Cyber Security Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

cybersecurity business plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their cyber security companies.

If you’re unfamiliar with creating a cyber security business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process. For most entrepreneurs it is, but for you, it won’t be since we’re here to help. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.

In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write a cyber security business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your cyber security business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

 

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a cyber security business or grow your existing cyber security company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your cyber security business to improve your chances of success. Your cyber security business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

 

Sources of Funding for cyber security Businesses

With regard to funding, the main sources of funding for a cyber security business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes 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 ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for cyber security companies.

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How to Write a Business Plan for a cyber security Business

If you want to start a cyber security business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The guide below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your cyber security business plan.

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 plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of cyber security business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a cyber security business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of cyber security businesses?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan.

  • Give a brief overview of the cyber security industry.
  • Discuss the type of cyber security business you are operating.
  • 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.
  • Offer an overview of your financial plan.

 

Company Overview

In your company overview, you will detail the type of cyber security business you are operating.

For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of cyber security businesses:

  1. Remote security center services: This type of cyber security is focused on providing comprehensive security for networks and devices remotely from a main control center.
  2. Cloud security services. As more businesses turn to storage in cloud platforms, this type of service protects the data of clients from being utilized by others in that platform.
  3. Vulnerability scan & management: This service screens client devices and network systems remotely on a monthly maintenance basis.
  4. Endpoint security services: This service is dedicated to the mobile and end user devices in corporate offices; protection for computers is not included.

In addition to explaining the type of cyber security business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of security breaches determined, the amount of revenue earned, or reaching X number of clients served, etc.
  • Your legal business 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 or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the cyber security industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the cyber security industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis 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 cyber security business plan:

  • How big is the cyber security 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 target market for your cyber security 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.

 

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your cyber security business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: government contractors, for-profit corporations, securities businesses, private security services, and individuals.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of cyber security business you operate. Clearly, government contractors would respond to different marketing promotions than individuals, for example.

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

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

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other cyber security businesses.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. Software companies, home or office hardware, and remote alarm services  may be examples of indirect competitors. You will want to mention any direct competition, as well.

For each direct competitor, provide an overview of their business 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 customers do they serve?
  • What type of cyber security business are they?
  • 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 your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide discounts for major government contractors?
  • Will you offer scan protection and management that your competition doesn’t?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

 

Marketing Plan

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

Product: In the product section, you should reiterate the type of cyber security company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you provide in-person and remote cyber security services for major corporations or will you offer compliance solutions for select clients?

Price: Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your plan, you are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.

Place: Place refers to the site of your cyber security company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your cyber security business located in a professional business district, a quiet corporate area, a standalone building or a remote, unnamed location? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions: The final part of your cyber security marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertise in trade magazines
  • Reach out to websites
  • Engage in email marketing
  • Advertise on social media platforms
  • Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords

 

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 your cyber security business, including answering calls, planning and providing scan management, responding to emergency situations, billing clients and assisting with computer equipment, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to book your Xth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your cyber security business to a new city.

 

Management Team

To demonstrate your cyber security business’ potential to succeed, 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 managing cyber security businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a cyber security business or successfully running a data management business.

 

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 revenue 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 increase customer retention by 20% quarterly, offer reduced pricing for hardware maintenance contracts, or offer discounted packaged pricing for multiple services? And will sales 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 $50,000 on building out your cyber security business, 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 lender writes you a check for $50,000, 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 ensure 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.

When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a cyber security business:

  • Cost of computer and software equipment
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes
  • Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, furnishings and travel expenses

 

Appendix

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 the cyber security credentials of the CEO and COO or a list of client contracts.

 

Summary

Writing a business plan for your cyber security business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will understand the cyber security industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful cyber security business.

 

Cyber Security Business Plan FAQs

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your cyber security company business plan.

Starting a Cyber Security business is easy with these 14 steps:

  1. Choose the Name for Your Cyber Security Business
  2. Create Your Cyber Security Business Plan
  3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Cyber Security Business
  4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Cyber Security Business (If Needed)
  5. Secure a Location for Your Business
  6. Register Your Cyber Security Business with the IRS
  7. Open a Business Bank Account
  8. Get a Business Credit Card
  9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  10. Get Business Insurance for Your Cyber Security Business
  11. Buy or Lease the Right Cyber Security Business Equipment
  12. Develop Your Cyber Security Business Marketing Materials
  13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Cyber Security Business
  14. Open for Business

Click here to download the pdf version of our basic business plan template.

Our free business plan template pdf allows you to see the key sections to complete in your plan and the key questions that each must answer. The business plan pdf will definitely get you started in the right direction.

We do offer a premium version of our business plan template. Click here to learn more about it. The premium version includes numerous features allowing you to quickly and easily create a professional business plan. Its most touted feature is its financial projections template which allows you to simply enter your estimated sales and growth rates, and it automatically calculates your complete five-year financial projections including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Here’s the link to our Ultimate Business Plan Template.



Finish Your Cyber Security Business Plan in 1 Day!

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

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

Click here to finish your Cyber Security 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 a Growthink business planning consultant can create your business plan for you.

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