Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network
Western Regional Office


Business Plan / Financing Proposal


[Spanish version]

Cover Page

Your business plan should include a cover page with the name of business; the names of principals; address and phone number of business; statement of purpose (executive summary); and a table of contents.


I. Executive Summary

The executive summary is a concisely written section that summarizes the entire business plan. It is usually written last and should be no more than one or two pages. Put only "bare bones" information that is critical to the entire business plan. If the reader were to only read this section, what is it that you would want that person to know? You must be succinct and concise but meaningful enough to stimulate the reader to take action.

II. The Business

A. Description of Business

  1. What is your product or service?

  2. If it is a product, where do you get it?

  3. What is the status of your business: start up? expansion? buy-out existing business?

  4. What is your business structure and why did you choose it (i.e. sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)?

B. Market

  1. Who is your market?

  2. What is the present size of the market?

  3. Is there a dominant company in the market? 

  4. How are you planning to reach your market?

  5. Why will the market buy from your company?

  6. Have you done any test marketing?

  7. What is the future outlook of the market?

  8. How did you price your product, service or merchandise to make a fair profit and, at the same time, be competitive?

  9. Where are you getting your data for the above marketing questions?

C. Competition

  1. Who are your nearest competitors?

  2. How will your operation be better than theirs?

  3. How is their business: steady? increasing? decreasing? why?

  4. How are their operations similar and dissimilar to yours?

  5. What are their strengths and/or weaknesses in relation to your company?

D. Location of Business

  1. Is your business location leased or owned? State terms.

  2. If renovations are needed, what are they? What is the expected cost? 

  3. Does zoning permit your kind of business?

  4. How does your location meet your market requirements?

E. Management

  1. What is your expertise in this field?

  2. Include resumes and job descriptions of key employees along with yours.

  3. List the name of your lawyer, accountant, insurance company, banker and Massachusetts Small Business Development Center business advisor.

  4. How have you used each one of the above? Have they seen and reviewed this business plan?

F. Personnel

  1. What are your personnel needs now? In the future?

  2. How are you going to attract employees?

  3. What skill must they have?

  4. Full or part time? Salaries or hourly wages?

  5. Fringe benefits? Associated costs?

  6. Will you have to train people? If so, at what cost to the business?

III. Financial Data

A. Balance Sheet (at time you obtain funds or opening)

B. Projected Income (profit & loss statements)

  1.  Three-year summary

  2. First year (detail by month)

  3. Second and third year (detail by quarter)

  4. Notes of assumptions and explanation

C. Cash Flow Projections

  1. Detail by month for the first year (two years if needed)

  2. Notes of assumptions and explanation

D. Personal Financial Statement

E. Last Three Years of Tax Returns (personal)

F. If you are purchasing or are an existing business:

  1. Historical financial reports
    a. 3 years balance sheets
    b. 3 years income statements
    c. 3 years tax returns

  2. Interim statements no older than 90 days

  3. Current list of accounts payable

  4. Current list of accounts receivable (aging preferred)

G. Source and Use of Capital Schedule

H. Capital Equipment List (show cost & present value)

IV. Supporting Documents

In this section you might include personal resumes, credit reports, letters of reference, job descriptions, letters of intent, copies of leases, contracts, legal documents, and anything else of relevance to the plan.


For additional information, please visit the following links:

Checklist for First Business Advisory Session  |  Do You Have What It Takes to Succeed in Business?  |  Preventure Considerations  |  Develop a Personal Budget  |  Guidelines for a Business Plan  |  Business Plan/Financing Proposal  |  Financial Resources  |  Business Obligations  |  How to Convince a Banker  |  Marketing Plan Outline  |  Frequently Asked Questions  |  SBDC Request for Counseling