Below is a sample business plan which you can use as a starting point for your software business planning.
Also take a look at our software business plan template, check out our sections on software business models, and tips for developing the strategic plan for your business, which you can start using this sample business plan.
If you find you need additional assistance with adapting this business plan to your business, we do provide consulting services on software/services business planning. Please see our Consulting Services section for more detail and contact information.
If you would like to receive a Microsoft Word version of this sample business plan via email, pleasesend an email requesting the sample business plan to firstname.lastname@example.org.
XYZ Software Company
SAMPLE BUSINESS PLAN
The mission statement should briefly explain the thrust of your software business. It could be short or long, but it should be as direct and focused as possible. It should leave the reader with a clear picture of your business moving forward.
Names of founders/management
Number of employees
Location(s) of business
Software products developed/services rendered
Banking relationships and information regarding current investors
Summary of company growth
Include any financial or market highlights – milestones reached, etc.
Keep this brief and to the point. Details will be laid out below.
The market analysis section should
illustrate your knowledge about the software or services industry, and your
specific niche in particular. If your
software is targeted at a specific vertical industry, that should be spelled
out here also. Include any general highlights and conclusions of any marketing
research data you have collected – details can be included in the appendix
section which is included as a placeholder at the end of this sample business plan.
Industry description and outlook
Target market information
Market test results
Evaluation of your competition
Identify your competition by software product or service as well as by market segment; assess their strengths and weaknesses, determine how important your target market is to your competitors, and identify any barriers which may hinder you. Include not only your existing competition (perhaps other similar licensed software vendors), but also potential competitors or changes threatening your customer base from the services space (ie, is SaaS a threat to your current software business model, or perhaps IT outsourcing trends?).
This should include not only an overall summary of your company and your main products or services, but also your primary value propositions (what strengths does your company have that will make it a success?). Also identify your main/target customer base and the main ways that you plan on servicing those needs with your software or services.
Marketing & Sales Strategy
First, define your marketing strategy: How do you go about finding/creating customers? How do you plan to grow the business? What are your distribution or deployment channels? How will you communicate with your customers?
More specifically, make sure this includes your pricing and licensing strategy – what is your business model moving forward (ie, single one-time license, licenses by component, software-as-a-service, subscription, etc).
Second will come your sales strategy: what type of sales force (different for different product lines?)? How many salespeople will/do you have? Will you have strategic partners for sales? What are your sales activities?
This will be where you define what you are selling, and the manner in which you will sell and deliver it (eg, licensed software, or software-as-a-service, or subscription, or consulting, etc). It should include the benefits to the potential/current customers, with particular focus on your areas of strength or advantage over your competition.
Include information about where your product is in the life cycle (for software – is it already released, what version, or is it in beta, etc; and include timelines).
Include any relevant information about patents, copyrights etc that may be relevant to your strength as an ongoing business concern.
Finally, list any R&D activities that you are involved in that may impact your product line down the road.
Also, describe any ongoing services that are provided to support your product line. For example, customer support, implementation services, customization, etc.
Include both historical as well as prospective financial data.