How to Write a Business Plan for Your Franchise

Katie Fleming

Katie Fleming

Co-founder and COO of Owner Actions

A person uses a laptop computer to write a business plan for running a franchise.

When you apply for an SBA loan, a term loan, or another form of financing, you may need to present the lender with a business plan for your franchise. This plan will describe your business’s purpose and potential and explain how the capital you’re seeking can help it attain its goals.


Why is a business plan for a franchise important to lenders?

Lenders want to see that you have a viable idea and a sustainable plan worth funding. They also want to evaluate whether you have the means to bring your business plan for your franchise to fruition.

When compiled correctly, your business plan will help lenders learn about your business’s financial capacity, the competitive challenges it’s up against, the members of your team who can help you realize your vision, and other important details that can contribute to its success. These elements will help them make assessments about the business’s strength and the likelihood you’ll be able to repay any capital they provide.


What should my plan include?

Your plan should include the following elements:

A cover sheet

Set a professional tone by creating a cover sheet that includes your company’s name and logo, the title of the document, the date on which you prepared it, and your contact information.

A table of contents

List the section titles of the document and the page on which the lender may find them.

Quick tip: Microsoft Word makes creating a table of contents simple.

An executive summary

Create a section titled Executive Summary and write a one-page summary of your business and your plan for its success. You may choose to structure it in the following way:

  • Explain the history of the business.
  • Describe the market the business serves and the challenges it faces.
  • Explain how your skills can lend to the business’s success.
  • Share your strategy for future growth.
  • Highlight your estimates for future sales, cash flows, and profitability.
  • Explain your need for financing.

An explanation of the opportunity

Create a section titled Opportunity and explain the key challenges the business is facing. Your explanation should include the following subsections:

  • The Objective of the Franchise
  • Plans for Saturation and Growth
  • Market Size and Characteristics
  • Key Competitors
  • Competitive Advantages

An explanation of your approach to helping the business succeed

Create a section titled Methodology and describe the methods you’ll use to fortify the business. Your description should include the following subsections:

  • Marketing and Sales Plan
  • Current Operational Capabilities
  • Key Performance Milestones
  • Metrics That Define Success

A description of the business

Create a section titled Company and describe the organization’s structure, key members of your team, and any advisors who are helping you establish or run the business.

Your financial plan

Create a section titled Financial Plan and include your forecasts and a description of why you need capital. You should include the following components:

  • The methodology you’ve used to create your financial forecasts
  • A chart depicting your projected revenue by month
  • A chart depicting your projected expenses by month
  • A graphic that shows your forecasted net profit or loss over the next three years
  • A paragraph that describes the sources of funding you’re pursuing and how you’ll use the funding you raise
  • Valuations of the collateral you’re able to put up against the loan
  • Your plan for repayment
  • Accountant-prepared financial statements, which should include your projected profit and loss, projected balance sheet, projected cash flows, and projected capital expenditures for the next year (with monthly detail) and the next three years
  • Relevant business ratios, which may include:

Net profit margin: net profit after taxes / net sales

Gross profit margin: (revenue – cost of goods sold) / revenue

Profit margin: (revenue – expenses) / revenue

Quick ratio: (current assets – inventory) / current liabilities

Return on investment: (gain from investment – cost of investment) / cost of investment

Current ratio: current assets / current liabilities

The franchisor’s financials

Create a section titled Franchisor Disclosure Document and include the FDD your franchisor provides and any supplemental information that describes its financial positioning.

Additional materials

Create a section titled Appendix and include any other documents that are relevant to your funding request. These may include:

  • Your resume
  • Proof of any relevant degrees or training
  • Your tax returns
  • Your signed franchise agreement

How can I make my plan look professional?

Here are some tips:

  • Use a professional font, like Times New Roman or Calibri, that’s easy to read on- and off-screen.
  • Use a bold, slightly larger font for headings and subheadings that’ll help lenders find content quickly and easily as they review your document.
  • Create easy-to-read charts that’ll help the lender understand your projections and forecasts.
  • Use chart and text colors that are pleasing on- and off-screen.
  • Embed color graphics of the facility, team, product, and parts of your processes into the appropriate sections of your plan.
  • Ensure that your business’s name and contact information are included on every page of the document. You can insert this information into the document’s header and set it to appear on every page except the cover sheet.
  • Run a spelling and grammar check on the document.
  • Update the table of contents after finalizing every other change.


Before you submit the plan, you should print a hard copy and review it for typos and formatting issues. Once the document is ready, you can print it to a PDF file and submit it to your lender.


Can you help me write my business plan?

Yes! With our newest service, we can structure, draft, and polish your business plan. You can learn more about this done-for-you service here.

Looking for a DIY option? Try a service like LivePlan, which can help you pitch, plan, and track the success of your business plan. Many owners use this service to browse more than 500 sample plans, organize their ideas, build robust financial projections, and access professional guidance through the planning process.



Want a pro to look it over when you’re finished? We’re happy to consult and provide the expert feedback you need. Check out how we can help here.

Projectionhub is another great service that can help you take on the projection piece of your plan. This service offers 50+ industry-specific templates expertly prepared by a CPA for as little as $49. For a limited time, you can save up to 15% on this service with the code OWNERACTIONS (some restrictions apply; contact Projectionhub for details).


What’s next?

Securing financing is a major milestone in the acquisition process. After you write your business plan for a franchise, you’ll work through other tasks that’ll help you prepare for operations. Log into your owner’s portal for articles, checklists, and advice on finding a location, hiring your employees, preparing for opening day, and more.

Want to take on other tasks?

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