How to Make a Business Plan Like a Pro: Step-by-Step Guide and Samples

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated April 19, 2023

Banks and government agencies that provide loans for businesses in the Philippines require prospective borrowers to submit documents proving their creditworthiness. Applying for a business loan? A requirement you must pay attention to is the business plan.

Many aspiring Filipino entrepreneurs who don’t have time to make a business plan for a small business just wing it for the sake of fulfilling the loan requirements. Don’t make that mistake.

Writing this document does take time and effort; so does learning how to make a business plan. If you’re serious about improving your chance of getting approved for a loan for your small business, you have to make it as comprehensive and detailed as possible.

What is a Business Plan, and Why Should You Make One?

A business plan is a written document with a proposal covering all the nitty-gritty of starting a business in the Philippines.[1] It’s solid proof of your business’ profit potential and your ability to pay off your loan.

A business plan will define your short-term and long-term business objectives and help you focus on specific steps to achieve these business objectives. Moreover, it will also help you come up with effective strategies for your business growth and attract potential partners or investors, just to name a few.

How to Make a Business Plan in the Philippines

It may be a daunting task, but here's how to write an effective business plan for SMEs.

Step 1: Define Your Business Concept

how to make a business plan - Define Your Business Concept

Every business starts with an idea, and yours has to be developed into a clear concept. Doing so will keep you on track while drafting the plan for your small business.

With that, a business concept should include these details:

  • Mission and vision - Why you are putting up this business?
  • Target market - Who will buy your products or services? What problems or pain points of your target customers do you want to address?
  • Product - What will you offer as a solution to your target market’s problems?
  • Value proposition - What are your unique selling points? Why should people buy from you instead of the competitor?
  • Branding - What is the expertise or specialization of your business? How do you want to position it in your industry?

Read more:

Step 2: Research Your Market and Industry

how to make a business plan - research market and industry

Once you’ve finalized your business concept, you can start collecting data about your target market and the industry you’ll be in to find out if your idea is feasible. Never skip this step—you have to prove to the bank that everything in your business plan is based on facts.

Make sure your business plan research covers these areas:

  • Market research through surveys, personal interviews, and focus group discussions that gather insights from target customers, suppliers, and industry experts
  • Data about your competitors
  • Industry trends and growth potential based on published studies and research

Analyze your compiled data and see if your business concept needs fine-tuning to make it more viable.

Step 3: Create Your Outline

Prepare an outline that will keep your business plan ideas organized. If you're looking for a sample business plan, a good template to use is the format developed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).[2] It's a sample of a simple business plan outline with five sections:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Marketing Plan
  3. Production Plan
  4. Organization and Management Plan
  5. Financial Plan

Step 4: Develop the Main Sections

how to make a business plan - Develop the Main Sections

Next, start working on the following different sections of your business plan:

📝 Executive Summary

Open your business plan with a brief overview of your business, its nature, and its competitive edge. Include your qualifications and competencies, as well as a short discussion of how the loan will help your business grow.

📝 Marketing Plan

Discuss your product or service offerings, market demographics, competitor analysis, and marketing strategies that you’ll use to achieve your sales targets. The loan provider needs to know how much you’ll need to market and distribute your products.

📝 Production Plan

Convince the financing institution that you have the operational capacity to meet your sales forecasts by explaining all aspects of your production process, including equipment, raw materials, labor, and overhead expenses.

📝 Organization and Management Plan

Loan providers in the Philippines need assurance that you can manage your business well. In this section, present details on how you’ll run the business and back it up with your and your team's relevant qualifications and experience.

If you need a sample management plan in a business plan, you may refer to some examples available online.[3]

📝 Financial Plan

Make your financial plan as comprehensive as possible, as this will show the potential financial strength of your business. The lender will closely scrutinize your financial strategies and projections to determine if you can repay the loan.

Include these key details to give a realistic view of how your small business will perform:

  • Cash flow statement
  • Break-even analysis
  • Return on investment
  • Sales and profits forecasts for the next three years
  • Loan purpose (e.g., purchase of new assets and equipment, payment for operating expenses, working capital, etc.)
  • Loan repayment time frame and your plan if you’re unable to pay off the loan

Read more:

Step 5: Add Supporting Information

Want to know how to make a business plan that will raise your chance of getting approved for a loan? Back up your business plan with as many supplementary documents as possible.

You can add an Appendix section with the following information:

  • Documents that support your financial plan such as contracts, copies of leases, etc.
  • Market research findings
  • Bank statements
  • Licenses
  • Permits
  • Receipts
  • Resumes of key employees

Step 6: Review and Proofread

how to make a business plan - Review and Proofread

Check your final draft thoroughly to ensure that all important details are included and the unnecessary ones are removed. Have a friend, a business partner, or a proofreader review your business plan to check for any incorrect data, unclear messaging, and typos.

You have just one shot at a loan for financing your small business—don’t ruin it with a proposal teeming with grammatical errors and misspellings. The person who will review your documents might be distracted by the errors rather than focus on your business plan’s merits and substance.

Sample Business Plan in the Philippines: 7 Good Examples for Filipino SMEs

Still not sure how to make a business plan? Need concrete ideas on how to develop the plan for your small business?

We've compiled some good proposal samples that can help you write your business plan like a pro. Check the links at the references below this article.

  • Sample business plan for a small food business[4]
  • Sample business plan for a mini fast food restaurant[5]
  • Sample business plan for an online natural supplements store[6]
  • Sample business plan for a consulting firm[7]
  • Sample business plan for an event management business[8]
  • Sample business plan for a clothing retail store[9]
  • Sample business plan for a cafe[10]

Planning to open a restaurant soon? Here's a helpful sample business plan specifically for a restaurant business from the Young Entrepreneurs Forum:


Related reading:

Final Thoughts

Organizations that provide business funding in the Philippines require a well-written, concise, and complete business plan that covers all relevant information about your business.

Now that you know how to make a business plan, take the time and effort to convince the lender that you’re worthy of a business loan through your well-thought-out and flawlessly written proposal. Get started by checking a sample business plan for a small business provided above.

Apply for a personal loan through Moneymax


Venus has almost 20 years of combined experience in content marketing, SEO, corporate communications, and public relations. Most of her career was spent creating informative articles on personal finance and digital marketing. She also invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Venus graduated cum laude with a Journalism degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. A hardcore Hallyu Tita, she loves bingeing Korean shows on Netflix while bonding with her cats. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.


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