Airbnb Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Airbnb Business Plan

Airbnb Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their Airbnb businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regard to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an Airbnb business plan template step-by-step so you can create your own plan today.

What is an Airbnb Business Plan?

An Airbnb business plan is a document that provides a snapshot of your Airbnb business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research about the short-term rental market to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan for an Airbnb Business

If you’re looking to purchase a rental property or add more to your existing Airbnb business, you need a business plan. Starting an Airbnb business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your Airbnb business in order to improve your chances of success. Your Airbnb business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Airbnb Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an Airbnb business are personal savings, credit cards, mortgages, and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

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If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, download Growthink’s Ultimate Airbnb Business Plan Template and complete your plan and financial model in hours.

How To Write a Business Plan for Your Own Airbnb Business

Your Airbnb business plan should include the 10 key components as follows:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Company Overview
  3. Industry Analysis
  4. Customer Analysis
  5. Competitive Analysis
  6. Marketing Plan
  7. Operations Plan
  8. Management Team
  9. Financial Plan
  10. Appendix


Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your Airbnb business plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of Airbnb business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, or do you have a portfolio of existing Airbnb properties that you would like to add to?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the Airbnb industry. Discuss the type of Airbnb you are offering. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.


Company Analysis

In your company overview, you will detail the type of Airbnb business you are offering.

For example, you might offer the following options:

  • Home rentals – These are fully furnished properties that are rented for a short period of time – usually on a weekly basis. The client has access to the entire home for the duration of their rental period.
  • Shared Rooms – These are rooms within a property that are rented out. When a client books a shared room, they will be sleeping in a space that is shared with others and share the entire space with other people.
  • Attached properties – The properties in this category are connected to larger complexes but provide private accommodations. Examples include condos and apartment complexes.

In addition to explaining the type of Airbnb business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the Airbnb business?
  • What is your mission statement?
  • What are your business goals?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include occupancy goals you’ve reached, number of property acquisitions, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
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Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the vacation rental industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the Airbnb industry educates you. It helps you understand the key markets in which you are operating.

Secondly, this research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your Airbnb business plan:

  • How big is the hospitality industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your Airbnb business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population or tourist arrivals.


Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your Airbnb business plan must detail the guests you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: families vacationing, tourists, business travelers, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of Airbnb you offer. Clearly, vacationers would want different amenities and services and would respond to different marketing promotions than long-term tenants.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the ideal guests you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

In the competitor analysis, you should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other Airbnb properties or other local businesses that offer long-term and short-term rental properties.

Indirect competitors are other options customers may use that aren’t direct competitors. This includes the housing market or hotels. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who needs housing or accommodations will seek out an Airbnb.

With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other vacation and short-term rentals with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be other Airbnb rentals and accommodations in the vicinity.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of guests do they serve?
  • What rental lengths or amenities do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regard to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of this section is to document your areas of competitive advantage or your unique selling points. For example:

  • Will you provide superior properties?
  • Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to book the property or submit an application?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document these unique selling points in this section of your plan.


Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For an Airbnb hosting business, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product: in the product section you should reiterate the type of Airbnb business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific options you will be offering. For example, in addition to short-term rental, are you offering month-to-month or long-term rental?

Price: Document your pricing strategy and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the properties and term options you offer and their prices.

Place: Place refers to the location of your Airbnb. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your Airbnb located in a tourist destination, or in an urban area, etc? Discuss how your location might draw customer interest.

Promotions: the final part of your Airbnb marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional strategies you might consider:

  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local websites
  • Flyers
  • Social media marketing
  • Local radio advertising
  • Referral programs

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, download Growthink’s Ultimate Airbnb Business Plan Template and complete your plan and financial model in hours.

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running the day-to-day operations of your Airbnb business, such as customer service, maintenance, processing applications, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect 80% annual occupancy, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to acquire a new property.


Management Team

To demonstrate your Airbnb business’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in Airbnb management. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your long-term success.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in real estate, and/or successfully running small businesses.


Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you have 1 rental unit or 10? And will revenue grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $250,000 on purchasing and renovating your Airbnb, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $200,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an Airbnb business:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of equipment like computers, software, etc.
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses



Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your property blueprint or map.


Free Airbnb Business Plan Template

You can download our Airbnb business plan template PDF to help you get started on your own business plan. We also offer a sample Airbnb business plan for reference. Use our Airbnb business plan example as much or as little as you need to write your own business plan.

Airbnb Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for an Airbnb vacation rental business will improve your company’s chances of success. The process of developing your plan will help you better understand your target audience, your competition, and your business strategy. You will also develop the marketing strategies needed to better attract and serve your target market, an operations plan to focus your efforts, and financial projections that give you business goals to strive for and keep your company focused.

Growthink’s Ultimate Airbnb Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete a winning Airbnb business plan.

Additional Resources for a Successful Airbnb Business

To further help you, we have other articles on key aspects of how to start your Airbnb and running it effectively. Specifically, our Airbnb marketing plan will help you develop the best promotions strategy. Our Airbnb startup costs post will let you know what costs to expect.

Finish Your Airbnb Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Airbnb business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Airbnb Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your Airbnb business plan today.


OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.
Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan services can give you a winning business plan.

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