Skip to Main Content

Business Plans Sources at NYPL: What is a Business Plan


A business plan is a formal written document containing your business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame you plan to achieve these goals. It also describes the nature of your business, background information on the business, financial projections, and the strategies you intend to use to achieve the stated targets. A business plan is ‘living document’ and will change over time. One of the purposes of written business plans are to obtain a bank loan or other kind of financing. Review your business plan on a regular basis.

Parts of a Business Plan

For more detailed information on each element listed below, see the library database Small Business Reference Center .
Current New York Public Library Card needed for access outside of a New York Public Library location.

Company Description- This section should summarize your plan, focusing on your key
points and stimulating interest in reading the full plan; it is in part a sales pitch. It
should be written after the detailed body of the business plan has been completed and
should cover its primary elements, each in just a very few sentences.

  • Company Ownership/Management/Your Products and Services
  • Business Operations
  • Market Analysis
  • Who is my Customer
  • Marketing and Branding Plan
  • Financial Analysis and Plan
  • Appendices