Plan Your Business

A strategic business plan is the key to a profitable business. 

Starting a business whether you’re launching in Kansas City (or anywhere in the world) involves risk … but it should be a calculated risk. And a writing a business plan can help you run the numbers and make informed decisions to help your business succeed. Because if you dive in without checking the waters, your business idea might be doomed to sink from the start.

What is a business plan and why is it useful?

Getting Money and a Plan

First, money. A business plan is a vital planning tool and operating guide that can help convince leaders and investors, including banks, to take risk and fund your idea. Why? It clarifies your business idea and can be a tool that convinces lenders to lend funds to your venture.But it can be more than that. It can help you set down your mission, vision, goals and first-round milestones. And even with all that, it doesn’t have to be 50 pages; there are short-form options out there.

Forming Your Strategy

And at the heart, it is a plan after all. Your business plan helps with sales and marketing and can help you guide and manage business growth. Years later, when you’re ready to scale and grow and when you don’t really have time to consult such a plan, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got a solid foundation to build from.

Guiding Your Growth
And a final key point: Your business plan helps guide your market research and gets you thinking about things you might not consider, like your market analysis and financial and operational plans.

Now, you don’t have to write it in one shot. You can chunk out sections to finish in bite-size bits. What it should be is a living, breathing document you can update and tweak as your operation expands or if you pivot.

Making It Real

So what’s bad about a business plan?
Not everything will happen as you planned, so if you never change course or pivot, your plan is likely to fail. Because in business and in life, you have to be prepared to change course if required. And writing a business plan doesn’t guarantee success. But getting your thoughts on paper and seeing where your weak areas might be is worth a lot and will increase your chances of success.

Enter the proof point: Research shows if you’ve got a business plan, you’re far more likely (two and half times more likely, according to Clemson University entrepreneurship professor William B. Gartner) to go into business.

All this information making you a little nervous? Just tell us a bit about yourself or give us a ring at 816-235-6500, and we’ll outline your next steps (for free). We can also connect you with sample outlines to help you craft your personal game plan for your business dreams.

Sample Business Plan

So what’s actually in a business plan? Here’s what you might include:

Cover Page

  • Business name
  • Owner name(s)
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone number

Table of Contents

You might write this last. This single page outlines the major topics in the plan and summarizes what’s inside.

Executive Summary

You also might save this for later once you have the rest of the content written. This is also a single page near the beginning that sums up the important parts of your plan.

These next sections get into the nitty gritty. This is where you’ll address the industry and business, products and services, goals, contingencies, continuity and exit planning. These aspects require some planning (you can call or email us for your Personal Action Plan to line up your resource team) and research, which you can do through a variety of resources (many of them FREE) … like your local library):

1. Strategic Plan

Industry and the Business

This section will include things like business type, industry description, NAICS code, trends, target marketbusiness locationlegal entity (LLC, etc.)customer persona

Goals, Contingencies, Continuity and Exit Planning

Here, you’ll focus on business goals, threats, your contingency plan and exit plan.

Products and Services

Now you’ll describe your your products and services and packaging as well as the value proposition of your products and services, the need your product or service satisfies, any seasonal demand, the product life cycle and the projected customer experience.

2. Market Analysis and Marketing Plan

Industry Analysis

Now, mention the competitive landscape, key industry metrics (gross margins, sales per employee, etc.), drivers of demand for your product or service, industry trends should you consider, consumer demands, products/services, technology and competitors.

‘SWOT’ Analysis

What internal and external factors are influenced by your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

Four Forces

Next list the obstacles to entering the industry, the intensity of your competition, key competitors’ strengths, the alternatives to what you offer and the bargaining strength of customers and suppliers.

Marketing Plan

Your features, packaging or other differentiators for your product/service, pricing strategies, discounts, bundles, selling and purchasing locations, advertising, social media and content marketing.

3. Operational Plan

Operations Activities

Now, highlight the day-to-day operations, delivery method of products/services, inventory management, key suppliers, operating hours, equipment and software needed and quality control.


Then, outline the legal structure of the business (LLC, etc.), ownership structure, legal resources you’ll need, what you’ll need for risk management and insurance, compliance and regulatory requirements, zoning and codes, intellectual property (trademarks, patents, proprietary methods, etc.) and the major contracts you must sign and how will those affect your business.

Money Management

Then, there are concerns, like customer payments or billing and the terms of payment.

Management, Labor and Organization

Here, mention your skills and experience, the managers and key personnel, how many employees you’ll hire, how many full-time and part-time workers you’ll employ, job titles and descriptions and how you’ll train new employees.

4. Financial Plan

Have you calculated your financial projections? If you’re not sure, classes, worksheets and business services at the Kansas City Public Library in Missouri, Mid-Continent Public Library, the Small Business AdministrationSCORE and more can help you tackle this.

5. Appendix

This is where your supporting documents live. Those include leases, major contracts, letters of intent, equipment lists, construction quotes and other items you’ll want to include as supporting evidence.

Business Plan Outlines and Samples

Here are even more sample business plan outlines and resources to help you get started right now:

Who can help me with all of this?

And you don’t have to sit behind a computer. Many business-building organizations in Kansas City can help you craft your own plan. Start with this list or pop over to The Resource Navigator to filter this list by your location, industry and more.

Determination, Incorporated

Determination, Incorporated is a nonprofit based in the Kansas City metro that creates a pathway to opportunity for formerly incarcerated people through entrepreneurship.

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

Kansas Small Business Development Center at KU (SBDC)

The Kansas Small Business Development Center at the University of Kansas provides free and confidential individual advising to small business owners, managers and prospective owners. The center can work with any company that fits into the Small Business Administration's definition of a "small business."

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

San Luis Marketing Agency

A video and marketing agency. We offer a complete range of marketing and sales services to businesses of all sizes, individuals, and nonprofits. So you can focus on working, creating, and dreaming.

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

The Black MasterMind Group Charitable Foundation

The Black MasterMind Group Charitable Foundation is designed to create strategies to help the Black entrepreneurial community start, stabilize, sustain and scale businesses. It educates, trains, coaches, mentors, develops and provides funding initiatives

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

The Entrepreneur's Source

I provide no cost education, awareness and discovery services to people who are in career transition and have an interest in exploring entrepreneurship as a potential career path or adding passive streams of income to their existing investment or bus

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

The Toolbox: Small Business Resource Center

The Toolbox: Small Business Resource Center is the go-to resource for everything small business in Wyandotte County, Kansas. All services are offered at no cost to local residents and businesses. The Toolbox provides support with planning, registering, funding, operating and growing your business through private one-on-one small business coaching.

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City

Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City's mission to promote trust in the marketplace has made the organization a business leader since 1916. BBB sets standards for marketplace trust, celebrates business role models, calls out substandard marketplace behavior and creates a community of trustworthy businesses and charities

City of Excelsior Springs, MO - Community Development Department

The City of Excelsior Springs’ Community Development Department assists businesses in locating, expanding and moving to the community. Find more information, visit or email Melinda Mehaffy, economic development director, at [email protected].

City of Richmond, MO - Economic Development Department

The mission of the Richmond Department of Economic Development is to promote and support business and economic development within the community of Richmond, Missouri.


DreamSpring is a nonprofit community lender providing small business loans and lines of credit, resources and guidance.

Gardner Chamber of Commerce

The Gardner Chamber of Commerce provides business assistance, networking opportunities and other services for businesses operating or wishing to operate in the Kansas towns of Gardner, Edgerton or New Century.

Grain Valley Partnership

The Grain Valley Chamber Partnership is dedicated to being the primary advocate for businesses in the Grain Valley, Missouri, area by promoting economic development, providing educational resources and partnering with our members to improve the business environment and community image.


GUILDit spurs Kansas City artists and entrepreneurs. The organization’s mission is to create communities around best business practices in the way of forums, panels, lectures and alike programming.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City is dedicated to the creation, advancement, promotion and development of economic opportunities within the Hispanic market and business community.

Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Greater Kansas City

The Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) is dedicated to improving the lives of Latinos within the greater Kansas City. HEDC achieves this through business development and economic and community wealth creation initiatives.

Independence Economic Development Council

The Independence, Missouri Economic Development Council is a nonprofit, public/private partnership, which was established in 1983 for the purpose of supporting and enhancing the economic growth of Independence.

Johnson County Missouri Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC)

The Johnson County, Missouri, Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC) provides confidential one-on-one business assistance, microloan funds, financing options and incentives for new and existing businesses, small to large, for all Johnson County, Missouri.

K-State Technology Development Institute (TDI)

The Technology Development Institute provides a variety of resources and services through collaborative engineering and business development partnerships to advance technologies, people and companies.

Kansas City Area Transportation Authority

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority connects people to opportunities through safe, reliable public transportation. KCATA is a bi-state agency charged with serving the transportation and development needs of the Kansas City region.

Kansas Small Business Development Center at JCCC (SBDC)

The Kansas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Johnson County Community College provides business assistance to aspiring and existing small business owners in Johnson, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas through low cost training events and no-charge one-on-one business counseling.

KU Innovation Park

KU Innovation Park, with locations at both the University of Kansas Lawrence Campus and Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, is the largest incubator system in the state. It is comprised of three separate facilities totaling approximately 90,000 square feet of wet lab, office space and shared work spaces.

M-Powerment Solutions

Anyone with less than perfect credit looking to buy a home, vehicle, or apply for a high paying career. I help people with no credit, derogatory marks, and those with decent credit looking to get a credit score of 750+.

Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC)

The Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center assists domestic manufacturers negatively impacted by import competition by providing cost share funding to implement improvement projects to make a business more globally competitive.

Mid-Continent Public Library Culinary Center

The Mid-Continent Public Library Culinary Center is a destination and resource for anyone interested in learning more about food and culinary entrepreneurship. Housed in the Green Hills Library Center, the Culinary Center features a teaching and demonstration kitchen and two shared commercial kitchens for use by startup food businesses.

Missouri Enterprise, Kansas City and Northwest Missouri

Missouri Enterprise is a dedicated manufacturing expert and your partner to strengthen and grow your company. The organization assists manufacturers with workforce development, technology, lean principles, exporting, quality, food safety and more.

Missouri SBDC at Northwest Missouri State University - St. Joseph

The SBTDC offers confidential, one-on-one counseling, coaching and training to existing businesses and emerging business owners.

Missouri SBDC at University of Missouri Kansas City

Missouri SBDC at UMKC is OPEN for business; both virtually and in-person for our trainings and counseling. Contact us at [email protected] to talk how we can help you SOAR with your entrepreneurial journey

Mo-Kan Regional Council

MO-KAN Development Inc. provides loan programs to small businesses in Kansas and Missouri.

Northland CAPS

Northland CAPS students use business standard software, equipment and employer mentorship to solve real world problems for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Piper School District

We're looking to produce client projects for area businesses through our various academies.
If your organization has a problem, or a project that’s No. 10 on your “to do” list, give it to our students. They're ready for real world learning.


The Kansas City SCORE Chapter is comprised of more than 70 volunteers who provide free mentoring and workshops to entrepreneurs. Volunteers are professionals with time-tested knowledge and experience in almost every industry.


VetBiz is dedicated to helping U.S. veterans and military families achieve their dream of owning a business by transitioning military skills to business success through training, counseling and mentorship.

Well Well Marketing

Our vision is to make the world healthier by promoting health and wellness businesses. We provide holistic marketing to holistic brands.


Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and established businesses to technologies available for licensing at institutions of higher education, hospitals and corporations in the bi-state region to stimulate applied research, leverage innovation i

Women's Business Center of Kansas City

The Women’s Business Center provides training, mentoring, networking opportunities and business consulting to help women start and grow their businesses.



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