Podcast Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

podcast marketing plan

Podcast Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their podcasts. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a podcast business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your podcast as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy 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 podcast, or grow your existing podcast, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your podcast in order to improve your chances of success. Your podcast business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
 

Sources of Funding for Podcasts

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a podcast are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans 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 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 podcasts.

If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your Podcast business plan, download our proven business plan template here.


How to Write a Business Plan for a Podcast

If you want to start a successful podcast or expand your current one, you need a plan. Below we detail each section of a podcast 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 type of podcast you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a podcast that you would like to grow, or are you operating podcasts in multiple markets?

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

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will provide a podcast overview.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of podcasts:

  1. Interview podcast: this type of podcast involves one or two hosts who speak with one or more guests each episode.
  2. Conversational podcast: this type of podcast involves two podcast hosts that have entertaining conversations about specific themes and topics, similar to a radio show.
  3. Storytelling/Investigative podcast: this type of podcast has one or more hosts that use each episode to tell a story or delve into a news/current events topic.

In addition to the podcast overview you will operate, the Company Analysis section needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of listeners and/or subscribers, number of positive reviews, reaching X amount of subscribers, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
Bonus: Download our business plan template here and complete your Podcast business plan today.


Industry Analysis

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

industry growth outlook

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

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

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

The third reason for market research 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:

  • How big is the podcast 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 podcast? 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 podcast business plan must detail the audience you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: individuals of a certain niche, households, students, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of podcast you operate. Clearly, university students would respond to different marketing promotions than individuals of a niche targeting cooking segments, for example.

Try to break out your target audience 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 audience you seek to serve.

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

Finish Your Podcast Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your podcast 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 Podcast business plan today.


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 podcasts. 

Indirect competitors are other options that audiences have to subscribe from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes radio shows, news networks, TV, online streaming, etc.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other podcasts with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be podcasts located very close to your niche.

podcast business planning competition

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 podcast shows do they operate and what is their content?
  • What types of audience do they serve?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the audience’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ audience 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 podcast content that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you provide better and more relevant topics?
  • Will you provide better audience engagement?
  • Will you offer better streaming platforms?

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 podcast business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product: In the product section, you should reiterate the type of podcast that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific services you will be offering. For example, in addition to a podcast, will you provide online and media engagement, blogs, and any other products?

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

Place: Place refers to the location (reach) of your podcast. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your podcast streamed locally or will it have a nationwide audience?

Promotions: The final part of your podcast marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive listeners/subscribers to your podcast. The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Music streaming apps
  • Social media marketing
  • Online ads
  • SEO marketing

 

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections 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 podcast, including developing new and relevant content for each show, engaging with audience members and/or listeners,  marketing the podcast, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to obtain your XXth listener/subscriber, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your podcast to a new streaming platform.
 

Management Team

To demonstrate your podcast’ ability 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 podcasts. 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 like 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 podcast or have a successful career in media production.
 

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.

sales growth

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you start streaming your podcast locally or will you stream nationwide to gain a larger network of listeners/subscribers? 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 podcast, 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 $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 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 a podcast:

  • Cost of podcast supplies and equipment
  • Cost of marketing the podcast
  • Payroll or salaries paid to production staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

business venture costs
 

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 your list of topics your podcast will offer, types of audience you will be targeting, and the streaming platforms your podcast will be featured on.
 

Summary

Putting together a business plan for your podcast is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the podcast industry, your competition, and your audience. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful podcast.
 

Podcast Business Plan FAQs

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Podcast Business Plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of podcast you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a podcast that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of podcasts?



Finish Your Podcast Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Podcast 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 Podcast 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 learn about Growthink’s business plan writing service.
 

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