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Optimize Your Sales Performance with an Excel-based Sales Plan Template

In today’s competitive business landscape, having a well-defined sales plan is crucial for success. To effectively manage your sales activities and drive growth, it is essential to have a clear roadmap that outlines your strategies, goals, and targets. One powerful tool that can help you streamline this process is an Excel-based sales plan template. This article will explore the benefits of using such a template and provide insights into how it can optimize your sales performance.

Streamline Goal Setting

Setting achievable goals is the foundation of any successful sales plan. With an Excel-based sales plan template, you can easily define your objectives in a clear and organized manner. The template allows you to set specific targets for different time periods, such as quarterly or annually. By inputting these goals into the template, you create a visual representation of what needs to be accomplished.

Moreover, the flexibility of an Excel spreadsheet enables you to track progress against these goals in real-time. You can update the numbers as deals close or adjust targets as needed. This provides valuable insights into your team’s performance and allows for timely adjustments to keep everyone on track.

Efficient Activity Planning

To achieve your sales goals, it’s essential to have a well-structured plan that outlines the necessary activities and strategies. An Excel-based sales plan template offers a comprehensive platform to organize and manage these activities effectively.

Within the template, you can create separate sections for different aspects of your sales process – prospecting, lead generation, follow-ups, etc. This segmented approach helps ensure that each stage receives adequate attention and resources.

Additionally, by assigning responsibilities within the template, you can clearly define who is responsible for each activity. This promotes accountability within your team while fostering collaboration on shared objectives.

Data Analysis Made Easy

Accurate data analysis lies at the core of optimizing your sales performance. An Excel-based sales plan template provides you with a structured framework to collect, organize, and analyze data efficiently.

By inputting relevant data into the template, such as leads generated, conversion rates, or revenue figures, you can generate automated reports and charts. These visual representations allow you to identify trends and patterns that can inform your decision-making process.

Moreover, the flexibility of Excel enables you to customize the template according to your specific needs. You can add additional columns or formulas to calculate key performance indicators (KPIs), such as average deal size or win rate. This customization empowers you to gain deeper insights into your sales activities and make data-driven decisions.

Enhanced Collaboration and Communication

Efficient collaboration and communication are vital for any successful sales team. An Excel-based sales plan template serves as a centralized platform where team members can access and update information in real-time.

By sharing the template with your team members through cloud storage or collaboration tools, everyone has visibility into the overall sales plan. This fosters alignment among team members and ensures that everyone is working towards shared goals.

Additionally, with an Excel-based sales plan template, communication becomes seamless. Team members can leave comments or notes within the spreadsheet itself, allowing for easy collaboration without the need for additional communication tools.

In conclusion, an Excel-based sales plan template is a powerful tool that can optimize your sales performance by streamlining goal setting, efficient activity planning, data analysis, and enhancing collaboration. By leveraging this tool effectively, you can drive growth and achieve success in today’s competitive business environment.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


business plan goals template

Business growth

Business tips

Free business plan template—and how to write your own

A hero image of an orange document icon on a light yellow background.

I wrote my first business plan when I was six. I've learned a lot since then, and in hindsight, I can see why the investors around my family's Christmas table didn't take my space Marine cowboy ranch pitch seriously. I didn't put a lot of thought into what it would take to make the idea work, and I certainly didn't do the market research. Also, it was a space Marine cowboy ranch business.

My point is that thinking about the outcome before considering the many variables that pave the way is counterproductive. A business plan may not seem like the most critical or complicated document, but it can guide an entire organization, keeping success at the top of everyone's mind. It's the difference between a successful investor pitch and crying on Christmas.

To show you what I mean, I've put together a simple business plan template to get you started.

Table of contents:

What is a business plan?

What makes a business plan so important, key components of a business plan, types of business plans, making the business plan template your own, future-proofing your business plan, simple business plan template + example.

Mockup of the business plan template

This simple business plan template outlines key business objectives , strategies, and financial projections. Compiling this information into one document will not only prepare you for the realities of running a business but will also guide your team, business partners, and investors as they navigate the plan.

After some good old-fashioned data entry, you should have a polished business plan that's ready to share. Regardless of what stage your business is in, this template is flexible enough to accommodate your needs.

Here's a business plan example I put together using the template above, to give you an idea of what it might look like once it's complete.

A business plan is a document that clearly defines your company's goals, strategies, and operational details. It's essentially a roadmap for your team and investors. Think of it as boiling your entire business (concept, vision, dreams, and everything in between) down to one document. 

A formal business plan will include an overview of your products or services, marketing and sales strategies, targeted markets, financial details, and even a description of what you're building. 

Of course, business plans are unique snowflakes, so there's no one size fits all. Depending on what you're trying to do—attract investors, guide project expansion, align team members—your plan will look a little different. I'll dig into the different types of business plans in a bit.

In its simplest form, a business plan turns your concept into a reality. In more tangible terms, it also helps you achieve necessary business goals like securing funding. You'll have a hard time finding investors if you show up to a pitch meeting with only a winning smile and a can-do attitude—a strong business plan can show them a clear path to a return on their investment.

Investors and their judgmental silence aside, this document is critical for guiding internal decision-making, setting goals, and providing a clear direction for the business and its vision.

Before your business partners can understand your vision, you need to make sure you do. Before you start putting your business plan together, ask yourself whether your idea is feasible, whether it's different from what's already out there, if there are any competitors, and if they're doing something unique. Also consider your prices and customer base.

Illustration showing the core questions to ask when building a business plan, with three different phases of questions protruding from a central "buisness concept" box

You likely already know most of the answers to these questions. My Christmas pitch all those years ago could have gone differently if I'd put crayon to paper and answered these questions myself. My family couldn't follow my spur-of-the-moment speech, and neither will your team or investors—they need it spelled out as clearly as possible.

While no two business plans will look the same, there's a handful of key components virtually all good business plans have in common. So, if you haven't already looked through the template with the optimism that my six-year-old self lost that Christmas, here's what you can expect to find.

Title page: Impress readers with a unique presentation. This is your first opportunity to showcase your brand. 

Table of contents: No one likes being lost in a document. A TOC can help readers navigate the various sections and get an overview of what's inside.

Executive summary: Provide an overview of the business, summarizing its mission, goals, and key highlights.

Market analysis: Include your research and data on the target market. Make sure to outline industry trends, competition, and customer demographics.

Products/services: Detail your services or products. You'll want to expand on your unique selling points and customer benefits.

Marketing and sales strategy: Outline your plans for promoting your business. If you've already identified marketing and sales channels, include those, too.

Financial plan: Define all financial details, from required funding and business budget to projected income and profit.  

The organization: Showcase how your business will function on a structural level. Make sure to talk about your team's different positions and functions, and how it will all be managed.

Let's say you have a well-established construction manufacturing business. If you're looking to expand the business into a new location, you don't want to repurpose the same simple startup business plan. You'd want to build on it (pun intended) with an expansion business plan. 

Unlike your original business plan, which outlined your original milestones and goals, an expansion plan would include an analysis of your expansion and its development, purpose, feasibility, market, and reasoning. It would still outline your overarching goals for the business as a whole, but with additional information about the expansion and what that entails.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. For example, internal and strategic business plans serve an internal purpose. These are the types that are written for your team rather than your business partners. They're created to pin down the long-term game plan and keep team members aligned.

Not all businesses are in the same stage, so be sure to find a business plan that fits your current needs. A new startup's checklist is different from that of an expanding business, and so is its business plan. 

A business idea and a feasible business plan are two very different things. Follow these steps to solidify your ideas into a clear roadmap. 

1. Define your mission statement

A mission statement is a way for you to tell your company's story and communicate the vision you have for it. It should reflect your values, goals, and what you hope to achieve, setting the tone for your entire business plan. Ask yourself if your mission statement makes your business sound credible, feasible, and profitable. 

2. Outline a detailed company description

Don't be shy about the details. Provide your readers with a comprehensive overview of your company, its history, founders, legal structure, location, and the concept it's all built around. You might even include photos and illustrations for an extra flair.

3. Set your business goals

Set out your short- and long-term business goals. Be as specific as you can, and use the SMART technique , outlining goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Make sure these goals align with your mission statement.

4. Detail your services/products

Describe your services or products and lean heavily on their unique selling points. Discuss benefits, features, and the problems they solve for the target market you're aiming to reach. Include some visuals of your product or service to really drive the point home.

5. Analyze your target audience

Describe the market you're targeting and the audience demographics you've identified in your research. Understanding your future customers is essential for marketing and sales strategies. Put together ICPs to define your ideal customer base and create buyer personas to keep your team on track.

6. Set milestones for marketing and sales

Showcasing that you've identified your target audience isn't enough. You need to prove that you know how to speak to it and how to appeal to it while promoting your products and services. Some businesses set up milestones such as X amount of sales, Y number of acquired clients, or, in my case, the successful integration of Cowboy Ranch into the International Space Station.

7. Perform a financial analysis

Conduct a thorough financial analysis that includes details such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Outline your financial projections and your funding requirements. This section should prove how financially feasible your business concept is.

Once you have these points outlined and fleshed out, it's only a matter of representing each and every one of them in detail, ensuring that the voice and tone of your business plan reflect your brand and embody the unique concept you want to get across.

In summary: investors are not mind readers, and cowboys should stay on Earth. 

Your business plan is the sum of your ideas, passion, vision, and the lessons you learn as your business develops. Over the years, it will likely go through a few iterations and changes, but the plan you write today will guide you through the beginning stages. 

As your business plan grows out of its infancy, you can start looking into other useful tools like revenue growth plans to start preparing for the challenges ahead. And when those challenges come, Zapier can help growing businesses like yours tackle them with no-code automation that scales with you.

Related reading:

How to create effective document templates  

Business startup checklist: How to launch a startup step by step

7 free small business budget templates for future-proofing your finances

How to build a revenue growth plan that works

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Hachem Ramki

Hachem is a writer and digital marketer from Montreal. After graduating with a degree in English, Hachem spent seven years traveling around the world before moving to Canada. When he's not writing, he enjoys Basketball, Dungeons and Dragons, and playing music for friends and family.

  • Sales & business development
  • Small business

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Losing Focus? Stay Aligned With a Business Goals Template

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  • OKR - Objectives & Key Results

Business Goals Template [Free Download]

How to use the business goals template, “what are business goals examples”, spreadsheets vs okr software: implement goal effectively, how to set business goals using a dedicated okr software , get organized and take goal-setting to the next level.

Effective business leaders not only have a clear vision, they also know how to communicate it clearly and translate it into action plans. Understanding the company’s direction and knowing how individual contribution (output) is attributed to achieving overarching business objectives ( outcomes ) is the essence of creating a goal-setting and growth mindset.

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion” - Jack Welch

For instance, your company’s goals or business objectives could be to:

  • Generate $200K in revenue
  • Increase customer retention by 25%
  • Launch 5 new products

Considering only these high-level annual business goals without day-to-day/weekly/monthly action plans can lead to loss of focus and misalignment.

That’s why business goal-setting using an effective approach is important. The Objective and Key Results (OKR) framework is a proven methodology used by leading companies to achieve their business goals.

Try OKR Goal Setting Software

Keep business goals front and center with tracking functionalities and visual dashboards - stay focused, achieve real results.

What is OKR - Weekdone

If you have created your business goals already, here is an effective way to track them and stay aligned.

Download your free business goals planning template here !

Business Goals Planning Template - Weekdone

This simple, business goals template is easy to use and perfect for articulating your business goals in one place. It can be used by any type of business across industry sectors.

1. Define Company Vision

This is the most important part of your goal-setting process. Your business vision is the foundation of your overall business.

The vision needs to be a brief and concrete mission statement. While you can redefine your vision annually, it ideally should stay consistent for at least 5-10 years.

Define success and visualize how your business would be when it’s most successful. For instance, your vision could be “to become the biggest company with the largest market share in your sector”, or “to become the #1 customer-centric company delivering the highest customer value”, or it could be to “become the company with the highest brand value”.

Typically your vision must be an aspirational statement that provides direction and focus for everyone in the company to keep in mind when creating their goals.

2. Define Strategy

A strategy is an important part of running a successful business. While you may have different strategies for different business functions, you must have one overall strategy for success.

When starting out, you can choose a strategy that is tried and tested for your business. In time, you can change to align them with new business goals that you aspire to reach. Think about your niche segment and how you can realistically gain a competitive position in the market within a specified period.

3. Define Annual Focus Areas 

Record the most important focus areas for the year. This could be simple as “revenue” or “invest in public relations”.

Focus areas would be the “theme” of your fiscal year. What do you want to focus on in twelve months? Why do you want to focus on it? Does this focus result in you achieving your vision and strategy?

For instance, the focus area could be to “invest heavily in content marketing and link building” to achieve the 5-10 year vision to “have the biggest organic traffic in the software market.”

4. Set OKRs

The Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) section of the template is where quarterly planning happens. Define an Objective you want to achieve within 3 months and set Key Results that will help you track and measure progress made toward that Objective.

The OKR goal-setting methodology is popular among leading companies like Google. This goal system is a simple process to understand and is different from traditional planning methods in that it is constantly set, tracked, and evaluated.

💡 Keep in mind that you can learn how leading companies set their goals but you must tailor your OKR approach to fit your needs.

Use a Guided OKR-writing Tool

Write high quality OKRs from scratch with a built-in OKR Wizard and example OKRs. Keep goals front and center with color-coded tracking and visual dashboards.

Tips to Writing Good OKRs - Weekdone Best Practices

In the business goals template provide we have listed three Objectives:

  • Improve brand presence
  • Improve content and distribution
  • Achieve record metrics in blog organic traffic

For every Objective, make sure to list the Key Results you want to achieve (up to five per Objective) and the metrics to measure them. Also, include a reasonable deadline to achieve each Key Result.

For instance, for the Objective to “improve brand presence” a Key Result you may want to achieve could be to “earn five placements in mainstream media in the quarter”. You could measure this on a scale of 1 to 5. Revisit and evaluate Objectives and Key Results every quarter and revise them if it is not achieved. 

Here’s a snapshot of an OKR example:

Business goals - OKRs

👉 Read more to learn how to write good OKRs and watch how to implement OKRs and to put theory to practice using a step-by-step OKR example.

Video to Learn How to Write Good OKRs

5. Plan, Track and Review Weekly

The weekly planning ( Plans, Progress, and Problems ) process gives you an idea about the progress made toward achieving your goals. 

Ideally conducted on a Friday it gives a snapshot of weekly performance. What did you accomplish in the week? What do you plan to accomplish next week? What problems do you expect? It is best to keep it concise and also include achievements no matter how small (such as publishing two blog posts).

Video - PPP methodology (Plans, Progress, Problems) with Weekdone

6. Review Desired Outcomes

Revisit your desired outcome weekly and define the measurements for success for the next week. A simple example could be “Increase the number of new visitors to the blog by 35%”. Keeping these measurements brief and realistic works well.

The weekly planning (Plans, Progress, and Problems) structure should be visited once a week (we suggest Friday) to look at how different goals have been accomplished.

Look at how the week went. What did you accomplish this week? What do you plan on accomplishing next week? What problems do you expect to run into? Be brief here and don’t be afraid to include achievements that are relatively small, such as publishing two blog posts.

6. Desired Outcome

Like the above section, you’ll want to revisit your desired outcome each and every week on a Friday. Define the measurements for success for the next week. This can be as simple as having an agreed roadmap that your marketing team can use for writing content for the next few months. Keep these measurements brief and realistic.

Video to Learn the difference between Outputs & Outcomes

Business goals can be either long term (1 + years) or short term (3 months or less). 

Examples of short-term business goals:

  • Increase the number of published blog posts per week from 3 to 5
  • Create a marketing campaign for collecting clients’ reviews
  • Increase traffic to the company’s template library
  • Hire a new product marketing manager within the next month

Examples of long-term business goals:

  • Increase Community Outreach
  • Increase Market Share
  • Increase the total income of your company by 30% over the next year
  • Reduce production expenses by 10% over the next three months
  • Grow Shareholder Value
  • Increase overall brand awareness
  • Develop and launch three new products.

📚 Searching for more examples? Here are 40 + business goals examples to get you started and learn different goal setting frameworks you can adopt. 

Business Goals and OKR Examples in Weekdone

Setting goals may be easy, but aligning them and tracking progress can be challenging. That’s why using spreadsheets to track goals and OKRs are not suitable. Instead, to implement the OKR framework accurately, using a dedicated software platform delivers better results. 

Why Spreadsheets are Less Effective

Here are some of the reasons spreadsheets are not a feasible option compared to software applications for implementing OKRs:

  • Spreadsheets enable only recording of goals and do not provide an efficient way to track and align them
  • The process of recording and updating progress of company goals can be time-consuming and 
  • The manual process of updating goals could lead to errors and does not provide the agility to make changes
  • A static record of goals does not encourage engagement and making the team aware of regular updates can be tedious
  • Compliance and participation in goal setting can be difficult to achieve
  • It can get difficult to use spreadsheets when cascading OKRs 
  • Alignment and ensuring dependencies are connected could be challenging to maintain
  • Tracking goals of multiple teams and projects in multiple spreadsheets can be unfeasible

Why a Dedicated OKR Software Works for Implementing Goals

  • View and track business objectives and key results of all teams and the company in one place
  • Get visibility into team-level and company goals and ensure alignment
  • Encourage engagement with reminders to update metrics of key results
  • Monitor the progress of goals effectively using reporting dashboards 
  • Get an overview of overall progress in an instant to make improvements with agility 
  • Streamline workflows and ensure meetings more constructive with effective tracking and reporting features

It can be difficult to set and maintain company goals in spreadsheets. To make goal setting a collaborative process using a dedicated OKR software is an ideal option. Setting your company goals using a platform can add more value to tracking business goals.

Here’s a simple process to set OKRs in a software application:

  • Begin with the Company Objective. Objectives on the Company level represent high-level aspirational goals. 
  • Set team level OKRs. Team Objectives are improvement goals aligned with the overarching goals and must be linked to the Company Objective. They technically translate to Company level Key Results.
  • Add Key Results. Each Team Objective must ideally have between 3-5 Key Results which are measurable outcomes that represent a valuable change in the business. Key Results can be measured on a scale of 0-100% or any numerical unit (for example, $, %, items, clients, etc.).

Writing KR Examples - Weekdone

  • Ensure to leave comments every time you update progress on a KR. This provides helpful insights and records lessons learned.

Setting Business Goals in Goal Setting Software - Weekdone

Using a business goals template is a good way to organize company goals and start the next quarter with specific milestones. This business goal-setting worksheet helps to collaboratively set and track OKRs as a team. Here are some resources that could help you use the business goals template more effectively:

  • OKR examples for different teams - to transform ideas to action
  • Should you use a spreadsheet or goal-setting software ?
  • How to stay on course with OKR Tracking Best Practices
  • What are some of the good and bad OKR examples and how to set OKRs ?
  • How to align OKRs at every level of the company? 

Ready to set your business goals and automate the goal tracking process using a dedicated OKR software?

Simple Business Plan Templates

By Joe Weller | April 2, 2020

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In this article, we’ve compiled a variety of simple business plan templates, all of which are free to download in PDF, Word, and Excel formats.

On this page, you’ll find a one-page business plan template , a simple business plan for startups , a small-business plan template , a business plan outline , and more. We also include a business plan sample and the main components of a business plan to help get you started.

Simple Business Plan Template

Simple Business Plan Template

Download Simple Business Plan Template

This simple business plan template lays out each element of a traditional business plan to assist you as you build your own, and it provides space to add financing information for startups seeking funding. You can use and customize this simple business plan template to fit the needs for organizations of any size.

One-Page Business Plan Template

business plan goals template

Download One-Page Business Plan Template

Excel | Word | PDF  | Smartsheet

Use this one-page business plan to document your key ideas in an organized manner. The template can help you create a high-level view of your business plan, and it provides easy scannability for stakeholders. You can use this one-page plan as a reference to build a more detailed blueprint for your business. 

For additional single page plans, take a look at " One-Page Business Plan Templates with a Quick How-To Guide ."

Simple Fill-in-the-Blank Business Plan Template

Simple Fill In The Blank Business Plan Template

Download Simple Fill-in-the-Blank Business Plan Template

Use this fill-in-the-blank business plan template to guide you as you build your business plan. Each section comes pre-filled with sample content, with space to add customized verbiage relevant to your product or service.

For additional free, downloadable resources, visit " Free Fill-In-the-Blank Business Plan Templates ."

Simple Business Plan for Startup

Start-Up Business Plan Template

‌ Download Startup Business Plan Template — Word

This business plan template is designed with a startup business in mind and contains the essential elements needed to convey key product or service details to investors and stakeholders. Keep all your information organized with this template, which provides space to include an executive summary, a company overview, competitive analysis, a marketing strategy, financial data, and more. For additional resources, visit " Free Startup Business Plan Templates and Examples ."

Simple Small-Business Plan Template

Small Business Plan Template

Download Simple Small-Business Plan Template

This template walks you through each component of a small-business plan, including the company background, the introduction of the management team, market analysis, product or service offerings, a financial plan, and more. This template also comes with a built-in table of contents to keep your plan in order, and it can be customized to fit your requirements.

Lean Business Plan Template

Lean Business Plan Template

Download Lean Business Plan Template

This lean business plan template is a stripped-down version of a traditional business plan that provides only the most essential aspects. Briefly outline your company and industry overview, along with the problem you are solving, as well as your unique value proposition, target market, and key performance metrics. There is also room to list out a timeline of key activities.

Simple Business Plan Outline Template

Simple Business Plan Outline Template

Download Simple Business Plan Outline Template

Word  | PDF

Use this simple business plan outline as a basis to create your own business plan. This template contains 11 sections, including a title page and a table of contents, which details what each section should cover in a traditional business plan. Simplify or expand this outline to create the foundation for a business plan that fits your business needs.

Simple Business Planning Template with Timeline

Simple Business Planning Template with Timeline

Download Simple Business Planning Template with Timeline

Excel | Smartsheet

This template doubles as a project plan and timeline to track progress as you develop your business plan. This business planning template enables you to break down your work into phases and provides room to add key tasks and dates for each activity. Easily fill in the cells according to the start and end dates to create a visual timeline, as well as to ensure your plan stays on track.

Simple Business Plan Rubric Template

business plan goals template

Download Simple Business Plan Rubric

Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet

Once you complete your business plan, use this business plan rubric template to assess and score each component of your plan. This rubric helps you identify elements of your plan that meet or exceed requirements and pinpoint areas where you need to improve or further elaborate. This template is an invaluable tool to ensure your business plan clearly defines your goals, objectives, and plan of action in order to gain buy-in from potential investors, stakeholders, and partners.

Basic Business Plan Sample

Basic Business Plan Sample

Download Basic Business Plan Sample

This business plan sample serves as an example of a basic business plan that contains all the traditional components. The sample provides a model of what a business plan might look like for a fictional food truck business. Reference this sample as you develop your own business plan.

For additional resources to help support your business planning efforts, check out “ Free Strategic Planning Templates .”

Main Components of a Business Plan

The elements you include in your business plan will depend on your product or service offerings, as well as the size and needs of your business. 

Below are the components of a standard business plan and details you should include in each section:

  • Company name and contact information
  • Website address
  • The name of the company or individual viewing the presentation
  • Table of Contents
  • Company background and purpose
  • Mission and vision statement
  • Management team introduction
  • Core product and service offerings
  • Target customers and segments
  • Marketing plan
  • Competitive analysis
  • Unique value proposition
  • Financial plan (and requirements, if applicable)
  • Business and industry overview
  • Historical timeline of your business
  • Offerings and the problem they solve
  • Current alternatives
  • Competitive advantage
  • Market size
  • Target market segment(s)
  • Projected volume and value of sales compared to competitors
  • Differentiation from competitors
  • Pricing strategy
  • Marketing channels
  • Promotional plan
  • Distribution methods
  • Legal structure of your business
  • Names of founders, owners, advisors, etc.
  • Management team’s roles, relevant experience, and compensation plan
  • Staffing requirements and training plans
  • Physical location(s) of your business
  • Additional physical requirements (e.g., warehouse, specialized equipment, facilities, etc.)
  • Production workflow
  • Raw materials and sourcing methods
  • Projected income statement
  • Projected cash flow statement
  • Projected balance sheet
  • Break-even analysis
  • Charts and graphs
  • Market research and competitive analysis
  • Information about your industry
  • Information about your offerings
  • Samples of marketing materials
  • Other supporting materials

Tips for Creating a Business Plan

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of putting together a business plan. Below, you’ll find top tips to help simplify the process as you develop your own plan. 

  • Use a business plan template (you can choose from the variety above), or refer to the previous section to create a standard outline for your plan.
  • Modify your outline to reflect the requirements of your specific business. If you use a standard business plan outline, remove sections that aren’t relevant to you or aren’t necessary to run your business.
  • Gather all the information you currently have about your business first, and then use that information to fill out each section in your plan outline.
  • Use your resources and conduct additional research to fill in the remaining gaps. (Note: It isn’t necessary to fill out your plan in order, but the executive summary needs to be completed last, as it summarizes the key points in your plan.)
  • Ensure your plan clearly communicates the relationship between your marketing, sales, and financial objectives.
  • Provide details in your plan that illustrate your strategic plan of action, looking forward three to five years.
  • Revisit your plan regularly as strategies and objectives evolve.
  • What product or service are we offering?
  • Who is the product or service for?
  • What problem does our product or service offering solve?
  • How will we get the product or service to our target customers?
  • Why is our product or service better than the alternatives?
  • How can we outperform our competitors?
  • What is our unique value proposition?
  • When will things get done, and who is responsible for doing them?
  • If you need to obtain funding, how will you use the funding?
  • When are payments due, and when do payments come in?
  • What is the ultimate purpose of your business?
  • When do you expect to be profitable?

To identify which type of business plan you should write, and for more helpful tips, take a look at our guide to writing a simple business plan .

Benefits of Using a Business Plan Template

Creating a business plan can be very time-consuming, especially if you aren’t sure where to begin. Finding the right template for your business needs can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. 

Using a business plan template — instead of creating your plan from scratch — can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Enables you to immediately write down your thoughts and ideas in an organized manner
  • Provides structure to help outline your plan
  • Saves time and valuable resources
  • Helps ensure you don’t miss essential details

Limitations of a Business Plan Template

A business plan template can be convenient, but it has its drawbacks — especially if you use a template that doesn’t fit the specific needs of your business.

Below are some limitations of using a business plan template:

  • Each business is unique and needs a business plan that reflects that. A template may not fit your needs.
  • A template may restrict collaboration with other team members on different aspects of the plan’s development (sales, marketing, and accounting teams).
  • Multiple files containing different versions of the plan may be stored in more than one place.
  • You still have to manually create charts and graphs to add to the plan to support your strategy.
  • Updates to the plan, spreadsheets, and supporting documents have to be made in multiple places (all documents may not update in real time as changes are made).

Improve Your Business Plan with Real-Time Work Management in Smartsheet

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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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  • Company goals and objectives

Company goals and objectives template

Turn big-picture strategy and goals into action and results with this company goals and milestones template.

Sign up to use this template.


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Tips for setting and managing your company goals with our business goals template

Fortunately, Asana can help. Set and share your business goals, visualize progress, and track all of your  objectives and key results  in one place. With our business goals template you can:

Connect strategy to tactics. Break down goals into projects and tasks so everyone knows how their daily work ladders up to the big picture.

Nail your execution plan. Give each goal or objective a clear owner and due date to drive action and accountability.

Track your progress. Once work is kicked off, share team updates so everyone knows how you’re progressing towards your business objectives and where there are blockers.

A digital OKR template works well for individual teams, but you can level up your goal-setting process with Asana’s Goals feature . Instead of just working on the team level, Goals is an organization-wide tool that can help your entire company set, track, and communicate about goals.

Examples of business goals you can plan with Asana

Company goal planning process

Market share goals

Business objective goals

Corporate goals

New to goal setting in Asana?

All of your questions, answered:

What is a business goal? A business goal is an initiative or objective that your individual, team, and company’s work ladders up to. Business goals can be shorter-term, like team goals for the quarter, or longer-term, like company goals that bring the company closer to its mission.

How do I set business goals? Business goals should be specific and measurable. Consider using a framework, like OKRs, which can help your team set and measure your goals. To learn more about how to set good OKRs while avoiding common goal-setting pitfalls, download our free ebook .

Why is setting goals important? Setting goals is critical for businesses to clearly define objectives and align their initiatives with those objectives. But most teams lack the clarity they need to connect their work to their organization’s goals. A recent study found that only 26% of employees have a very clear understanding of how their work relates to their company’s goals, and just 16% say their company is very effective at setting and communicating goals. With a goal setting framework, your team can bridge the gap between daily projects and organizational impact.

Get started with company goal and milestones planning with our  business goals template . But to really take your organization’s goal planning to the next level, try  Goals . With Goals, you can align your organization’s work to your mission, so you can keep goals top of mind and do more work that delivers measurable results.

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  • Business Plan Template

Business Plan template

What is a business plan.

A Business Plan is a written document that describes your core business objectives and how you plan to achieve them over a set period of time. It is designed to help you, and others, understand how you plan to generate money and make your business sustainable. A Business Plan often includes information about your goals, strategies, marketing and sales plans and financial forecasts. Read on below for more information about the key sections of a Business Plan.

Download your copy of the Business Plan template now. The document includes a Personal Survival Budget template and a Cash Flow Forecast template, which are also required for your application:

The guide is an annotated version of the Business Plan template with notes from our Business Advisers about what type of information, examples and evidence to include in order to help us understand you and your business. While we encourage you to use this Business Plan template, it is not mandatory and you are welcome to submit your own Business Plan template provided it details similar information.

Please note, the following documents should open on any device with a document viewer and editor but for the best user experience, we recommend editing this Business Plan template on a desktop.

Why is a Business Plan important?  

There are many great reasons why it is worth your time creating a Business Plan – even if you’re not quite ready to apply for a Start Up Loan. Here are just seven:

A Business Plan:

  • Provides a structured way of organising your thoughts and clarifying your idea.
  • Helps you set out your goals and spot any potential problems in achieving these goals.
  • Gives you a clear strategy to follow when things get busy.
  • Is often essential for securing external finance for your business (and is required if you’re applying for a Start Up Loan).
  • Allows you to measure your progress as you go along.
  • Ensures all of your team are working towards the same vision.
  • Helps you plan for the future.

Key sections of a Business Plan:  

A Business Plan can include whatever information you feel is required to best convey how you are planning to make your business sustainable and, when it comes to applying for a Start Up Loan, the following are the core sections we require.

Your business and key objectives: A brief description of your business and its core products or services. This section also includes a clear and concise overview of the goals your business is trying to achieve over a set period of time. Sometimes these are broken down as short, mid and long-term goals, but it helps if they’re measurable (how will you know if you have achieved this?) and realistic (can you achieve this with the money, resources and time you have?).  

If you are applying for a Start Up Loan, you will of course also need to detail how you intend to use the money if you’re successful. Our Loan Assessment team will want to see that the Start Up Loan will support your overall business objectives.

Your skills and experience: An overview of your experience as it relates to your business. If you’ve previously worked in a similar business, or have experience running another business, this will help provide confidence that you are in a good position to start up. Even if this is all brand new to you, think about any transferable skills you’ve developed, life experiences you’ve had or training you’ve completed that may be useful.

Your target customers, market and competition: A summary of key insights that demonstrate you have a strong understanding of your customers (and how to identify them), your market (and how to position yourself within it) and your competitors (and how to differentiate yourself from them on factors like price, quality, brand etc).  

Your sales and marketing plans: This section is all about how you are planning to attract customers. You might include information about where you’ll distribute your products, what your branding and logo will be and what pricing you’ll apply. Additionally, you will need to demonstrate how you will spread the word about your product/services in order to generate demand, such as using social media, exhibiting at a trade conference or investing in online advertising.

Your operational plans: This will be different depending on your business model, but may include information on where you’ll trade (like a home office or external premises), the number of staff you’ll need to employ, what their roles will be and any equipment or tools you’ll need to run your business. You can also use this section to detail any processes that are important to your operations, as well as any industry, tax or legal regulations related to your business. It’s also good to think about any risks you may face, how you will overcome them and what you will do if things don’t go to plan.

Financials Many business plans include a financial section, which outlines how you’ll fund all of the activities you’ve outlined and what revenue you expect to generate. Because we ask you to complete a Cash Flow Forecast as part of your Start Up Loan application, we don’t require too much detail on this in your Business Plan. Rather, these two documents should be complementary.

Check out our Cash Flow Forecast guide and template >>

Writing a Business Plan – our top tips:

The tips below have been prepared by our Business Advisers and Loan Assessment team to help you understand some of the key things that will strengthen your application. For more in-depth advice, read our guidelines on how to write a Business Plan .

  • Demonstrate that you understand your market and customer. For our Loan Assessment team to feel comfortable that your business plans are viable, they will want to see that there is a market who wants and needs your product/service, that you have thought about how you’ll set yourself apart from competitors and that you know how to attract your customers. Any market research you can do, like a simple online survey, looking up industry reports or interviews with potential customers will help.
  • Use evidence and examples to back up any statements you make. It’s always more powerful when you can prove what you’re saying with hard facts, whether it’s with a strong statistic, a customer quote, examples of similar activity or other research. It doesn’t have to be detailed – sometimes it will be sufficient to include a link to further information – but it will help our loan assessment team feel more confident that your business plan is viable.
  • Make sure everything ties together by linking every strategy to your core objectives. The purpose of a Business Plan is to show what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them so remember to put your objectives at the heart of your plan. For example, if one of your goals is to generate 10 new sales per month, then in your marketing section you’ll need to think about how many sales each promotional channel needs to deliver in order to support this objective.
  • Consider any risks you face and how you will overcome them. Every business has risks so don’t shy away from referencing these in your business plan. Demonstrating that you are aware of your key risks. Having a clear plan for how to reduce or overcome these is something that will set your business plan apart and give our loan assessment team confidence that you’re ready for the challenge.  
  • Be as clear and concise as possible and avoid waffle. Remember, we’re not looking to see every single detail about how your business will operate, rather we just need to know enough information to give us confidence that you have a clear plan in place. You might like to use bullet points, graphs, tables and subheadings to help you keep your content focused and help you avoid the temptation to go into too much detail.  
  • Presentation matters: proof read, review and format your document. As with most things in life, first impressions count. Use clear headings, structure your document in a clear order and check you’ve used consistent fonts throughout. Remember, you don’t have to be a writer or a designer to prepare a professional looking document. Most importantly, double check that you haven’t made any spelling or grammatical errors. It can be a good idea to have someone proof read your work for you once you’re finished to pick up anything you might have missed.

Learn new skills

Start Up Loans has partnered with the Open University to offer a range of free courses.

A Business Plan can include whatever information you feel is required to best convey how you are planning to make your business sustainable and, when it comes to applying for a Start Up Loan, the following are the core sections we require (our Business Plan template includes them).

Are you ready to kickstart your business?

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Business Goal-Setting and Objectives Templates

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Setting goals for your business is essential to its success. Your plan serves as a roadmap for where you want to go and how you’ll get there. Proper execution means having the right tools in place to organize, align, and track your progress. At AchieveIt, our business goals and objectives templates can help.

In This Article

The benefits of following a templated plan for setting business goals.

  • Strategic Plan
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Improve Your Goal-Setting

business plan goals template

Our free business goals templates help you concentrate on executing your plan. Use these guides to stay:

  • More organized: Set out simple top-to-bottom strategies and align tasks with your business priorities. You’ll have a clearly defined path for meeting each goal, from deliverables to due dates.
  • More accountable: Empower team members to see their role in reaching objectives . You’ll encourage them to stay more engaged and take ownership of their work.
  • More transparent: Create an easy-to-follow view of your initiatives with a well-structured plan . You’ll have complete visibility into your plan’s performance and goal status.

3 Business Goal-Setting and Objectives Templates

AchieveIt offers three business goal-setting templates to help you succeed.

1. Strategic Plan

Even planning newbies find this template helpful for team discussion and goal-setting . Simply enter your company’s needs and data to outline a blueprint that will help you achieve them. Our step-by-step process takes you through:

  • Review: Build your plan on our recommendations with your terminology.
  • Identification: Choose from our five prebuilt themes or find commonalities within your own process to design around business-wide themes.
  • Implementation: Deconstruct each goal into an objective, a strategy, and action steps. 
  • Collaboration: Keep teamwork at the forefront by understanding and defining who is responsible for what and when.
  • Measurement: Quantify success with relevant metrics that reflect progress.


Executive Guide to Strategic Goal Setting 

Download this guide to learn how the most successful executives use goal-setting methodologies and technology to empower their teams and improve execution.

Executive Guide to Goal Setting

2. SMART Goals

Many companies rely on the SMART system to design and carry out a plan for meeting goals. Use our template to set goals that are:

  • Specific: Define goals with a narrow focus for maximum impact. Having a clear idea in mind keeps everyone on the same page.
  • Measurable: Track results with concrete metrics to understand your progress. While success looks different for every company, you need an objective way to gauge performance.
  • Achievable: Make goals realistic enough to reach. Choosing practical milestones keeps teams engaged.
  • Relevant: Focus initiatives on the overarching business objectives. Strategies must align with your company’s vision of what you want to achieve.
  • Timely: Set a deadline for reaching the goal. Having a definitive timeline ensures steady progress.

business plan goals template

Our DMAIC template integrates seamlessly with organizations using Six Sigma methodologies. Download this template to:

  • Define the problem: What needs improving and how will you do it?
  • Measure progress: Where are you compared to where you need to be?
  • Analyze efforts: What strategies are working and which aren’t?
  • Improve processes: Where can we build on our successes?
  • Control the flow: When and where are we testing our process quality?

Pair our business goals templates with the full AchieveIt web-based platform for measurable results. AchieveIt specializes in helping companies realize their visions with a simplified process. Request a personalized demonstration today and our team members will show you how integrated plan management works better with our tools.

Ready to improve your plan execution?

Organizations of all types leverage AchieveIt to connect, manage, and execute their most important initiatives. Replace manual processes & siloed systems with interconnected plans in a single, automated platform .

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