication plan

We’ve established that most projects include multiple stakeholders. That means communication styles will vary among them. You have an opportunity to set your expectations up front for this particular project in your project plan. Having a communication plan is essential for making sure everyone understands what’s happening, how the project is progressing, and what’s going on next. And in case a roadblock comes up, you’ll already have a clear communication system in place.

As you’re developing your communication plan, consider the following questions:

How many project-related meetings do you need to have? What are their goals?

How will you manage project status updates ? Where will you share them?

What tool will you use to manage the project and communicate progress and updates?

[inline illustration] Communication plan for brand campaign in Asana (example)

Like the other elements of your project plan, make sure your communication plan is easily accessible within your project plan. Stakeholders and cross-functional collaborators should be able to easily find these guidelines during the planning and execution phases of your project. Using project planning tools or task management software that integrates with apps like Slack and Gmail can ensure all your communication happens in one easily accessible place. 

Example project plan

Next, to help you understand what your project management plan should look like, here are two example plans for marketing and design projects that will guide you during your own project planning.

Project plan example: annual content calendar

Let’s say you’re the Content Lead for your company, and it’s your responsibility to create and deliver on a content marketing calendar for all the content that will be published next year. You know your first step is to build your work plan. Here’s what it might look like:

Goals and success metrics

You establish that your goal for creating and executing against your content calendar is to increase engagement by 10%. Your success metrics are the open rate and click through rate on emails, your company’s social media followers, and how your pieces of content rank on search engines.

Stakeholders and each person’s role

There will be five people involved in this project.

You, Content Lead: Develop and maintain the calendar

Brandon and Jamie, Writers: Provide outlines and copy for each piece of content

Nate, Editor: Edit and give feedback on content

Paula, Producer: Publish the content once it’s written and edited

Your budget for the project plan and a year’s worth of content is $50,000.

Milestones and deliverables

Your first milestone is to finish the content calendar, which shows all topics for the year. The deliverable is a sharable version of the calendar. Both the milestone and the deliverables should be clearly marked on your project schedule.

You’ve determined that your schedule for your content calendar project plan will go as follows:

October 15 - November 1: The research phase to find ideas for topics for content

November 2 - November 30: Establish the topics you’ll write about

December 1 - January 1: Build the calendar

January 1 - December 31: Content will be written by Brandon and Jamie, and edited by Nate, throughout the year

January 16 - December 31: Paula will begin publishing and continue to do so on a rolling basis throughout the year.

You’ll have a kick-off meeting and then monthly update meetings as part of your communication plan. Weekly status updates will be sent on Friday afternoons. All project-related communication will occur within a  project management tool .

How ClassPass manages project plans from start to finish

Kerry Hoffman, Senior Project Manager of Marketing Operations at  ClassPass , oversees all marketing projects undertaken by the creative, growth, and content teams. Here are her top three strategies for managing project plans:

Identify stakeholders up front: No matter the size of the project, it’s critical to know who the stakeholders are and their role in the project so you ensure you involve the right people at each stage. This will also make the review and approval process clear before the team gets to work.

Agree on how you want to communicate about your project: Establish where and when communication should take place for your project to ensure that key information is captured in the right place so everyone stays aligned.

Be adaptable and learn other people’s working styles: Projects don’t always go according to plan, but by implementing proper integration management you can keep projects running smoothly. Also, find out how project members like to work so you take that into account as you create your plan. It will help things run smoother once you begin executing.

Write your next project plan like a pro

Congratulations—you’re officially a work planning pro. With a few steps, a little bit of time, and a whole lot of organization, you’ve successfully written a project plan.

Keep yourself and your team on track, and address challenges early by using project planning software like Asana . Work through each of the steps of your project plan with confidence, and streamline your communications with the team.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Simple Business Plan

By Joe Weller | October 11, 2021

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A business plan is the cornerstone of any successful company, regardless of size or industry. This step-by-step guide provides information on writing a business plan for organizations at any stage, complete with free templates and expert advice. 

Included on this page, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan and a chart to identify which type of business plan you should write . Plus, find information on how a business plan can help grow a business and expert tips on writing one .

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document that communicates a company’s goals and ambitions, along with the timeline, finances, and methods needed to achieve them. Additionally, it may include a mission statement and details about the specific products or services offered.

A business plan can highlight varying time periods, depending on the stage of your company and its goals. That said, a typical business plan will include the following benchmarks:

  • Product goals and deadlines for each month
  • Monthly financials for the first two years
  • Profit and loss statements for the first three to five years
  • Balance sheet projections for the first three to five years

Startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses all create business plans to use as a guide as their new company progresses. Larger organizations may also create (and update) a business plan to keep high-level goals, financials, and timelines in check.

While you certainly need to have a formalized outline of your business’s goals and finances, creating a business plan can also help you determine a company’s viability, its profitability (including when it will first turn a profit), and how much money you will need from investors. In turn, a business plan has functional value as well: Not only does outlining goals help keep you accountable on a timeline, it can also attract investors in and of itself and, therefore, act as an effective strategy for growth.

For more information, visit our comprehensive guide to writing a strategic plan or download free strategic plan templates . This page focuses on for-profit business plans, but you can read our article with nonprofit business plan templates .

Business Plan Steps

The specific information in your business plan will vary, depending on the needs and goals of your venture, but a typical plan includes the following ordered elements:

  • Executive summary
  • Description of business
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Description of organizational management
  • Description of product or services
  • Marketing plan
  • Sales strategy
  • Funding details (or request for funding)
  • Financial projections

If your plan is particularly long or complicated, consider adding a table of contents or an appendix for reference. For an in-depth description of each step listed above, read “ How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step ” below.

Broadly speaking, your audience includes anyone with a vested interest in your organization. They can include potential and existing investors, as well as customers, internal team members, suppliers, and vendors.

Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan?

Your business’s stage and intended audience dictates the level of detail your plan needs. Corporations require a thorough business plan — up to 100 pages. Small businesses or startups should have a concise plan focusing on financials and strategy.

How to Choose the Right Plan for Your Business

In order to identify which type of business plan you need to create, ask: “What do we want the plan to do?” Identify function first, and form will follow.

Use the chart below as a guide for what type of business plan to create:

Is the Order of Your Business Plan Important?

There is no set order for a business plan, with the exception of the executive summary, which should always come first. Beyond that, simply ensure that you organize the plan in a way that makes sense and flows naturally.

The Difference Between Traditional and Lean Business Plans

A traditional business plan follows the standard structure — because these plans encourage detail, they tend to require more work upfront and can run dozens of pages. A Lean business plan is less common and focuses on summarizing critical points for each section. These plans take much less work and typically run one page in length.

In general, you should use a traditional model for a legacy company, a large company, or any business that does not adhere to Lean (or another Agile method ). Use Lean if you expect the company to pivot quickly or if you already employ a Lean strategy with other business operations. Additionally, a Lean business plan can suffice if the document is for internal use only. Stick to a traditional version for investors, as they may be more sensitive to sudden changes or a high degree of built-in flexibility in the plan.

How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step

Writing a strong business plan requires research and attention to detail for each section. Below, you’ll find a 10-step guide to researching and defining each element in the plan.

Step 1: Executive Summary

The executive summary will always be the first section of your business plan. The goal is to answer the following questions:

  • What is the vision and mission of the company?
  • What are the company’s short- and long-term goals?

See our  roundup of executive summary examples and templates for samples. Read our executive summary guide to learn more about writing one.

Step 2: Description of Business

The goal of this section is to define the realm, scope, and intent of your venture. To do so, answer the following questions as clearly and concisely as possible:

  • What business are we in?
  • What does our business do?

Step 3: Market Analysis

In this section, provide evidence that you have surveyed and understand the current marketplace, and that your product or service satisfies a niche in the market. To do so, answer these questions:

  • Who is our customer? 
  • What does that customer value?

Step 4: Competitive Analysis

In many cases, a business plan proposes not a brand-new (or even market-disrupting) venture, but a more competitive version — whether via features, pricing, integrations, etc. — than what is currently available. In this section, answer the following questions to show that your product or service stands to outpace competitors:

  • Who is the competition? 
  • What do they do best? 
  • What is our unique value proposition?

Step 5: Description of Organizational Management

In this section, write an overview of the team members and other key personnel who are integral to success. List roles and responsibilities, and if possible, note the hierarchy or team structure.

Step 6: Description of Products or Services

In this section, clearly define your product or service, as well as all the effort and resources that go into producing it. The strength of your product largely defines the success of your business, so it’s imperative that you take time to test and refine the product before launching into marketing, sales, or funding details.

Questions to answer in this section are as follows:

  • What is the product or service?
  • How do we produce it, and what resources are necessary for production?

Step 7: Marketing Plan

In this section, define the marketing strategy for your product or service. This doesn’t need to be as fleshed out as a full marketing plan , but it should answer basic questions, such as the following:

  • Who is the target market (if different from existing customer base)?
  • What channels will you use to reach your target market?
  • What resources does your marketing strategy require, and do you have access to them?
  • If possible, do you have a rough estimate of timeline and budget?
  • How will you measure success?

Step 8: Sales Plan

Write an overview of the sales strategy, including the priorities of each cycle, steps to achieve these goals, and metrics for success. For the purposes of a business plan, this section does not need to be a comprehensive, in-depth sales plan , but can simply outline the high-level objectives and strategies of your sales efforts. 

Start by answering the following questions:

  • What is the sales strategy?
  • What are the tools and tactics you will use to achieve your goals?
  • What are the potential obstacles, and how will you overcome them?
  • What is the timeline for sales and turning a profit?
  • What are the metrics of success?

Step 9: Funding Details (or Request for Funding)

This section is one of the most critical parts of your business plan, particularly if you are sharing it with investors. You do not need to provide a full financial plan, but you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How much capital do you currently have? How much capital do you need?
  • How will you grow the team (onboarding, team structure, training and development)?
  • What are your physical needs and constraints (space, equipment, etc.)?

Step 10: Financial Projections

Apart from the fundraising analysis, investors like to see thought-out financial projections for the future. As discussed earlier, depending on the scope and stage of your business, this could be anywhere from one to five years. 

While these projections won’t be exact — and will need to be somewhat flexible — you should be able to gauge the following:

  • How and when will the company first generate a profit?
  • How will the company maintain profit thereafter?

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Download Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel | Smartsheet

This basic business plan template has space for all the traditional elements: an executive summary, product or service details, target audience, marketing and sales strategies, etc. In the finances sections, input your baseline numbers, and the template will automatically calculate projections for sales forecasting, financial statements, and more.

For templates tailored to more specific needs, visit this business plan template roundup or download a fill-in-the-blank business plan template to make things easy. 

If you are looking for a particular template by file type, visit our pages dedicated exclusively to Microsoft Excel , Microsoft Word , and Adobe PDF business plan templates.

How to Write a Simple Business Plan

A simple business plan is a streamlined, lightweight version of the large, traditional model. As opposed to a one-page business plan , which communicates high-level information for quick overviews (such as a stakeholder presentation), a simple business plan can exceed one page.

Below are the steps for creating a generic simple business plan, which are reflected in the template below .

  • Write the Executive Summary This section is the same as in the traditional business plan — simply offer an overview of what’s in the business plan, the prospect or core offering, and the short- and long-term goals of the company. 
  • Add a Company Overview Document the larger company mission and vision. 
  • Provide the Problem and Solution In straightforward terms, define the problem you are attempting to solve with your product or service and how your company will attempt to do it. Think of this section as the gap in the market you are attempting to close.
  • Identify the Target Market Who is your company (and its products or services) attempting to reach? If possible, briefly define your buyer personas .
  • Write About the Competition In this section, demonstrate your knowledge of the market by listing the current competitors and outlining your competitive advantage.
  • Describe Your Product or Service Offerings Get down to brass tacks and define your product or service. What exactly are you selling?
  • Outline Your Marketing Tactics Without getting into too much detail, describe your planned marketing initiatives.
  • Add a Timeline and the Metrics You Will Use to Measure Success Offer a rough timeline, including milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to measure your progress.
  • Include Your Financial Forecasts Write an overview of your financial plan that demonstrates you have done your research and adequate modeling. You can also list key assumptions that go into this forecasting. 
  • Identify Your Financing Needs This section is where you will make your funding request. Based on everything in the business plan, list your proposed sources of funding, as well as how you will use it.

Simple Business Plan Template

Simple Business Plan Template

Download Simple Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel |  Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF  | Smartsheet

Use this simple business plan template to outline each aspect of your organization, including information about financing and opportunities to seek out further funding. This template is completely customizable to fit the needs of any business, whether it’s a startup or large company.

Read our article offering free simple business plan templates or free 30-60-90-day business plan templates to find more tailored options. You can also explore our collection of one page business templates . 

How to Write a Business Plan for a Lean Startup

A Lean startup business plan is a more Agile approach to a traditional version. The plan focuses more on activities, processes, and relationships (and maintains flexibility in all aspects), rather than on concrete deliverables and timelines.

While there is some overlap between a traditional and a Lean business plan, you can write a Lean plan by following the steps below:

  • Add Your Value Proposition Take a streamlined approach to describing your product or service. What is the unique value your startup aims to deliver to customers? Make sure the team is aligned on the core offering and that you can state it in clear, simple language.
  • List Your Key Partners List any other businesses you will work with to realize your vision, including external vendors, suppliers, and partners. This section demonstrates that you have thoughtfully considered the resources you can provide internally, identified areas for external assistance, and conducted research to find alternatives.
  • Note the Key Activities Describe the key activities of your business, including sourcing, production, marketing, distribution channels, and customer relationships.
  • Include Your Key Resources List the critical resources — including personnel, equipment, space, and intellectual property — that will enable you to deliver your unique value.
  • Identify Your Customer Relationships and Channels In this section, document how you will reach and build relationships with customers. Provide a high-level map of the customer experience from start to finish, including the spaces in which you will interact with the customer (online, retail, etc.). 
  • Detail Your Marketing Channels Describe the marketing methods and communication platforms you will use to identify and nurture your relationships with customers. These could be email, advertising, social media, etc.
  • Explain the Cost Structure This section is especially necessary in the early stages of a business. Will you prioritize maximizing value or keeping costs low? List the foundational startup costs and how you will move toward profit over time.
  • Share Your Revenue Streams Over time, how will the company make money? Include both the direct product or service purchase, as well as secondary sources of revenue, such as subscriptions, selling advertising space, fundraising, etc.

Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Lean Business Plan Templates for Startups

Download Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

Startup leaders can use this Lean business plan template to relay the most critical information from a traditional plan. You’ll find all the sections listed above, including spaces for industry and product overviews, cost structure and sources of revenue, and key metrics, and a timeline. The template is completely customizable, so you can edit it to suit the objectives of your Lean startups.

See our wide variety of  startup business plan templates for more options.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Loan

A business plan for a loan, often called a loan proposal , includes many of the same aspects of a traditional business plan, as well as additional financial documents, such as a credit history, a loan request, and a loan repayment plan.

In addition, you may be asked to include personal and business financial statements, a form of collateral, and equity investment information.

Download free financial templates to support your business plan.

Tips for Writing a Business Plan

Outside of including all the key details in your business plan, you have several options to elevate the document for the highest chance of winning funding and other resources. Follow these tips from experts:.

  • Keep It Simple: Avner Brodsky , the Co-Founder and CEO of Lezgo Limited, an online marketing company, uses the acronym KISS (keep it short and simple) as a variation on this idea. “The business plan is not a college thesis,” he says. “Just focus on providing the essential information.”
  • Do Adequate Research: Michael Dean, the Co-Founder of Pool Research , encourages business leaders to “invest time in research, both internal and external (market, finance, legal etc.). Avoid being overly ambitious or presumptive. Instead, keep everything objective, balanced, and accurate.” Your plan needs to stand on its own, and you must have the data to back up any claims or forecasting you make. As Brodsky explains, “Your business needs to be grounded on the realities of the market in your chosen location. Get the most recent data from authoritative sources so that the figures are vetted by experts and are reliable.”
  • Set Clear Goals: Make sure your plan includes clear, time-based goals. “Short-term goals are key to momentum growth and are especially important to identify for new businesses,” advises Dean.
  • Know (and Address) Your Weaknesses: “This awareness sets you up to overcome your weak points much quicker than waiting for them to arise,” shares Dean. Brodsky recommends performing a full SWOT analysis to identify your weaknesses, too. “Your business will fare better with self-knowledge, which will help you better define the mission of your business, as well as the strategies you will choose to achieve your objectives,” he adds.
  • Seek Peer or Mentor Review: “Ask for feedback on your drafts and for areas to improve,” advises Brodsky. “When your mind is filled with dreams for your business, sometimes it is an outsider who can tell you what you’re missing and will save your business from being a product of whimsy.”

Outside of these more practical tips, the language you use is also important and may make or break your business plan.

Shaun Heng, VP of Operations at Coin Market Cap , gives the following advice on the writing, “Your business plan is your sales pitch to an investor. And as with any sales pitch, you need to strike the right tone and hit a few emotional chords. This is a little tricky in a business plan, because you also need to be formal and matter-of-fact. But you can still impress by weaving in descriptive language and saying things in a more elegant way.

“A great way to do this is by expanding your vocabulary, avoiding word repetition, and using business language. Instead of saying that something ‘will bring in as many customers as possible,’ try saying ‘will garner the largest possible market segment.’ Elevate your writing with precise descriptive words and you'll impress even the busiest investor.”

Additionally, Dean recommends that you “stay consistent and concise by keeping your tone and style steady throughout, and your language clear and precise. Include only what is 100 percent necessary.”

Resources for Writing a Business Plan

While a template provides a great outline of what to include in a business plan, a live document or more robust program can provide additional functionality, visibility, and real-time updates. The U.S. Small Business Association also curates resources for writing a business plan.

Additionally, you can use business plan software to house data, attach documentation, and share information with stakeholders. Popular options include LivePlan, Enloop, BizPlanner, PlanGuru, and iPlanner.

How a Business Plan Helps to Grow Your Business

A business plan — both the exercise of creating one and the document — can grow your business by helping you to refine your product, target audience, sales plan, identify opportunities, secure funding, and build new partnerships. 

Outside of these immediate returns, writing a business plan is a useful exercise in that it forces you to research the market, which prompts you to forge your unique value proposition and identify ways to beat the competition. Doing so will also help you build (and keep you accountable to) attainable financial and product milestones. And down the line, it will serve as a welcome guide as hurdles inevitably arise.

Streamline Your Business Planning Activities with Real-Time Work Management in Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

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Project Management Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Tow Truck Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your Tow Truck business plan.

We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Tow Truck businesses.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Tow Truck business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

ProPlan Solutions is a startup project management company located in Santa Clara, California. The company is founded by Ron Henderson who has experience in project management, in addition to several years of experience in project management. Now, with the expertise of knowledge and business acumen, Ron has determined he can confidently start and effectively grow a successful ProPlan Solutions company. Ron believes his experience of strategic growth, marketing skills, financial capabilities, and wide and deep knowledge of program management practices will provide everything needed for long-term growth and profitability.

ProPlan Solutions will provide a comprehensive array of services for a wide variety of clients. ProPlan Solutions will be the complete solution, providing services and products to each client while supporting the strategic goals of the company. ProPlan Solutions will be the ultimate choice in project management for clients to ensure that every need of the customer is fully and completely met.

Product Offering

The following are the services that ProPlan Solutions will provide:

  • Project planning
  • Project initiation and actionable steps
  • Streamline project processes
  • Build project collaboration
  • Guaranteed on-time completion of projects
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Stakeholder initiation and communication
  • Budgeting and resource allocation
  • Risk assessment
  • Rick management

Customer Focus

ProPlan Solutions will target all construction companies within the greater Santa Clara region. They will target project managers who work independently. They will target city government planning officials. They will target commercial building owners and stakeholders.

Management Team

ProPlan Solutions will be owned and operated by Don Henderson. He recruited his former administrative manager, Stanley Marshall, to be the administrative director in ProPlan Solutions. In addition, Don recruited Darlene Cooper to be the marketing director, overseeing all forms of marketing, including social media and other channels.

Don Henderson is a graduate of Ohio State University, where he earned a degree in Innovation. He has been instrumental in his former employment in leading a wide and diverse number of projects-in-process by employing his expertise, knowledge and capabilities learned while on the job for more than a decade. He believes his organizational skills and diligence will allow him to grow his clientele base and his team of employees to a long-term strategic goal.

Stanley Marshall is the former administrative manager where Don was formerly employed. Stanley is well-known for his ability to break every project or task into digestible bites to then put them all together with a 99.9% accuracy rate. Stanley will become the new administrative director, overseeing employees, organizational needs and the construction of projects that conform to timelines.

Darlene Cooper is a personal acquaintance of Don Henderson and, after observing her social media and public relations skills, he asked Darlene to join the new company as the marketing director. She will build the pipeline of potential clients by marketing the skills and capabilities of the leaders within ProPlan Solutions and the history of successful projects behind the executive staff.

Success Factors

ProPlan Solutions will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly-qualified team of ProPlan Solutions
  • Comprehensive menu of services and products
  • Streamlined project processes via proprietary software
  • Project collaboration with all players
  • ProPlan Solutions offers the best pricing in town. Their pricing structure is the most cost effective compared to the competition.

Financial Highlights

ProPlan Solutions is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its ProPlan Solutions. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and marketing costs. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Office space build-out: $20,000
  • Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $10,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000
  • Marketing costs: $10,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph outlines the financial projections for ProPlan Solutions.

ProPlan Solutions Pro Forma Projections

Company Overview

Who is proplan solutions.

ProPlan Solutions is a newly established, full-service project management in Santa Clara, California. ProPlan Solutions will be the most reliable, cost-effective, and efficient choice for construction projects of all sizes within the Bay Area region. ProPlan Solutions will provide a comprehensive menu of project planning and completion services for any company or stakeholder to utilize. Their full-service approach includes a comprehensive slate of steps to completion and a guaranteed project completion date.

  ProPlan Solutions will be able to manage large and small projects from start to finish. The team of professionals are highly qualified and experienced in project initiation, processes, and completion with collaboration. ProPlan Solutions removes all headaches and issues of challenging projects and ensures all issues are taken care of expeditiously while delivering the best customer service.

ProPlan Solutions History

ProPlan Solutions is owned and operated by Don Henderson, a former project manager who has a wide and deep level of experience in multiple projects. Don has worked for a major management corporation for over ten years and he has the expertise across a wide variety of projects to effectively lead his teams to success in each project managed. Ron has gained the trust and commitment of three large technology-based companies in Santa Clara and is working to finalize the contracts at this time.

Since incorporation, ProPlan Solutions has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered ProPlan Solutions, LLC to transact business in the state of California.
  • Has a contract in place for a 10,000 square foot office at one of the midtown buildings
  • Reached out to numerous contacts to include ProPlan Solutions in their project planning.
  • Began recruiting an executive staff of three persons and an administrative staff of four to work at ProPlan Solutions.

ProPlan Solutions Services

The following will be the services ProPlan Solutions will provide:

Industry Analysis

The project management industry is expected to grow over the next five years to over $7 billion. The growth will be driven by new technology that drives innovation and new projects that follow. There will be new risk assessments needed and timelines for project management could be more demanding, which would propel growth. This depends on the addition of software and application methods. The growth will also be driven by increasing demand for complex project management, particularly in the technology sector. The growth will be driven by small management projects combined for expediency and collaboration.

Costs will likely be reduced as software reduces the time and personnel needed when new tasks can be managed and completed by robotic or computer-driven technological solutions. Costs will likely be reduced as new constructs become adopted and the point of use becomes widened with many early adopters leading to full market adaptability that will reduce the cost per project.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market, customer segmentation.

ProPlan Solutions will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Construction companies
  • Technology-driven companies
  • Independent project managers
  • City or statewide planning officials
  • Commercial building owners
  • Collaborators and stakeholders of construction projects

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

ProPlan Solutions will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

The Rodgers Group

The Rodgers Group provides risk analysis and risk management during complex projects while in process. The risk analysis component is determined by Trenton Rogers, a skilled professional with ten years of expertise gained before he started The Rodgers Group. Potential risk assessments and projections will include changes in project scope, unforeseen challenges, and market competition. The Rodgers Group also manages mitigation strategies, preparing multiple “what if” scenarios for their client base.

EX Strategies

Started by London Breed in 2015, EX Strategies is focused on projects that involved exit strategies. In many cases, this requires lengthy and specific client consultations and care as the exit process can be lengthy. EX Strategies handles all potential exit strategies, including mergers, acquisitions, and transiting to a consulting model as needed. The market conditions and business goals of every business owner are determined prior to any constructions or projects get underway.

The Sustainable Assessment Company

The Sustainable Assessment Company specializes in projects that determine sustainability, no matter how large or small the project may be. Founded by Josiah Stein in 2020, the company focuses on the fact that most construction now contains sustainability plans and solutions. Therefore, the Sustainable Assessment Company looks forward and backward at new and existing organizations to determine viability of the initial plans and creates solutions that lead to higher-performing levels of sustainability. As many companies are committed to community engagement, along with social and environmental responsibility, the Sustainable Assessment Company supports and creates new constructs for success in these areas.

Competitive Advantage

ProPlan Solutions will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

ProPlan Solutions will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for ProPlan Solutions is as follows:

Word of Mouth/Referrals

ProPlan Solutions has built up an extensive list of contacts over the years by providing exceptional service and expertise to their former clients. The contacts and clients will follow them to the new company and help spread the word of ProPlan Solutions.

Professional Associations and Networking

Industry associations will be joined and networking efforts will become an on-going effort at ProPlan Solutions. Trade associations in the national arena will also be joined. New technology trade associations will also be adopted, as companies seek the newest technology to apply the most effective innovations.

Website/SEO Marketing

ProPlan Solutions will fully utilize their website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services that ProPlan Solutions provides. The website will also list their contact information and list a few of their largest projects completed successfully. The website will engage in SEO marketing tactics so that anytime someone types in the Google or Bing search engine “project management company” or “risk assessments near me,” ProPlan Solutions will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of ProPlan Solutions will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive excellent value when purchasing their services.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for ProPlan Solutions. Operation Functions:

  • Don Henderson will be the owner and president of the company. Don will oversee all staff and manage client relations. Don has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
  • Stanley Marshall will be the new administrative director, overseeing employees, organizational needs and the construction of projects that conform to timelines.
  • Darlene Cooper brings social media skills and public relations expertise to ProPlan Solutions. She will become the marketing director, building the pipeline of potential clients within the marketing skills and capabilities she carries.


ProPlan Solutions will have the following milestones completed in the next six months.

  • 5/1/202X – Finalize contract to lease office space
  • 5/15/202X – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the ProPlan Solutions
  • 6/1/202X – Finalize contracts for ProPlan Solutions clients
  • 6/15/202X – Begin networking at industry events
  • 6/22/202X – Begin moving into ProPlan Solutions office
  • 7/1/202X – ProPlan Solutions opens its doors for business

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for ProPlan Solutions are the fees they will charge to clients for their services. .

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff ProPlan Solutions. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, office supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

ProPlan Solutions is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its project management company. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and association memberships. The breakout of the funding is below:

Key Assumptions

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of Projects Per Month: 15
  • Average Revenue per Month: $25,000
  • Office Lease per Year: $100,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, tow truck business plan faqs, what is a project management business plan.

A project management business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your project management business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections. You can easily complete your Project Management business plan using our Project Management Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Project Management Businesses?

There are a number of different kinds of project management businesses, some examples include: Marketing project management, Construction project management, Engineering project management, and IT project management.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Project Management Business Plan?

Project Management businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

What are the Steps To Start a Project Management Business?

Starting a project management business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster. 1. Develop A Project Management Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed project management business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast. 2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your project management business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your project management business is in compliance with local laws. 3. Register Your Project Management Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your project management business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your project management business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 7. Acquire Necessary Project Management Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your project management business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your project management business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.

Process Street

Project Management Planner Template

Identify the project's goals, identify required resources, break down the project into manageable tasks, define project timeline, assign roles and responsibilities, approval: project scope and objectives.

  • Identify the project's goals Will be submitted

Create detailed project plan

Identify potential risks and come up with risk management plan, approval: risk management plan.

  • Identify potential risks and come up with risk management plan Will be submitted

Schedule project kick-off meeting

Regularly monitor and track project progress, prepare status updates, approval: status updates.

  • Regularly monitor and track project progress Will be submitted
  • Prepare status updates Will be submitted

Communication with stakeholders

  • 3 Project management software
  • 4 Phone calls
  • 5 Video conferences

Evaluate task performance and team productivity

  • 1 Quality of work
  • 2 Timeliness
  • 3 Collaboration
  • 4 Problem-solving skills
  • 5 Creativity

Approval: Performance Evaluation

  • Evaluate task performance and team productivity Will be submitted

Project adjustment when required

Project closure and evaluation, approval: project closure.

  • Project closure and evaluation Will be submitted

Document lessons learned for future projects

Take control of your workflows today., more templates like this.

  • Get started
  • Project management
  • CRM and Sales
  • Work management
  • Product development life cycle
  • Comparisons
  • Construction management
  • updates

Free business plan templates and examples for your startup

business plan template project management

You are starting a new business.

Huge plunge.

But you don’t want to just “start a new business” and call it a day. Nope. You want to start a new successful business … which is going to require a well-thought-out business plan … which requires a (free) business plan template, of course.

The ever-essential business plan around your proposed startup business should include every nitty-gritty detail, from the company description to your target market and financial projections .

Sounds like a lot, right? It is. Writing a plan for your business from scratch can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before.

But alas, that’s where a free business plan template can be a life-saver.

This article will provide a step-by-step guide for creating a plan using one of our free business plan templates. Because at, we want you — and your new venture — to succeed.

Get the template

What is a free business plan template?

A free business plan template is a document that outlines every critical aspect that should go into your business plan — and you don’t have to pay anything for it. It guides you and makes it easy to focus on necessary components without going overboard and including too much information.

A good template should cover each stage of managing and starting a business. This means your template should act as a step by step guide on how to include the following information:

  • Your business’ core activities
  • Its goals and objectives
  • How it plans to achieve these goals

Because business plans are an essential component of any organization’s operational roadmap, a template is a must-have tool for all entrepreneurs and startup business owners. 

Writing a complete business plan is key to documenting business models , creating accurate financial projections, and turning your business idea into reality.

Why use a free business plan template?

Creating a business plan with a free template might not sound like much, but it can lead to a more successful business. Here’s are 6 reasons why:

1. Helps secure funding

You can’t apply for financing proposals without a formal business plan. Using the correct format from a professional template is vital to show all parties of interest, including investors and financial institutions, that you are committed to building and growing your enterprise.

Investors will carefully review your business plan before agreeing to meet you in person, let alone write you a check.

2. Makes business plan look more professional

Creating a business plan from a template shows that you are serious about your business.

3. Gives business direction

Drawing up a step by step business model provides you with a roadmap for future operations and times of doubt. Without a concise business plan template, you may constantly change your strategies and goals without bearing your long-term milestones in mind.

Using a template gives you direction and ensures that every choice you make furthers your business’s ultimate goals and objectives.

4. Helps establish important milestones

A template will help you identify the long-term milestones that are important for the success of your venture. Setting milestones from the beginning can help you determine if your business is on the right track.

5. Helps assess the feasibility of the venture

Not all business plans translate into thriving real-world businesses. Using a business plan template helps you determine how viable your business plan is while minimizing opportunity costs. It also encourages you to research target markets and your competitive landscape.

6. It’s FREE

This might be obvious, but it’s still important. Creating a business plan can be a time-consuming, expensive process. Hiring a professional business consultant for your business plan will cost, on average, $399 .

You don’t have to spend money outsourcing a business plan writing service with a free business plan template. Instead, invest those funds elsewhere in your startup business.

What are some examples of free business plan templates?

There are different types of business plan templates to choose from depending on your type of business and reason for writing a business plan.

Here are some sample business plans based on different templates.

Startup business plan template

A startup business plan is like a standard business plan; only this document is written specifically for a startup business. It is often presented to potential investors to obtain startup funding.

diagram showing how to write a startup business plan

( Image Source )

Startup plans are preliminary plans that can be tweaked as the firm grows. These documents include information like the idea for the business, a description of the product or service, a marketing plan, and profit projections.

Strategic business plan template

Strategic business plans outline the strategies that a business will use to achieve its goals.

These plans are generally for internal purposes and are based on a SWOT analysis . This plan should outline how specific strategies will move the company toward its milestones and allocate resources.

One-page business plan template

A one-page business plan is a simplified version of a standard business plan. It is a single-page document that focuses on the core aspects of your business.

example of a one-page business plan template with questions

This template doesn’t include descriptions, summaries, and background details. Although concise, it still contains all the necessary information, including the business model, financial projections, and target market .

Operational plan template

A template for an operational plan , also known as an annual plan, focuses on sketching out the day-to-day operational actions a team needs to take to reach significant goals. It outlines the duties and responsibilities of the management team, various departments, and staff and how they should contribute to its overall success.

7 elements of a business plan

A traditional business plan template should include these essential sections.

1. Executive summary

This should be the first section of your business plan. The executive summary covers what you expect your business to achieve and highlights what you will discuss in the remainder of your plan.

Screenshot of business plan executive summary section

2. Company description

Your company description should include important information about your business, goals, and target audiences. Use this section to explain your core offerings for customers and how your business stands out from its rivals.

3. Product or service offered

This section should include a detailed breakdown of your products and services and how they have been tailored to meet current demands. Some other information to include is:

  • Your suppliers
  • The cost of manufacturing your products
  • Your projected profit margins
  • Any relevant information about copyrights and patents

4. Target market analysis

Your target market analysis should visualize your target customers and their purchasing habits and demands. Use this section to show that you have a solid understanding of your industry and target audiences.

5. Marketing plan

The marketing plan section of your business plan should describe how you plan to reach your target customers with your core marketing messages, as well as your products and services. Detail the steps you need to promote your products, including your budget and marketing strategies.

6. Competitive analysis

This section should compare your business to your direct and indirect industry rivals. Speak about what your competitors are doing and if they are failing or succeeding. Mention any issues that could impact your entry into the market here.

7. Financial projections

This section should break down your financial goals and projections that you’ve calculated using market research. Include your anticipated revenues for your first year of operation. It’s good to include an appendix with additional financial data (financial statements) if you’re using your plan to apply for business loans.

And of course …’s free business plan template

Old-fashioned business plans made in a spreadsheet or word processor are static and easy to forget.’s comprehensive business plan templates make drawing concise business plans and financial projections a breeze.

Here are some of the many ways our business plan template will help you communicate your vision and strategy:

Seamlessly share your business plan

Besides financial investors, other invested parties will want to see your business plan — usually referred to as stakeholders —business partners, employees, bankers, suppliers, customers, consultants, and even friends and family.

How to share a board in

Rather than back and forth emails, make your business plan accessible to whoever you want with our “share view” options. Easily create and send a shareable link to your business plan. Or send out a read-only version to ensure no one makes any unwanted edits.

Hide certain information

Maybe you don’t want everyone to know your startup business’ financial projections. We get it. Planning the financial aspects of a startup business is tricky.

With’s template , you can hide certain business plan sections by hiding columns or using Board Filters. 

Once you’ve excluded any sensitive information from your business plan, you can save this new view of your business plan to be easily accessible later. In addition, by creating a view according to the exact parameters you want to see, you won’t have to keep editing your business plan according to what information you want to have displayed.

Screenshot of's business plan template

Transform your business plan into action

You’ve written a stellar business model, got the funding you need, and are officially starting a business. So what happens to all that hard work you did for your business plan? helps you execute your business plan by turning it into actionable tasks. Our platform lets you centralize all your work, tools, processes, and files, including your business plan and associated data, into a single Work OS .

Build your ideal workflow by turning your business plan into a project timeline, budget template , or marketing strategy. Have access to all of the documentation you need instantly in one convenient location, maximizing your productivity and organization.

FAQs about business plan templates

How do i write a simple business plan.’s business plan template gives you all the tools you need to write both simple and more complex business plans.

Should you use a template for a business plan?

Yes! A business plan template will give your plan structure and ensure that you can secure funding and guide your business’s growth.

What is the best format for a business plan?

A template provides the best format for a business plan, as it breaks down all the essential information you need to include. Find all the business plan templates you need at

Who should develop business plans?

Any new business owner (or someone aspiring to start or acquire a business) should develop a business plan.

Send this article to someone who’d like it.

Project Management Template.

As a project manager, you’re juggling a lot in your day-to-day and the hours can quickly disappear. Project management templates can help you to keep track of your projects, without the task becoming a whole other job. With a good template, you can set up and manage new projects in a flash. 

Learn more about project management templates and how to make the most out of them with Adobe. 

Download Your Project Management Template for Free. 

Download your free, customisable project management template and get started on your next project today. Save time and boost your workflow with free templates from Adobe. 

The Different Templates for Project Management. 

Depending on the scope and field of the project, you may want to utilise a different project management template. Some examples of different templates include: 

If you’re looking for a general, comprehensive and in-depth top-down view of your project’s performance, scope and deliverables, this may be the ideal project management template. It can help to get a project off the ground and keep track of execution. 

It’s also a great way to set and track goals and then deliver results or progress to those who need to see it. 

business plan template project management

Budgeting can be tricky and sometimes a single column template isn’t enough. A project budgeting template can help you to set budgets, keep track of spending and forecast any additional costs in a handy, in-depth sheet. 

The benefit of this template is that it can provide more detail without cluttering other project management templates. You can always slot it into a tab supporting other sheets if you want all your project information in one place.

business plan template project management

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a performance metric that, over time, can become difficult to track. 

An OKR tracking template is an easy-to-use system that helps you to keep tabs on team objectives, results and goals in a manageable way. It can keep focus points centralised and help you and your team clearly understand your OKRs - ideal for businesses big and small. 

business plan template project management

As anyone who’s ever managed an event can tell you, there’s a lot of spinning plates before showtime. From dates, times, caterers, costs and presentation slots to attendees and seating, so much goes into planning an event of any size. 

An event management template is a framework to help you to plan pre-event and evaluate post-event, giving you much needed data when required. It allows you to assign tasks, predict hours required and give a better idea of what you need to make your event a success.

business plan template project management

Construction tasks are big projects, even when they seem small. Having a pre-defined template to help oversee your construction project can be an easy way to get things through to the finish line. 

It can help you to visualise costs, timescales and materials and keep track of finished work or additional jobs.

business plan template project management

Project management templates can come in many forms and one you may not expect is for IT ticket management. 

While this is helpful for collecting end-user information on issues, prioritising fixes and keeping track of an issue’s status, it can also be an amazing source of data to use for a self-service knowledge base in the future.

business plan template project management

Modify templates using Acrobat Online.

Discover Adobe’s online PDF editor . Easily incorporate text, sticky notes, highlights, drawings and more into your PDF Streamline your work with Adobe. 

What you'll learn:

•   What is a Project Management Template?

•   The Different Templates for Project Management.

•   Key Features of a Project Management Template.

•   The Benefits of Using a Project Management Template.

What is a Project Management Template?

A good project management template will help you plan, save time and generally make your everyday tasks more efficient. There are a few ways they achieve this, such as:  

  • Utilising pre-built workflows
  • Prioritising tasks
  • Aiding team collaboration
  • Project tracking

Key Features of a Project Management Template. 

Before you can start using a project management template, you need to ensure that it’s fit for purpose. After all, you don’t want to be switching templates and transcribing data mid-project. So, avoid the late nights and caffeine sessions and start out the right way.

Depending on the project you’re managing, you’ll want to ensure that you have the following features: 

  • Objective Tracking. This provides a way to note key deliverables and goals and serves as the core of most project management templates. 
  • Task Prioritisation . Having a template set up that allows you to order and prioritise tasks can be essential for effectively managing workflow.
  • Timelines. Access to timelines helps to ensure you and your team are on track with any deliverables. Gantt chart timelines, in particular, can give a microscopic, clear visualisation of tasks and their milestones. 
  • Budget Allocation . Budgeting is an essential part of project management. Being able to clearly determine cost points can be key for reporting and budgeting. 
  • Multiple Project View : If you’re handling multiple, intertwined projects, then project tracking can help team collaboration and give you an overview of multiple projects simultaneously. The means you can track any intertwining details, which can be incredibly handy if projects rely on each other. 
  • Tool Integration . The world of IT is growing and being able to include automation or reporting tools with your project management templates can greatly boost workflow.

The Benefits of Using a Project Management Plan. 

A properly utilised and maintained project management plan has a lot of potential benefits. These include: 

Saves Time.

With a helpful project management plan, you can save time by reuse tried-and-true frameworks that suit your project best. Gaining this familiarity over time can lead to increased efficiency. 

Outlines Key Steps.

Determining (and keeping sight of) your key goals is easy with a customised project management template. This enables you to ensure your project maintains pace and easily report on the project’s success in bite-size pieces. 

Aids with Project Scope and Resources.

With an intelligent management framework in place, you can get a sense of your project’s scope - even if it changes throughout the process. This means you can effectively determine and plan resources as required, with the data to back everything up. 

Assists Task Management.

Assigning tasks, completion dates, progress and priorities can be simple with the proper project management plan. Re-assign work and keep track of which tasks are at which stage in a simple to use, easy to oversee framework. 

Presents an Easy Review Process.

Over a project’s lifetime - or post-lifecycle - you may want to report on key statistics. With all the information in one place, you can easily report on these metrics to assist future projects or give updates on in-progress ones. 

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Restaurant Business Plan PDF Example

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  • February 23, 2024
  • Business Plan

the business plan template for a restaurant

Creating a comprehensive business plan is crucial for launching and running a successful restaurant. This plan serves as your roadmap, detailing your vision, operational strategies, and financial plan. It helps establish your restaurant’s identity, navigate the competitive market, and secure funding for growth.

This article not only breaks down the critical components of a restaurant business plan, but also provides an example of a business plan to help you craft your own.

Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or new to the food and beverage industry, this guide, complete with a business plan example, lays the groundwork for turning your restaurant concept into reality. Let’s dive in!

Our restaurant business plan is structured to cover all essential aspects needed for a comprehensive strategy. It outlines the restaurant’s operations, marketing strategy, market environment, competitors, management team, and financial forecasts.

  • Executive Summary: Offers an overview of the restaurant’s business concept, market analysis, management, and financial strategy.
  • Restaurant & Location: Describes the restaurant’s prime location, size, seating capacity, and distinctive design, emphasizing its appeal to the target demographic.
  • Supply & Operations: Outlines the supply chain management, focusing on local sourcing and quality ingredients, and details the operational aspects, including kitchen layout, equipment, and front-of-house operations.
  • Key Stats: Shares industry size, growth trends, and relevant statistics for the full-service restaurant market.
  • Key Trends: Highlights recent trends affecting the restaurant sector, such as health-conscious dining, sustainability, and technology integration.
  • Key Competitors: Analyzes the main competitors in the vicinity, showcasing the restaurant’s unique selling proposition in comparison.
  • SWOT: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis.
  • Marketing Plan: Strategies for promoting the restaurant to maximize visibility and customer engagement.
  • Timeline: Key milestones and objectives from the initial setup through the launch and operational optimization.
  • Management: Information on who manages the restaurant and their roles.
  • Financial Plan: Projects the restaurant’s financial performance, including revenue, profits, and expected expenses, aiming for profitability and sustainable growth.

the business plan template for a restaurant

Restaurant Business Plan

Download an expert-built 30+ slides Powerpoint business plan template

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary introduces your restaurant’s business plan, offering a concise overview of your establishment and its offerings. It should detail your market positioning, the variety of cuisines and dining experiences you offer, its location, size, and an outline of day-to-day operations. 

This section should also explore how your restaurant will integrate into the local market, including the number of direct competitors within the area, identifying who they are, along with your restaurant’s unique selling points that differentiate it from these competitors. 

Furthermore, you should include information about the management and co-founding team, detailing their roles and contributions to the restaurant’s success. Additionally, a summary of your financial projections, including revenue and profits over the next five years, should be presented here to provide a clear picture of your restaurant’s financial plan.

Make sure to cover here _ Business Overview _ Market Overview _ Management Team _ Financial Plan

Restaurant Business Plan executive summary1

Dive deeper into Executive Summary

Business Overview

For a Restaurant, the Business Overview section can be concisely divided into 2 main slides:

Restaurant & Location

Briefly describe the restaurant’s physical environment, emphasizing its design, ambiance, and the overall dining experience it offers to guests. Mention the restaurant’s location, highlighting its accessibility and the convenience it offers to diners, such as proximity to entertainment venues or ease of parking. Explain why this location is advantageous in attracting your target clientele.

Supply & Operations

Detail the range of cuisines and dishes offered, from appetizers and main courses to desserts and specialty beverages. Outline your sourcing strategy, ensuring it reflects a commitment to quality and sustainability, and matches the market you’re targeting.

Highlight any unique culinary techniques, exclusive ingredients, or innovative kitchen technologies that set your restaurant apart. Discuss your operational strategies, including inventory management, supplier relationships, and kitchen workflow, to ensure efficiency and consistency in delivering exceptional dining experiences.

Make sure to cover here _ Restaurant & Location _ Supply & Operations

Business Plan_Pizzeria restaurant

Market Overview

Industry size & growth.

In the Market Overview of your restaurant business plan, start by examining the size of the restaurant industry and its growth potential. This analysis is crucial for understanding the market’s scope and identifying expansion opportunities.

Key market trends

Proceed to discuss recent market trends, such as the increasing consumer interest in farm-to-table dining, ethnic cuisines, and experiential dining experiences.

For example, highlight the demand for restaurants that offer unique cultural dishes, the growing popularity of health-conscious and dietary-specific menus, and the integration of technology in enhancing the dining experience.

Key competitors

Then, consider the competitive landscape, which includes a range of dining establishments from gourmet fine dining to fast-casual eateries, as well as the rise of food delivery services and meal kits.

For example, emphasize what makes your restaurant distinctive, whether it’s through a unique culinary approach, a niche market focus, or a strong commitment to sustainability and local sourcing.

Make sure to cover here _ Industry size & growth _ Key market trends _ Key competitors

Restaurant Business Plan market overvie1

Dive deeper into Key competitors

First, conduct a SWOT analysis for the restaurant , highlighting Strengths (such as a unique menu and exceptional customer service), Weaknesses (including potential high operational costs or strong competition in the area), Opportunities (for example, a growing interest in diverse cuisines and healthy eating), and Threats (such as economic downturns that may decrease consumer spending on dining out).

Marketing Plan

Next, develop a marketing strategy that outlines how to attract and retain customers through targeted advertising, promotional discounts, an engaging social media presence, food blogger outreach, and community involvement, such as local events or charity sponsorships.

Finally, create a detailed timeline that outlines critical milestones for the restaurant’s opening, marketing campaigns, customer base growth, and expansion objectives, ensuring the business moves forward with clear direction and purpose.

Make sure to cover here _ SWOT _ Marketing Plan _ Timeline

Restaurant Business Plan strategy

Dive deeper into SWOT

Dive deeper into Marketing Plan

The management section focuses on the restaurant’s management and their direct roles in daily operations and strategic direction. This part is crucial for understanding who is responsible for making key decisions and driving the restaurant towards its financial and operational goals.

For your restaurant business plan, list the core team members, their specific responsibilities, and how their expertise supports the business.

Restaurant Business Plan management1

Financial Plan

The Financial Plan section is a comprehensive analysis of your financial projections for revenue, expenses, and profitability. It lays out your restaurant’s approach to securing funding, managing cash flow, and achieving breakeven.

This section typically includes detailed forecasts for the first 5 years of operation, highlighting expected revenue, operating costs and capital expenditures.

For your restaurant business plan, provide a snapshot of your financial statement (profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow statement), as well as your key assumptions (e.g. number of customers and prices, expenses, etc.).

Make sure to cover here _ Profit and Loss _ Cash Flow Statement _ Balance Sheet _ Use of Funds

Restaurant Business Plan financial plan1

Privacy Overview


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