5 Steps to Writing a Business Plan Cover Letter [+ Templates!]

Every business plan needs a cover letter. Also known as an introduction, executive summary, or overview, your cover letter is your first impression.

It sets the stage for the rest of the document and tells the reader what to expect. Most importantly, it compels the reader to spend the time it will take to review the plan in full.

But how do you write a cover letter? What should it say?

There will be no guesswork here. We’re covering all of the essential deets to include. Plus, we’ve got templates to make your life easier.

Graphic showing cover letter development on a computer

What’s in this guide:

  • Why your business plan cover letter is important

  • What to include in your cover letter

  • How to write your business plan cover letter

  • 3 business plan cover letter templates

Why your business plan cover letter is important

Without a great cover letter, your business plan will lack context and urgency—making it less likely that your audience will read it.

A cover letter surfaces the most important details from the plan, allowing you to craft a cohesive story. For instance, you might focus your cover letter on your market research findings, your estimated profit margin, or how your company is preparing to achieve your business goal. Essentially, it allows you to direct readers’ attention where you want it to go.

A business plan can also motivate you. Entrepreneurs with completed business plans are 260% more likely to start their businesses. When you write a great cover letter, it can serve as a reminder of why you’re putting in the hard work and keep you on track.

What to include in your cover letter

What should you include? That depends on the type of business plan you’re writing. Is this a plan to launch a startup, release a new product, or improve an existing business?

Here are some essential pieces of information to include for different types of plans. (Remember that while the business plan will delve into all the details, the cover letter will summarize the most important information.)

New business plans:

  • Market research

  • Problem or opportunity statement

  • Outline of initial offerings (products or services)

  • Business and pricing models

  • Time to profitability

  • Business risks and mitigation plans

  • Competitive landscape

New product launches:

  • Product landed cost

  • Product price for each channel (wholesale, DTC, Amazon, etc.)

  • Projected profit margin for each channel

  • Product branding and marketing plan

  • Competitive landscape

  • Plan for product validation and prototyping

Business improvement projects:

  • Current state of the business

  • Opportunities for growth

  • Opportunities for expense cutting

  • Opportunities for process or productivity improvements

  • Prioritization of improvement projects

  • Project goals

  • Project timelines

Third-party service pitches:

  • Client goals and objectives

  • Service scope

  • Service deliverables

  • Project or implementation timelines

  • Expected outcomes

  • Pricing

In most cases, the cover letter should fit within one page, but for very long business plans, you might need a page and a half or even two pages to fit the overarching story you want to convey.

You should address the cover letter to your intended reader. That might be a loan officer for a business loan, a potential investor, a business partner, or a client.

Business plan cover letter example

Cover letter examples can offer inspiration and provide a jumping point for your writing.

Here’s an example of a cover letter for a business consulting plan:

Image of a business plan cover letter template

Notice how the example focuses heavily on the pain points of running a business: working hard, listening carefully, watching cash flow, etc. The cover letter makes the point that when you’re in the weeds of your business, it can be tough to envision the big picture and steer the ship.

Above all, a cover letter should be compelling. So make sure to include illustrative language, metaphors, clear pain points, and goals to bring the proposed plan to life.

How to write your business plan cover letter

Your cover letter is one of the most important sections of any business plan or business proposal. Follow these simple steps and writing tips to win over stakeholders.

Step 1. Write your business plan first

It’s nearly impossible to write a great cover letter without writing your business plan first. Why? Because your cover letter surfaces the key points from the plan so readers know why they should read the plan and what to focus on.

To write an excellent business plan, you must first begin with research. You might put together a small focus group, interview target customers over the phone, assess a handful of competitor products, and analyze influencers’ social media content within your industry.

Now that you’ve done your research, you can start writing your plan.

Make sure to include these sections:

  • Market problem

  • Your proposed solution

  • Your business model

  • Target customers

  • Marketing plan

  • Your competitive advantage

  • Financial projections

  • Required funding

Step 2. Write a strong introduction paragraph for your cover letter

Now it’s time to write the perfect cover letter.

While your cover letter will summarize a variety of points, the first paragraph should have a clear focus. It shouldn’t bounce all over the place, but should make a single compelling argument. You can start with the market opportunity, the unmet customer expectations, the prospective client’s key pain points, or the stellar profit margin your business plan is proposing.

And remember that a good hook makes the reader want to keep reading. So spend plenty of time coming up with a great first sentence that will creatively lead into your opening argument.

Step 3. Write your supporting paragraphs

The next step is to write the supporting paragraphs that drive home your key argument.

For example, if your opening paragraph states that your business plan will address a $1 billion dollar market opportunity, then the remaining paragraphs should clarify the market need (what do customers expect and why haven’t your business competitors risen to the challenge?), how you will address that need (what products or services will you offer?), and what you need from the reader (an investment, a loan, their experience as your co-founder, etc).

Consider using bullet points to quickly list out important details like market research findings, product launch plans, or business goals.

Step 4. Revise your cover letter

Don’t expect to knock it out of the park on the first try. Give yourself time to revise the cover letter over a couple of days. When you take a break before editing, you’re able to look at your writing more objectively—almost as if it was written by someone else. You also allow yourself the space to come up with creative, fresh ideas for hooks, key arguments, etc.

Step 5. Double check that the rest of the business plan follows suit

And lastly, you need to check that your cover letter matches your business plan (and that your business plan matches your cover letter). This song-and-dance might take some time because whenever you add new info to your business plan, you need to consider if it’s important enough to be featured in the letter. And anything you add to your letter certainly needs to be covered in the plan.

Your reader is going to want to find more details within your business plan, so make sure you’re titling sections clearly. For instance, if you mention “market research” in your cover letter, then title the matching section the same way. Your cover letter serves as a reference point for what readers should hunt for in the plan, so keep that in mind when you’re formatting and adding the finishing touches.

3 business plan cover letter templates

A business plan is most commonly written when starting a new business. But documented plans are also useful when launching a new product, embarking on a big project, or pitching a service. These cover letter templates can be adapted for just about any use case.

1. Accounting plan cover letter template

If you’re sending your business plan to potential investors, lenders, or someone else you’re trying to convince, this template may be helpful. It’s short, to-the-point, and full of confidence.

Image of an accounting plan cover letter template

2. Investing plan cover letter template

This cover letter template is perfect for new business plans in the investing, fintech, and financial services industries. It hones in on the core pain points of amateur investors in need of financial planning.

Image of a cover letter for a financial advisor business plan

You can adapt the pain points shared into more of a summary of your market research and the target audience’s needs. Or, you can use this template to pitch financial services directly to potential clients, making sure to include the details of the services in the rest of the plan.

3. Business project cover letter template

This project proposal template can easily be adapted for any business plan, product launch, or operational improvement project. The cover letter is written with compelling language that clearly states the needs and challenges of the project, as well as how you will address them.

Image of a project proposal template

To make this template your own, start by summarizing the risks of the project, and then segway into how your business plan mitigates those—whether through hiring, training, project management, software implementation, or a combination of these and other strategies.

Send business plans and proposals that get accepted

Whether you’re sending documents to investors, partners, clients, coworkers, your boss, or other stakeholders, one thing is certain: you want your plan to be accepted.

By analyzing over a million business proposals and plans sent with our software, we found that documents are more likely to close when they include images, e-signatures, intake forms, and editable pricing tables. With Proposify, you get all of these features plus viewing analytics, so you can check when your emails and plans have been viewed. This will help you know who to follow up with to close the deal.

Send better pitches with Proposify. Learn more and start your free trial.

5 Steps to Writing a Business Plan Cover Letter [+ Templates!]

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