Annual Planning

Man with laptop developing an annual plan during an annual planning meeting

A strong annual plan builds on the company’s broader strategic vision and core values while still providing specific goals, metrics, and budgets to guide managers and employees. If it’s doing its job, the annual business plan is also flexible enough to adapt to an unpredictable and often volatile market.

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What is annual planning?

An annual business plan is a road map for a company and its employees. It contains milestones that carry the plan forward through a series of smaller goals that lead to a broader vision of where the business aims to be by the end of the year.

When a new year arrives, many people make plans and resolutions for the coming 12 months. They look back at the previous year and consider what worked for them and what they want to improve. Then they plan what goals they want to achieve, from getting out of debt to losing weight to learning a new language. Similarly, a company or organization will use an annual business plan to tighten its belt, improve performance, and reach specific goals over the coming year.

Whether using an annual business plan template or working from scratch, a company will review the expectations and results from the previous year in order to create an annual plan that gives everyone in the organization a sense of where they’re headed and how they will get there.

Why annual planning is important.

An annual business plan empowers workers to set specific business goals based on the company’s overarching strategy, and it also holds teams accountable for achieving stated goals.

The annual plan connects directly to where a company wants to be in 3 to 5 years and defines what’s critical to achieve over the next year to progress toward longer-term targets.

A well-formulated annual plan also keeps the workforce united and focused, energizing them to be more productive.

Additional benefits of an annual business plan include:

What’s the difference between an annual plan and a strategic plan?

In the strategic planning process , an organization describes or affirms its mission, deciding what it wants to achieve over the next few years (vision) and setting strategic priorities to help make that vision a reality.

The strategic plan works hand in hand with the annual business plan. The former provides an overarching vision of what the company wants to achieve, and the annual plan provides the nuts and bolts of the necessary work to be done over the coming year.

So, the annual business plan depends on the strategy for its priorities, and the strategy depends on the annual plan to execute its ideas about the organization’s vision, mission, purpose, and goals. Logistics, projects, allocation of resources, and timing are covered in the annual plan.

Preparing to create an annual plan.

Before you can look ahead, you need to first look back, take what you’ve learned, and recommit yourself to your company’s values and priorities. Thus, reviewing your old plan and assessing its results against expectations is an important first step.

You should also review your company’s:

What is included in an annual plan?

There are many annual business plan templates you can use to make your plan. Generally, they contain these elements:

Stated goals (SMART)

Your yearly plan should include both SMART and stretch goals.

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals are an enduring staple of the business world, helping to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, ensure your time and resources are used productively, and increase your chances of success. Stretch goals, as the name suggests, require above-and-beyond effort and innovation to pull off, with the promise of a greater payoff. Include a mixture of both in your annual plan.

Budget and financials

An annual plan also includes projections for the coming 12 months, forecasting income and outlays. Your projections will help you plan for cash flow dips, pinpoint financing needs, and decide the best timing for projects.

Part of this involves developing monthly financial projections by recording expected income based on sales forecasts and anticipated expenses for labor, supplies, overhead, and so on. It’s wise to prepare a projected income (profit and loss) statement and a balance sheet projection.

You can also use the projections to determine financing needs, if any. Well-prepared projections will make it easier to qualify for a loan.

Timelines and checkpoints

To reach where you want your business to be in a year, take your larger goals and split them up into smaller goals set on specific timelines. As you set your deadlines, include metrics that will indicate how successful you’ve been in achieving your goals.

Clearly outlined expectations and responsibilities

An annual business plan works best if it’s aspirational but achievable, with practical goals that are spelled out in clear language, indicating which individuals, teams, or departments are responsible for which parts of the plan. Given that almost 50% of employees in the United States don’t know what is expected of them at work, a little bit of clarity can go a long way.

Vision for what the business looks like at the end of the year

As much as annual business plans are about the practical implementation of a company’s strategy, it’s also important to keep the organization’s aspirational future vision in mind. Having a clear vision of what successful completion of your annual planning goals looks like increases your chances of success.

Contingency plans

What happens if your company’s cash flow gets into trouble? It’s a good idea to set up emergency financial reservoirs before they’re necessary. Maintaining a cash reserve or keeping room in a line of credit are both good contingency measures. Remember to compare your actual financial results to your projections throughout the year, so you can spot financial problems before they spiral out of control.

Creating an annual plan is easier when you use the right tools. These can include an annual business plan template that organizes planning efforts and a wide variety of software solutions for writing business and strategy plans.

As you execute your annual plan, it’s also a good idea to rely on a work management platform  with strategic planning tools that allow you to collaborate productively, create content, and manage complex processes. Using features like Workfront's Scenario Planner , you can simplify the annual planning process, adapt to market shifts with continuous planning, compare scenarios for risk and effectiveness, and stay ahead of the competition.

Armed with the right tools, plans, and processes, you can create a well-conceived and executed annual business plan that ensures the year ahead lives up to your expectations.

planning your business year

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How to Create a Profitable Annual Business Plan [+Free Template]

Jody Sutter

Published: February 09, 2023

The beginning of a new quarter is the perfect time to start planning the next year for your business. Start the next year or quarter off on the right foot by creating an annual business plan for your company.

planning your business year

Q4 often brings a flurry of business-related activity. And while all this activity helps fill the pipeline, it can distract you from reflecting on past performance and preparing for the year or quarter ahead.

Fortunately, you can write an annual business plan at any time of the year. Start your plan now to set your team up for success.

What is an annual business plan?

An annual business plan is just that — a plan for you and your employees to help achieve the company’s goals for the year. Think of an annual business plan as the guide to complete all of your company’s overall goals outlined in your initial business plan.

The first business plan you wrote for your business is the blueprint and the annual business plan is the detailed instructions to keep your business running long-term.

Usually, an annual business plan contains a short description of your company, a marketing analysis, and a sales/marketing plan.

Because an annual business plan is for the year, you’ll want to review your business at the end of four consecutive quarters and revise your plan for the next four quarters.

Why is annual business planning important?

Even though the fourth quarter might be a busy time of year, don’t put off creating an annual business plan.

Not only will your annual business plan keep you on track, it will also help you map out a strategy to keep your employees accountable. You can then more easily achieve the overall goals of your business.

Here are some reasons why it’s well worth creating an annual business plan for your company.

You can measure your success.

An annual business plan is the best way to measure your success. And I’m referring to the collective “you” here because it takes the entire company or all of your employees to make new business efforts effective.

An annual plan not only sets expectations for you but also for others within your company who need to contribute to the business’s success.

You can reflect on the past and plan ahead.

Creating an annual business plan allows you to reflect on the past 12 months.

As you reflect on the previous year, you’ll be able to get a good idea of what your business is capable of doing and set accurate, attainable projections based on previous numbers.

You’ll define your business goals.

Your annual business plan will shed some light on what the heck you do at your company. For those who are not routinely involved in new business, it can seem like a black hole of mystery.

Sharing your plan — whether to an executive committee, department heads, or even the entire staff — adds clarity and gives everyone something to aim for.

You can impress your boss.

If you head a department that could benefit from an annual business plan, don’t wait to be asked before you start writing. Get on your CEO’s schedule to review your outline and discuss your intentions for putting this plan together.

Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. You can get the ball rolling with the basic template that follows.

Annual Business Plan Template

Each section of your annual business plan will help tell the story of your company and clearly define your company’s goals for the year.

Let’s take a look at each section of the annual business plan template .

Executive Summary

Annual business plan template, executive summary

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The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Strategic Annual Plan

The first step to achieving goals is to come up with an annual plan. A strategic annual plan makes it easier for managers, team leaders, and company owners to execute their vision for growth. Not only does creating an annual plan give you time to reflect on past accomplishments, but it’s also a great way to make ideas actionable. Keep reading to learn more about what annual planning is and how you can create one that has a significant impact on your organization. 

What is an annual plan?

An annual business plan is a set of goals and milestones that guide a company's operations for the year ahead. It helps guide employees and investors in the right direction. For many people, this year's new year begins with a review of their previous year. They then set goals and make plans for the coming year.

Annual planning is a combination of two other important elements: a business plan and an annual plan. 

A business plan is a document that a company or organization uses to set goals and improve performance. It's similar to a belt-tightening exercise.

An annual plan is a strategy that a company uses to set goals and expectations for the coming year. It helps employees visualize where they are headed and how they can get there. The annual plan also sets out a company's long-term goals and helps guide how it will reach these targets.

An annual business plan helps workers set goals and holds them accountable for achieving those goals.

Then, there’s strategic planning. A strategic planning process helps an organization identify its mission, vision, and goals.

The strategic plan combined with the annual business plan are two key components of a successful strategy. The former provides a framework for the company's goals and intentions, while the latter provides the necessary tools and processes to execute those goals.

Here is what is typically included in a strategic annual plan: 

In a nutshell: the annual plan is a strategy used to plan and execute the organization's goals and objectives. It is usually composed of three phases which are strategy, projects, and timing.

Why is an annual business plan so important?

Annual planning helps define what's important to achieving goals and driving performance. It also helps keep the workforce united and can be used to motivate and retain employees. A well-written annual plan can help you set the direction for your company while providing the team with a sense of direction.

Examples of annual strategic planning

Here are some ideas to get you started with your own strategic annual plan: 

1. Coca Cola HBC 2020 Integrated Annual Plan  

Coca-Cola's 246-page report details all aspects of their business. They start by celebrating their wins with statistics. They also include photos of actual customers and partners. Their CEO writes a letter to their stakeholders sharing their biggest accomplishments over the past year. 

Then they go through their vision. Throughout the strategy, you can see that they are using the pillar method for goal planning.  Key areas of focus include leveraging existing business, continuing to win the beverage marketplace, making competitive investments, focusing on employee growth, and expanding their licensing.

The overall report is designed well and is reminiscent of a well-crafted white paper. Because the CEO's letter was addressed specifically to stakeholders, we know that this is a tool for increasing investment as well as project planning. Because of this, a lot of the content within it answers the question, “why should I invest in you?”

Throughout the rest of the annual plan, each pillar gets its own section. At the top of each section, there is a list of accomplishments from the past year and priorities for the coming year. They also summarize risks, stakeholders, and KPIs. This makes the packet easy to skim but also easy to remember.

2. pep+ (PepsiCo Positive)

PepsiCo recently announced that their new 2022 initiative will revolve around “the planet and people.” While this is a long-term process for the brand, the launch will mark the core of their strategic annual plan for the foreseeable future. Their keywords include positivity (hence the “+”), sustainability, and “a fundamental transformation of what we do and how we do it.” 

On their dedicated landing page, readers can dig deeper into their annual plan. Also well designed, this presentation shows what the future looks like for PepsiCo through refreshed branding and imagery. Symbols such as smiling farmers and healthy, green fields drive the message home. 

To achieve these new goals, the company will focus on supply chains, inspiring consumers, and driving sustainable change among all its product lines. 

They link several documents throughout the report, including a comprehensive list of goals which is a great example for your own annual plan template inspiration. This three-page chart names pillars on the left-hand side and targets or actions with due dates on the right. 

If their goals have numerical metrics, they include data from past years, along with key benchmarks they hope to reach by the end of the year or in the future. Otherwise, their goals are measured in actions. 

For example, as part of their sustainability pillar, they plan to “develop and deploy disruptive sustainable packaging materials and new models for convenient foods and beverages.” This task is specific and clear, despite the fact that it’s not as quantifiable as some of their other goals. 

3. Nestlé Global’s Annual Report 

Their annual plan is not public but they have shared an annual report on past wins from 2020. In addition to a financial review, Nestlé also shares a new strategy. Starting with important facts and figures the company highlights statistics from organic sales growth and more. They also visualize data about which types of products are selling most and where in the world the company has grown over the past year.

Like Coca-Cola did, Nestlé also includes a letter to shareholders. They discuss ways in which they plan to grow in the coming year. This includes what product areas they will invest more in and where they will pause or halt efforts. They also emphasize a new product area which will be the focus moving forward in the short term. In this section, Nestlé touches on long-term strategies and how these short-term goals will affect them. 

In general, their annual report focuses on the word innovation. It mostly has to do with developing new products and revamping old ones. Like PepsiCo, they are using sustainability as a pillar as well as e-commerce.

The report goes on to elaborate on each strategy individually. Nestlé lists action steps and provides clear evidence as to why each is important. They also highlight statistics for growth in key areas and name even bigger numbers for where they hope to be in a year. 

Throughout the report, they include images from ad campaigns that demonstrate the change they wish to continue implementing. Again, branding imagery makes a big difference when creating your own strategic annual plan. It sets the tone for what's written on the page and can help visual learners better understand what you're going for at a glance. 

Although Nestle's strategic annual plan is designed more like a white paper than a chart, this layout is the most magazine-like by far.  It serves as a great example of how you can organize ideas on the page in a way that is interesting and attention-grabbing.

One of the most notable aspects of their annual plan is the Materiality Matrix. They use this chart to visualize key areas of interest and prioritize them according to stakeholder values. Within each box, they’ve listed bullet points of business areas this value will impact. It’s a great method for summarizing goals that cover a wide variety of departments and business engagements. 

Understanding strategic planning best practices

Everyone has their own way of thinking about annual plans. Regardless of what you’re trying to achieve, the following strategic planning best practices will help you get there: 

1. Use SMART goals

A variety of SMART goals are commonly used to help guide and motivate people. They help set realistic benchmarks and are designed to help teams achieve success. It will also help you plan for the ups and downs of your business. To reach your goals, divide them up into smaller goals and set specific deadlines. These goals will help you measure how successful you are at reaching them.

2. Include contingencies

For example, having an emergency financial reservoir is a good idea to prevent a potential financial disaster. It can help your company navigate slower seasons while still sticking to your annual plan. 

3. Build in flexibility 

Even minor shifts in external factors can significantly impact on how effective you are at creating and implementing your strategic plan. Never forget that, while we are creating our annual plans in a vacuum, the world will undoubtedly go through more changes this coming year. Even though we can’t predict the future, we can make our plans foolproof by being flexible now. 

Using Wrike to assist with an annual plan template

Wrike’s project management software can help you keep track of all your company-related information in one place. It can also streamline your work and help you stay on track. It can also help you keep track of your annual plans and develop a strong strategy.

Start by using last year as a reference. By understanding the issues that affected the previous year, a company can improve its performance in the following year.

Draw reports of time spent per project and see where your team went over or underestimated. Then look at which tasks tend to drain resources the most. Determine whether or not the ROI is worth it moving forward. 

Next, set realistic goals. Reflect on last year's statistics from Wrike Reports and put together a plan with a realistic metric for improvement. 

After, break down big plans into individual steps. Start by focusing on the goals of the company then outline your key objectives that align with those. Make sure that everyone knows who is responsible for executing and approving each task. 

Draft a Gantt chart that includes each step broken down into relevant tasks. Remember to add deadlines to every action to keep teammates accountable and keep to realistic deadlines.

Then, delegate tasks according to strengths and weaknesses. Use project reporting and individual job performance to assess team members. You may find that those with specialized talent are being tasked with unskilled work when they could help solve major problems elsewhere. 

Don’t forget to involve the whole team. Start early, plan ahead, and keep everyone involved in the process. Doing so will make it easier to overcome obstacles once the projects are underway. 

Additionally, ask them for direct feedback on your ideas for the next year. You will learn from the front line what obstacles they may be facing that will affect the timeline. 

Another bonus of getting your team involved is that it creates more transparency in the workplace. Using Wrike as a part of the process is not only helpful, but the team also keeps learning how to use the system more efficiently as they go. 

Having a work management platform that enables you to plan and execute annual plans is a good idea. Plus, it's also a good idea to use tools that allow you to collaborate and manage complex processes. Create an effective annual plan today with Wrike’s free trial . 

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How To Write the Perfect Business Plan in 9 Steps (2023)

How to write a business plan: everything you need to know

A great business plan can help you clarify your strategy, identify potential roadblocks, decide what you’ll need in the way of resources, and evaluate the viability of your idea or your growth plans before you start a business .

Not every successful business launches with a formal business plan, but many founders find value in taking time to step back, research their idea and the market they’re looking to enter, and understand the scope and the strategy behind their tactics. That’s where writing a business plan comes in.

Table of Contents

What is a business plan?

Why write a business plan, business plan formats, how to write a business plan in 9 steps, tips for creating a small business plan, common mistakes when writing a business plan, prepare your business plan today, business plan faq.

A business plan is a document describing a business, its products or services, how it earns (or will earn) money, its leadership and staffing, its financing, its operations model, and many other details essential to its success.

We had a marketing background but not much experience in the other functions needed to run a fashion ecommerce business, like operations, finance, production, and tech. Laying out a business plan helped us identify the “unknowns” and made it easier to spot the gaps where we’d need help or, at the very least, to skill up ourselves. Jordan Barnett, Kapow Meggings

Investors rely on business plans to evaluate the feasibility of a business before funding it, which is why business plans are commonly associated with getting a loan. But there are several compelling reasons to consider writing a business plan, even if you don’t need funding.

If you’re looking for a structured way to lay out your thoughts and ideas, and to share those ideas with people who can have a big impact on your success, a business plan is an excellent starting point.

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Business plans can span from one page to multiple pages with detailed graphs and reports. There’s no one way to create a business plan. The goal is to convey the most important information about your company for readers.

Common types of business plans we see include, but are not limited to, the following:

Check out real-world examples of different business plans by reading The Road to Success: Business Plan Examples to Inspire Your Own .

Few things are more intimidating than a blank page. Starting your business plan with a structured outline and key elements for what you’ll include in each section is the best first step you can take.

Since an outline is such an important step in the process of writing a business plan, we’ve put together a high-level overview you can copy into your blank document to get you started (and avoid the terror of facing a blank page). You can also start with a free business plan template and use it to inform the structure of your plan.

Once you’ve got your business plan outline in place, it’s time to fill it in. We’ve broken it down by section to help you build your plan step by step.

1. Draft an executive summary

A good executive summary is one of the most crucial sections of your plan—it’s also the last section you should write.

The executive summary’s purpose is to distill everything that follows and give time-crunched reviewers (e.g., potential investors and lenders) a high-level overview of your business that persuades them to read further.

Again, it’s a summary, so highlight the key points you’ve uncovered while writing your plan. If you’re writing for your own planning purposes, you can skip the summary altogether—although you might want to give it a try anyway, just for practice.

Screenshot of an executive summary by FIGS

An executive summary shouldn’t exceed one page. Admittedly, that space constraint can make squeezing in all of the salient information a bit stressful—but it’s not impossible. Here’s what your business plan’s executive summary should include:

2. Describe your company

This section of your business plan should answer two fundamental questions: who are you, and what do you plan to do? Answering these questions with a company description provides an introduction to why you’re in business, why you’re different, what you have going for you, and why you’re a good investment bet. For example, clean makeup brand Saie shares a letter from its founder on the company’s mission and why it exists.

A letter from the Saie founder next to a picture of a woman putting on mascara

Clarifying these details is still a useful exercise, even if you’re the only person who’s going to see them. It’s an opportunity to put to paper some of the more intangible facets of your business, like your principles, ideals, and cultural philosophies.

Here are some of the components you should include in your company description:

Some of these points are statements of fact, but others will require a bit more thought to define, especially when it comes to your business’s vision, mission, and values. This is where you start getting to the core of why your business exists, what you hope to accomplish, and what you stand for.

This is where you start getting to the core of why your business exists, what you hope to accomplish, and what you stand for.

To define your values, think about all the people your company is accountable to, including owners, employees, suppliers, customers, and investors. Now consider how you’d like to conduct business with each of them. As you make a list, your core values should start to emerge.

Once you know your values, you can write a mission statement . Your statement should explain, in a convincing manner, why your business exists, and should be no longer than a single sentence.

As an example, Shopify’s mission statement is “Making commerce better for everyone.” It’s the “why” behind everything we do and clear enough that it needs no further explanation.

What impact do you envision your business having on the world once you’ve achieved your vision?

Next, craft your vision statement: what impact do you envision your business having on the world once you’ve achieved your vision? Phrase this impact as an assertion—begin the statement with “We will” and you’ll be off to a great start. Your vision statement, unlike your mission statement, can be longer than a single sentence, but try to keep it to three at most. The best vision statements are concise.

Finally, your company description should include both short- and long-term goals. Short-term goals, generally, should be achievable within the next year, while one to five years is a good window for long-term goals. Make sure all your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

3. Perform a market analysis

No matter what type of business you start, it’s no exaggeration to say your market can make or break it. Choose the right market for your products—one with plenty of customers who understand and need your product—and you’ll have a head start on success. If you choose the wrong market, or the right market at the wrong time, you may find yourself struggling for each sale.

Market analysis is a key section of your business plan, whether or not you ever intend for anyone else to read it.

This is why market research and analysis is a key section of your business plan, whether or not you ever intend for anyone else to read it. It should include an overview of how big you estimate the market is for your products, an analysis of your business’s position in the market, and an overview of the competitive landscape. Thorough research supporting your conclusions is important both to persuade investors and to validate your own assumptions as you work through your plan.

How big is your potential market?

The potential market is an estimate of how many people need your product. While it’s exciting to imagine sky-high sales figures, you’ll want to use as much relevant independent data as possible to validate your estimated potential market.

Since this can be a daunting process, here are some general tips to help you begin your research:

Some sources to consult for market data include government statistics offices, industry associations, academic research, and respected news outlets covering your industry.

SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis looks at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. What are the best things about your company? What are you not so good at? What market or industry shifts can you take advantage of and turn into opportunities? Are there external factors threatening your ability to succeed?

These breakdowns often are presented as a grid, with bullet points in each section breaking down the most relevant information—so you can probably skip writing full paragraphs here. Strengths and weaknesses—both internal company factors—are listed first, with opportunities and threats following in the next row. With this visual presentation, your reader can quickly see the factors that may impact your business and determine your competitive advantage in the market.

Here’s an example:

SWOT analysis

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Competitive analysis.

There are three overarching factors you can use to differentiate your business in the face of competition:

To understand which is the best fit, you’ll need to understand your business as well as the competitive landscape.

You’ll always have competition in the market, even with an innovative product, so it’s important to include a competitive overview in your business plan. If you’re entering an established market, include a list of a few companies you consider direct competitors and explain how you plan to differentiate your products and business from theirs.

You’ll always have competition in the market, even with an innovative product.

For example, if you’re selling jewelry, your competitive differentiation could be that, unlike many high-end competitors, you donate a percentage of your profits to a notable charity or pass savings on to your customers.

If you’re entering a market where you can’t easily identify direct competitors, consider your indirect competitors—companies offering products that are substitutes for yours. For example, if you’re selling an innovative new piece of kitchen equipment, it’s too easy to say that because your product is new, you have no competition. Consider what your potential customers are doing to solve the same problems your product solves.

4. Outline management and organization

A woman does research on a laptop sitting on the floor

The management and organization section of your business plan should tell readers about who’s running your company. Detail the legal structure of your business. Communicate whether you’ll incorporate your business as an S corporation or create a limited partnership or sole proprietorship.

If you have a management team, use an organizational chart to show your company’s internal structure, including the roles, responsibilities, and relationships between people in your chart. Communicate how each person will contribute to the success of your startup.

5. List your products and services

Your products or services will feature prominently in most areas of your business plan, but it’s important to provide a section that outlines key details about them for interested readers.

If you sell many items, you can include more general information on each of your product lines; if you only sell a few, provide additional information on each. For example, bag shop BAGGU sells a large selection of different types of bags, in addition to home goods and other accessories. Its business plan would list out those bags and key details about each.

Screenshot of BAGGU reusable bags on its website

Describe new products you’ll launch in the near future and any intellectual property you own. Express how they’ll improve profitability.

It’s also important to note where products are coming from—handmade crafts are sourced differently than trending products for a dropshipping business, for instance.

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6. perform customer segmentation.

A man looks at graphs on an ipad

Your ideal customer, also known as your target market, is the foundation of your marketing plan , if not your business plan as a whole. You’ll want to keep this person in mind as you make strategic decisions, which is why an overview of who they are is important to understand and include in your plan.

To give a holistic overview of your ideal customer, describe a number of general and specific demographic characteristics. Customer segmentation often includes:

This information will vary based on what you’re selling, but you should be specific enough that it’s unquestionably clear who you’re trying to reach—and more importantly, why you’ve made the choices you have based on who your customers are and what they value.

For example, a college student has different interests, shopping habits, and pricing sensitivity than a 50-year-old executive at a Fortune 500 company. Your business plan and decisions would look very different based on which one was your ideal customer.

7. Define a marketing plan

A screenshot of a tweet about a marketing plan

Your marketing efforts are directly informed by your ideal customer. Your marketing plan should outline your current decisions and your future strategy, with a focus on how your ideas are a fit for that ideal customer.

If you’re planning to invest heavily in > Instagram marketing , for example, it might make sense to include whether Instagram is a leading platform for your audience—if it’s not, that might be a sign to rethink your marketing plan.

Most marketing plans include information on four key subjects. How much detail you present on each will depend on both your business and your plan’s audience.

Promotion may be the bulk of your plan since you can more readily dive into tactical details, but the other three areas should be covered at least briefly—each is an important strategic lever in your marketing mix.

8. Provide a logistics and operations plan

Brown boxes stacked to the ceiling in a warehouse

Logistics and operations are the workflows you’ll implement to make your ideas a reality. If you’re writing a business plan for your own planning purposes, this is still an important section to consider, even though you might not need to include the same level of detail as if you were seeking investment.

Cover all parts of your planned operations, including:

This section should signal to your reader that you’ve got a solid understanding of your supply chain and strong contingency plans in place to cover potential uncertainty. If your reader is you, it should give you a basis to make other important decisions, like how to price your products to cover your estimated costs, and at what point you plan to break even on your initial spending.

9. Make a financial plan

A laptop sits open with numbers and graphs on the screen

No matter how great your idea is, and regardless of the effort, time, and money you invest, a business lives or dies based on its financial health. At the end of the day, people want to work with a business they expect to be viable for the foreseeable future.

The level of detail required in your financial plan will depend on your audience and goals, but typically you’ll want to include three major views of your financials: an income statement, a balance sheet, and a cash-flow statement. It also may be appropriate to include financial data and projections.

Here’s a spreadsheet template that includes everything you’ll need to create an income statement, balance sheet, and cash-flow statement, including some sample numbers. You can edit it to reflect projections if needed.

Income statement

Your income statement is designed to give readers a look at your revenue sources and expenses over a given time period. With those two pieces of information, they can see the all-important bottom line or the profit or loss your business experienced during that time. If you haven’t launched your business yet, you can project future milestones of the same information.

Balance sheet

Your balance sheet offers a look at how much equity you have in your business. On one side, you list all your business assets (what you own), and on the other side, all your liabilities (what you owe). This provides a snapshot of your business’s shareholder equity, which is calculated as:

Assets - Liabilities = Equity

Cash flow statement

Your cash flow statement is similar to your income statement, with one important difference: it takes into account when revenues are collected and when expenses are paid.

When the cash you have coming in is greater than the cash you have going out, your cash flow is positive. When the opposite scenario is true, your cash flow is negative. Ideally, your cash flow statement will help you see when cash is low, when you might have a surplus, and where you might need to have a contingency plan to access funding to keep your business solvent .

It can be especially helpful to forecast your cash-flow statement to identify gaps or negative cash flow and adjust operations as required. Here’s a full guide to working through cash-flow projections for your business.

Download your copy of these templates to build out these financial statements for your business plan.

Know your audience

When you know who will be reading your plan—even if you’re just writing it for yourself to clarify your ideas—you can tailor the language and level of detail to them. This can also help you make sure you’re including the most relevant information and figure out when to omit sections that aren’t as impactful.

Have a clear goal

You’ll need to put in more work and deliver a more thorough plan if your goal is to secure funding for your business versus working through a plan for yourself or even your team.

Invest time in research

Sections of your business plan will primarily be informed by your ideas and vision, but some of the most crucial information you’ll need requires research from independent sources. This is where you can invest time in understanding who you’re selling to, whether there’s demand for your products, and who else is selling similar products or services.

Keep it short and to the point

No matter who you’re writing for, your business plan should be short and readable—generally no longer than 15 to 20 pages. If you do have additional documents you think may be valuable to your audience and your goals, consider adding them as appendices.

Keep the tone, style, and voice consistent

This is best managed by having a single person write the plan or by allowing time for the plan to be properly edited before distributing it.

Use a business plan software

Writing a business plan isn’t the easiest task for business owners. But it’s important for anyone starting or expanding a business. Fortunately, there are tools to help with everything from planning, drafting, creating graphics, syncing financial data, and more. Business plan software also have templates and tutorials to help you finish a comprehensive plan in hours, rather than days.

A few curated picks include:

For a more in-depth look at the available options, read Get Guidance: 6 Business Plan Software to Help Write Your Future .

Other articles on business plans would never tell you what we’re about to tell you: your business plan can fail. The last thing you want is for time and effort to go down the drain. Avoid these common mistakes:

Read through the following business plan example. You can download a copy in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and use it to inspire your own business planning.

Download sample business plan example (.doc)

A business plan can help you identify clear, deliberate next steps for your business, even if you never plan to pitch investors—and it can help you see gaps in your plan before they become issues. Whether you’ve written a business plan for a new online business idea , a retail storefront, growing your established business, or purchasing an existing business , you now have a comprehensive guide and the information you need to help you start working on the next phase of your own business.

Illustrations by Rachel Tunstall

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Strategic Business Planning for the New Year

Take stock of where your business currently stands and plan your business’s future. Here are 6 steps to plan for next year.

planning your business year

The start of a new year is a great time to take stock of where your business currently stands and turn your attention to the future. What are your business goals for the year to come, and what kind of planning do you need to do to get there?

Strategic business planning basically answers three questions:

Here’s how to plan out the new year for your small business in more detail, by following these six steps.

1. Set Your Business Goals

The first step toward any strategic plan is to determine where you’re headed, so spell out in concrete terms what you’d like to accomplish this year. Be specific. Don’t just say you’d like to increase sales. By how much? In which area? How? The clearer you are, the easier it will be to map out ways to achieve your goals.

There are three areas to consider as you set your business goals:

Articulating these three things – your vision, mission, and values – will help you put a strategy in place to accomplish them. Your plan will affect everything from the number of employees you hire to the types of goods and services you offer.

2. Do a Reality Check

Now that you’ve analyzed where you’d ideally like to be, figure out where you stand in relation to those goals. Sales figures are one way to measure how you’re doing, but success can mean many things; it all comes down to what success means to YOU.

Money is likely a big factor, but it also helps to think in terms of what your community involvement is like, how green your business is , and what kind of programs you have in place for your employees. Again, measure yourself against your vision, mission and values.

3. Choose Your Focus

Once you know where you are, compared to where you’d like to be, you can start working out how to get there. Most likely, you’ll have more things on your list than you might be able to accomplish at once, so you probably have to narrow it down a little, or at least choose priorities, or an order in which to proceed.

Based on your resources and capabilities, choose a handful of specific targets and start planning. Choosing just a few things to concentrate on will help you achieve your goals in actuality. It may sound simple, but work toward your strengths and away from your weaknesses.

4. Know When to Say No

As you start coming up with ideas, always keep your vision for the company and its purpose in mind. Reject any strategies that don’t fit. You’ll also have to shelve ideas that you don’t have the resources for right now. Those ideas may be wonderful, but you’ll need the right people , facilities, time and money to put your strategies into effect, so don’t plan what you can’t pull off. Understand what you can accomplish and what you can’t.

If you have ambitious plans, don’t be afraid to strategize how to get there down the road. You may not have the resources today, but part of what you’re planning for is to be able to develop in areas that will help you accomplish what you want in the future. Concentrate on longer-term business goals, like how to grow your business, improve the products and services you offer, and improve the way you run your company.

5. Create Your Implementation Strategy

Your strategic plan amounts to nothing more than an intellectual exercise until you start to implement it. Your next challenge will be doing the work to execute your ideas, making changes, and monitoring their effects.

Figure out how and when you will address each element of your plan. For the implementation of your plan to be successful, it’s helpful to assign specific responsibilities, activities, deadlines, and budgets.

6. Evaluate Your Plan’s Performance

Strategic planning isn’t a one-shot deal, but an ongoing process. You will need to evaluate how things are going after you put the plan into effect. As you move forward, don’t be afraid to change course if something isn’t working out the way you thought it would, and don’t be afraid of a little discomfort as you alter the way you’ve been doing things.

Schedule the time to take a look at what’s working and what might need tweaking. Make sure you and your staff are clear about your business goals and what needs to be done. For parts of the plan, you might decide on a daily or weekly check to see how the implementation is going. For other changes, monthly or quarterly reviews will do.

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How to Develop a One-Year Business Plan

How to Create a Business Plan as an Entrepreneur

How do i write a three-year business plan, what is the difference between a marketing & business plan.

Business plans are critical when you start a business, and you shouldn't overlook them. Yearly business plans serve as a road map to each stage of the business and are essential to securing funding and bringing in partners. They detail the business's structure, management and expected growth.

Types of Yearly Business Plans

There is no right or wrong way to create a yearly business plan. However, most business plans fall in the traditional or lean startup categories. According to the experts at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), traditional business plans are the most common. While they tend to be longer than a lean startup plan, traditional business plans dive into the business's details. In most cases, lenders and investors prefer to see a traditional business plan for an in-depth understanding of the business.

Lean startup business plans are less common. However, they're ideal if the business is simple or you want a quick way to explain your business. Unlike traditional plans that can take dozens of pages to write, lean startup plans are typically one page long, only covering the business plan's key elements.

Regardless of the format, all business plans should communicate ideas clearly, objectively and logically. According to the writers at Inc. , business plans must detail the business's projected operations over the first months or years, clearly state the business's vision, management, personnel requirements and marketing plans, and provide an analysis of current and future competition.

Key Elements of Traditional Business Plan

According to the SBA, traditional business plans include nine sections: an executive summary, company description, marketing analysis, organization, services and production line, marketing and sales, funding request financial projections and an appendix.

The executive summary should include the mission statement and concisely explain why the business will be successful. A company description follows that statement, detailing the problem the company will solve, along with the company's competitive advantages.

The market analysis is where the plan details the target market and industry outlook with competitive research and trends. After providing a general view of the market and the space the business will fill, you'll need to explain the business's legal structure. For example, is the company an LLC or a C corporation?

Services, Product Line, Financial Projections and Appendix

Next, detail the service or product line the business will produce. This section is where you include any patents or copyright filings and research and development for the product. The marketing and sales plan follows the services and product section and beneath that is the funding request, which includes how much funding is needed and why it's necessary.

You should include financial projections to justify the funding request. This section includes forecasted income statements, balance sheets and quarterly projections for the first year. Lastly, include an appendix of supporting documents such as credit histories, product pictures and licenses. You can find a one-year plan example on the SBA website.

Key Elements of a Lean Startup Plan

Lean startup plans are less detailed than traditional business plans and only include the plan's key points. This document begins with any key partnerships, such as suppliers, manufacturers and subcontractors. The next section of a lean startup plan details the activities that will give the business a competitive edge. After that, include other key asset information, such as staff, capital and intellectual property.

In the next section, describe the target market, explaining how the business will interact with the customers and the channels that connect these customers to the business. The final section of a lean startup plan includes the cost structure strategy and explains the revenue streams.

Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing, and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co and Spent.

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End Of Year Planning: A Business Owner's Year-End Checklist

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The end of the year marks a time of celebration and festivity. But for business owners, this time means much more than that: year-end planning is here. 

This time of the year when it is necessary to focus on a list of important year-end tasks designed to help you reflect on and learn from the past year, ensure you're well prepared to continue leading your business in the coming year (and keep your business compliant!).

As you hurry to mark off the items on your personal holiday to-do list, be sure you set aside enough professional time to also mark off the action items on your business's year-end checklist.

Plan ahead: Take a QUICK assessment  the strengths and weaknesses in your  business's financial management

Small Business Financial Checklist and Year-End Planning in 11 Steps:

1. make sure accounts are reconciled .

Before you can address any other year-end concerns, you must first make sure all of your bookkeeping records and accounts (bank accounts, accounts receivable, and accounts payable) are up-to-date and reconciled.

This should be kept current and reviewed regularly throughout the year– so you always know the state of your business, and so you catch any issues before they snowball since you know your business best.

Do a good review of the accounts, make sure everything looks right. Take account of any unpaid receivables and any payables it still shows that you owe. Make sure you agree with all items that have been accounted for, recorded, purchased, and paid. 

Read More: Your Business Audit Will Cost You, Unless…

2. Review Financial Reports

Now that you're confident the books are clean and the data is accurate, you can dig into your financial and management reports for the end of the year. 

Taking the time to review your financials thoroughly helps you in making data-driven decisions to achieve business success. These basic reports include your income statement (profit and loss statement), balance sheet, and a statement of cash flow.

In addition to basic financial reports, it’s important your finance department provides you with the right management reports to make decisions. (if you still aren’t sure- this article sums up what types of reporting you should be getting! )

Looking at your reports will help you make informed decisions for next year- that maximize revenue, minimize your costs, grow profit margins, and accelerate success. 

3. Analyze Cash Flow Statements

Take a close look at last year’s cash flow statements. 

While you assess these statements, you should be looking for challenges (cash flow shortages) you encountered and trying to determine the reasons why these pitfalls occurred.

You should also try to identify any noticeable patterns that can better inform your cash flow forecasting and strategic planning for the upcoming year . Did your business encounter a seasonal cash flow shortage due to slow demand, supply chain issues, or another problem that could potentially recur in the future? If so, make plans now to prepare for these challenges so that they won't be a problem when they recur in the future.

4. Year-End Tax Planning and Strategy

With a focus on taxes, take a look at where your business stands, income-wise and expense-wise, at the end of the year. Talk to your accounting team or CPA about making some last-minute maneuvers to lower your taxable income and improve your business's tax position before the year ends and your financials are set in stone.

Read More: End of Year Planning – How to Stay Audit and Tax Ready

For example, you could consider splitting income or taking advantage of maximum depreciation claims. You can expedite expenses, making necessary purchases on this financial year, rather than waiting until after January 1st. If you can afford to wait on some of your receivables, consider delaying your invoices and not billing customers until after the end of the fiscal year.

5. Reflect on Your Business and Review Last Year's Goals

Set aside time to reflect on your financials, review your last year's goals, and compare how your year turned out with respect to your budget and actual numbers. Discussing this with your Advisor will help dig deeper and plan more effectively.

Ask yourself:

6. Identify Shortcomings and Solutions

What works and what doesn't?

If you identify any pitfalls, failures, or others marks you and your company missed over the previous year, really take the time to figure out what happened and what was wrong. Looking over these types of shortfalls will help you identify limiting factors inside your business (i.e. the things that hold you back) .

Brainstorm about what could be done differently to eliminate the limiting factors inside your business (& yourself). Then focus on solutions that seem most attainable, and make a plan to implement those solutions in the upcoming year.

7. Consider Year-End Incentives and Future Staffing Needs

At the end of the year, you should be able to see a growth rate for your business and set goals for the growth you want to achieve in the upcoming year and several years after that.

With that in mind, take a look at your staff and determine which positions you're going to need to fill and how your staff might need to grow in the near future to help your business grow as well. This can help you predict when you should hire new staff to ensure they're well-trained and ready to take on new challenges just as soon as your business needs them to be

Read More : How To Maximize Profit and ROI From Your People

While your mind is on your people, don't forget to be grateful for them and to express your gratitude with both monetary rewards and public recognition. Now is the time to consider year-end gifts and parties in addition to raises and incentive programs for the upcoming year.

8. Set Goals, Strategize, and Write It All Down

All too often SMB owners get too caught up in the hectic schedules of their daily lives to remember that their visions for their businesses need to extend beyond the current workweek.

With your financials at hand and a thorough understanding of the last year's performance, the end of the year marks the perfect time to focus on setting goals and coming up with specific strategic plans to achieve those goals.

Take the opportunity to imagine the ideal future or five-year plan for your business (long-term goals) and discuss it with your leadership team. Then work backward to identify the short-term goals that will help you achieve the long-term ones , and work with leadership to devise operational plans that will ensure your people and business are all oriented around the same vision and working toward common goals.

Be sure to solidify everything in writing, communicate the plan to your people, set deadlines, and implement a plan for measuring your progress.

9. Create a Budget

You can't future-plan, set goals, and achieve them without budgeting for your business's future. Start by reviewing last year's budget and comparing it to your actual numbers.

Make any necessary adjustments and then think about the goals you want to achieve and the resources you'll need financially to achieve them, adding those to your budget. Plan to revisit your budget and other financial statements each month going forward in the next year so that you can make adjustments as you go along.

planning your business year

"GrowthForce helped me understand how to build a budget and worked to teach me how to read and interpret my new reports. I felt the fog lifting as they helped me be a stronger leader and,  overall, a better business owner.” - GrowthForce Client: Ryan Jennings | President, Sentinel Builders

Read the full story HERE .

10. Evaluate and Improve Leadership

In addition to reflecting on your business's previous year, take some time to reflect on your own leadership, and ask your leadership team to do the same. Think about your performance over the past year. Do your best to evaluate yourself objectively. Where do you think you fall short?

Try to identify things you can improve such as:

Next, implement a self-improvement plan for the upcoming year , scheduling time for yourself to continue learning and improving your business leadership skills. Encourage your leadership team to do this for their own growth.

11. Celebrate Successes

At the end of the year, you should also take the time to pat yourself and your employees on the back and congratulate yourselves for surviving (crushing) another year – and an exceptionally challenging one – in the business world.

Take account of all the goals you achieved and the expectations you either met or exceeded and look closely at what worked and how you did it to focus on replicating these successes in the future.

What are you most proud of? What were some of the biggest 'wins' in your business this year?

Does Your Back Office Support Your Business's Operating Framework and Goals?

Most importantly- once you've completed your year-end checklist, take a moment to evaluate how the year-end process went for you. 

Ask yourself whether your back office is supporting your year-end planning, tax planning, business strategy, and operating framework. Was it simple to pull financial reports or did manual processes slow you down or even lead to reporting errors?

If you find that your back office is taking your time, rather than saving you time, then you should add another business goal to your list for the upcoming year, and that is to shore up your back office and automate your manual bookkeeping, accounting, and reporting processes to improve operations while better supporting your overall financial goals and business strategy.

Inaccurate financials = constant frustration. Is this how you want to run your business? Speak to an expert.

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Annual Business Planning Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Business Annual Plan Template

What is an Annual Business Plan?

An annual business plan is a document that sets out the goals and objectives for a company over the course of a year. It provides a roadmap for how the business will operate and achieve its desired results.

Steps to Create an Annual Plan

There are seven steps to creating an annual plan:

Defining the Company’s Overall Vision and Strategy

The first step in creating an annual plan is defining the company’s overall vision and strategy. This involves deciding where the company wants to be in the future and outlining the steps needed to get there. It’s important to be realistic in setting these goals and to make sure they are aligned with the company’s overall strategic vision.

Setting Specific, Measurable Goals and Objectives

Once the company’s overarching vision has been defined, it’s time to set specific, measurable goals and objectives for the year. These should be attainable but challenging and should align with the company’s overall strategy. Each goal should have a target date for completion, as well as a specific metric that will be used to measure progress.

Identifying Resources Needed To Achieve Goals

Next, it’s important to identify the resources needed to achieve these goals. This includes everything from manpower and funding, to office space and equipment. It’s also important to assign responsibility for each goal/objective to specific individuals or teams. This helps ensure that everyone is aware of their role in achieving the desired results.

Creating a Timeline

Once goals have been defined and resources have been identified, it’s time to create a timeline for each one. This will help keep everyone on track throughout the year and ensure that tasks are completed in a timely manner. A Gantt chart can be helpful in organizing this information visually.

Assigning Responsibility

Finally, it’s important to assign responsibility for each goal/objective to specific individuals or teams. This helps ensure that everyone is aware of their role in achieving the desired results. By assigning clear responsibilities, tasks can be delegated efficiently and everyone will know who is responsible for what outcomes.

Reviewing and Revising Plan Regularly

It’s important to review and revise your annual plan on a regular basis. This ensures that the goals are still relevant and achievable and that the resources required are still available. It also allows for any necessary adjustments to be made if something isn’t working as planned. A good rule of thumb is to review the plan quarterly or more often if needed.

Parts of the Annual Strategic Plan Template

There are four key parts to the annual plan template:

1. Vision and Strategy

The first step is to define the company’s overall vision and strategy. This will provide a framework for all of the other steps in the process.

2. Goals and Objectives

The next step is to set specific, measurable goals and objectives for the year. These should be aligned with the company’s vision and strategy.

3. Resources

The third step is to identify the resources needed to achieve the goals and objectives. This includes things like budget, staff, and materials.

4. Timeline

The fourth step is to create a timeline for each goal and objective. This will help ensure that everything is completed on time and within budget.

The Importance of a Well-Formulated Annual Strategic Plan

The importance of a well-formulated annual plan cannot be overstated. It provides a clear roadmap for the company’s operations and sets forth a clear vision for its desired results. Additionally, it helps to ensure that all employees are aware of the company’s goals and objectives and are working towards the same end.

The Difference between an Annual Plan and A Company’s Broader Strategic Vision

The difference between an annual business plan and a company’s strategic vision is that the former is more focused on the specific goals and objectives to be achieved over the course of a year, while the latter is more concerned with the company’s long-term direction. An annual business plan lays out a roadmap for the company’s operations over the course of a year and sets specific targets to be met. A company’s strategic plan, on the other hand, is more concerned with the overall direction of the business and its long-term goals.

Ultimately the difference between an annual plan and a company’s broader strategic vision is that the former is more focused on the specific goals and objectives to be achieved over the course of a year, while the latter is more concerned with the company’s long-term direction.

Best Practices for Annual Planning

There are a few key best practices that businesses should keep in mind when planning their annual operations.  

First and foremost, it is important to be realistic about what can be accomplished in a year. Businesses should establish achievable goals and objectives, and then create a plan of action to achieve them. This includes setting timelines and specific tasks that need to be completed in order to reach the goal. 

Another key element of effective annual planning is creating a budget and sticking to it. Budgets help businesses stay accountable and track progress toward their goals. 

In addition, effective annual planning should always include regular review and course correction as needed. Businesses should routinely assess their progress, make necessary adjustments, and ensure they are still on track to meet their goals.

When it comes to business annual planning, there are a few best practices that can help your organization make the most of the process. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Annual Contingency Plan Example

Sometimes it’s helpful to have a contingency plan or clause in case things don’t go as expected. Below is a sample contingency plan.

“In the event that we are unable to achieve our sales goals for the year, we will implement a number of contingency measures. These measures may include reducing our advertising budget, downsizing our workforce, and suspending operations at certain locations. We will only implement these measures if absolutely necessary and we are confident that they will help us to get back on track.”

Strategic Business Plan Example

Below is an example of a strategic business plan.

“Our long-term goal is to become the leading provider of XYZ products and services in our industry. To achieve this, we will need to increase our market share, expand our operations into new markets, and continue to innovate our product offerings. We are confident that we can achieve these goals and become the industry leader.”

Annual Business Plan Template

Executive summary.

The executive summary is a brief overview of the company’s annual plans while taking into account the company’s broader vision. It should include a description of the company, its products, and services, its marketing and sales strategy, its operations plan, and its financial plan.

Company Overview

The company overview section of the annual planning document should provide a brief history of the company, its mission and vision, and its current status.

Products and Services

This section of the annual plans should describe the company’s products and services in detail. It should also include information on the company’s competitive advantages and any new products or services that will be launched in the coming year.

Marketing Plan

The marketing plan section of the company’s strategy should outline the marketing and sales strategy for the entire organization for the coming year. It should include information on the company’s target market, its branding and positioning strategy, its advertising and promotion budget, and its sales goals.

Operations Plan

The operations plan section of the annual business plan should describe the company’s methods for manufacturing, distribution, and other aspects of its operations. It should also include information on the company’s capacity, its supply chain, and its quality control procedures.

Financial Plan

The financial plan section of the annual business plan should include a summary of the company’s financials, the budgetary approval process, contingency plans, as well as the broader visions and plans for funding and investment.

With regards to financials, you want to include past and projected Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and Cash Flow Statements. Also, if you are seeking external financing, document the amount of funding you need and the key expected uses of these funds.

Annual Goals

When creating your business plan, it’s important to set annual goals and objectives. This will help you track your progress and ensure that you’re on track to reaching your long-term goals. Some things you may want to consider when setting your annual goals include:

One of the most important aspects of any business plan is setting annual goals. These goals should be attainable, yet ambitious, and should help to guide your business in the right direction. Some things you may want to consider when setting your annual goals include increasing sales, expanding your customer base, improving productivity or efficiency, reducing costs, or developing new products or services. Whatever your goals may be, make sure to document them and track your progress throughout the year. This will help you ensure that you are on track to meeting your targets and achieving success for your business.

The appendix of the annual business plan template should include any supporting documentation that is relevant to the plan, such as market research reports, financial projections, and product specifications.

Every company should have an annual business plan. This document helps you track your progress, set goals, plan forward, and make necessary adjustments throughout the year related to key results. Without a business plan, it is difficult to make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources or measure your success. If you need help getting started, we have a great business planning template that can get you on the right track. By following our simple tips and using our template, you can create a comprehensive business plan that will help ensure your success in the coming year. 

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