Business Plan Examples and Prompts

Our “Business Plan Examples and Prompts” guide (built for busy marketing managers like you) offers AI-powered prompts, frequently asked questions, and industry best practices to propel your marketing strategies to new heights.

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First, Generate Your Marketing Overview

Paste the following prompt into ChatGPT or into a similar AI tool:

Hello! I’m a busy marketing manager and I would like to create a concise marketing overview for my business. I need your assistance in this process. Please ask the following 10 questions, one at a time.– What is the name of your business?– Please provide a link to your website.

– What industry does your business operate in?

– What products or services does your business offer?

– Who is your target audience or customer base?

– What is their pain point?

– What is the unique value proposition or key differentiator of your business?

– How long has your business been operating?

– What are the main goals and objectives of your business?

– Are there any specific marketing channels or strategies that you have used in the past?

Based on my answers, please generate a marketing overview that can serve as a primer for future AI prompts. Leverage the 24 VIA character strengths where appropriate. Then, let’s check the marketing overview for accuracy, asking any clarifying followup questions if needed.

Then, Generate Your Business Plan

In the same chat session, paste the following prompt:

Based on this marketing overview, I would like to create a business plan for my business. Please ask the following questions, one at a time, allowing me to skip questions I don’t know.

  • 1. What are your short-term and long-term revenue targets for the business?
  • 2. How do you plan to reach and acquire new customers?
  • 3. What is your pricing strategy, and how does it align with market trends?
  • 4. Have you identified any potential competitors in the market? If so, how do you plan to differentiate yourself from them?
  • 5. What is your customer retention strategy to ensure repeat business?
  • 6. How do you plan to allocate your marketing budget across different channels?
  • 7. Have you conducted market research or customer surveys to gather insights about your target audience?
  • 8. What is your timeline for implementing the marketing initiatives outlined in your business plan?
  • 9. How will you measure the success of your marketing campaigns and overall business performance?
  • 10. Do you have contingency plans in place to address potential challenges or changes in the market?

Based on my answers, please generate a draft business plan. Leverage the 24 VIA character strengths where appropriate. Then, let’s check the business plan for accuracy, asking any clarifying followup questions if needed.

More AI Prompts for Business Plans

These business plans will bring in the best of both worlds regarding human ingenuity and AI-powered knowledge. Here are some prompts you can feed into AI tools like ChatGPT to help enhance your business plan and achieve greater success.

  1. Enhance clarity: Simplify the language and structure of the business plan to make it more accessible to a wider audience.
  2. Strengthen value proposition: Highlight the unique selling points of our product/service and emphasize the benefits it offers to customers.
  3. Improve target audience definition: Refine the description of our target audience, considering demographics, psychographics, and specific pain points they may have.
  4. Analyze market trends: Identify and incorporate the latest market trends and consumer preferences that may impact our business.
  5. Conduct competitive analysis: Compare our strengths and weaknesses against our key competitors and outline strategies to gain a competitive edge.
  6. Refine marketing channels: Explore and recommend additional marketing channels that can effectively reach our target audience.
  7. Optimize pricing strategy: Review and refine our pricing model to ensure it aligns with market demand and perceived value.
  8. Enhance customer acquisition plan: Develop strategies to attract and convert potential customers, focusing on lead generation, nurturing, and conversion tactics.
  9. Streamline operational processes: Identify opportunities for automation and process optimization to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  10. Evaluate financial projections: Review and validate financial projections, considering various scenarios and potential risks, to ensure realistic and attainable goals.

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10 Best Practices for Business Plans

  1. Keep it SMART: Clearly define your business objectives and goals. Ensure they’re specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  2. Know your audience: Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, competitors, and industry trends.
  3. Talk yourself up: Develop a compelling value proposition that clearly communicates the unique benefits of your product or service.
  4. Keep it clear and concise: Create a detailed marketing and sales strategy. Outline your target market, messaging, and customer acquisition tactics.
  5. Be money-minded: Include a comprehensive financial analysis. Projecting revenues, expenses, and profitability will demonstrate the viability of your business.
  6. Test and optimize: Craft a realistic implementation plan with clear goals and milestones for each key initiative.
  7. Know the issues you’ll face: Outline a solid contingency plan that accounts for potential risks and challenges, providing alternative approaches and mitigation strategies.
  8. Review, check, and update: Regularly review and update your business plan to adapt to changing market conditions and internal developments.
  9. Get a second opinion: Seek feedback from trusted advisors or mentors to gain valuable insights and perspectives on your business plan.
  10. Share it with the right people: Communicate your business plan effectively, using concise and compelling language, visual aids, and engaging presentations to captivate stakeholders.

man holding laptop in a red background

10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Business Plans

What is a business plan and why is it important?

A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. It’s important because it provides a roadmap for your business, can be used to attract investors, and helps you make informed decisions.

How long should a business plan be?

The length of a business plan depends on its purpose, but a concise and focused plan of 20-30 pages will keep it clear and easily digestible for busy stakeholders.

What key components should be included in a business plan?

A business plan should typically include components like:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Product/service offering
  • Marketing and sales strategies
  • Financial projections
  • Implementation plans

How often should a business plan be updated?

Business plans should be reviewed and updated at least annually to reflect changes in the market trends and internal developments within your business.

What are the common mistakes to avoid when creating a business plan?

Common mistakes to avoid include:

  • Overestimating market demands
  • Neglecting competitor analyses
  • Underestimating financial requirements
  • Lack of clarity in the value proposition
  • Failure to consider potential risks

How can I make my business plan stand out to investors?

To make your business plan stand out, focus on a compelling value proposition, market research, a strong marketing and sales strategy, and realistic financial projections.

Should I include a SWOT analysis in my business plan?

Yes, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis will prove valuable in assessing your business's internal and external factors, enabling you to identify competitive advantages and potential challenges.

How do I determine the target market for my business?

Determining your target market involves conducting market research, analyzing demographics, psychographics, and consumer behavior to identify the specific audience most likely to be interested in your product or service.

Can I use a business plan template, or should I create one from scratch?

Using a business plan template can be helpful as a starting point, but it's essential to tailor it to your specific business and customize the content to accurately reflect your unique value proposition and strategies.

What role does the executive summary play in a business plan?

The executive summary is a concise overview of your business plan, highlighting the key points and enticing readers to delve further into the document. It serves as an important tool for capturing the attention of busy stakeholders.

10 Protips for Business Plans

  1. Executive Summary: Summarize key elements, highlighting the most compelling aspects of your business.
  2. Market Analysis: Conduct thorough research to understand your target market, industry trends, and customer needs.
  3. Value Proposition: Clearly articulate your product or service’s unique value, addressing specific pain points of your target audience.
  4. Competitive Analysis: Identify and analyze your competitors, highlighting your differentiators and strategies to gain a competitive edge.
  5. Marketing Strategy: Develop a comprehensive marketing plan aligned with your target audience, leveraging effective channels and messaging.
  6. Financial Projections: Create realistic and data-driven financial forecasts, including revenue projections, expenses, and profitability analysis.
  7. Operational Plan: Outline your processes, resources, and milestones, ensuring a clear roadmap for executing business strategies.
  8. Risk Management: Identify potential risks and create contingency plans to mitigate them, ensuring the resilience of your business.
  9. Team and Leadership: Highlight the skills and expertise of your team members, emphasizing their roles in driving the success of your business.
  10. Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and refine your business plan.  Incorporate feedback and adapt to evolving market conditions for ongoing growth.

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