Traditional business plan format You might prefer a traditional business plan format if you’re very detail oriented, want a comprehensive plan, or plan to request financing from traditional sources. When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan outline. May 03, · The format of your business plan will help you achieve these goals, so it’s important to think about the plan’s structure as you build it. There isn’t one right way to organize your plan, but you do need to make sure that it’s professional, includes the information your audience wants to see, and is formatted correctly.
Business plans vary in content and size according to the nature and size of the business concerned and on the emphasis that is placed on certain critical areas as opposed to others. Every business plan should address a number of fundamental issues without which it would not be complete.
These issues can be grouped under six major areas that are the pillars of every business activity whether large or small. These are:. Essential contents of a Business Plan in a simple format. The table below lists the important elements of a business plan and offers some simple points that need to be taken into consideration in regard to each section.
It is worth noting that these points are by no means exhaustive and are meant to serve only as examples. The table is intended to provide you with a simple format upon which to base your business plan. The format provides you with a framework for presenting your thoughts, ideas and strategies in a logical, consistent and coherent manner.
In other words the business plan format helps you to clarify your own ideas and present them clearly to others. Language: English. Toggle navigation. About Us. Business 1st. Malta's Point of Single Contact. Services Provided by agencies at Business 1st. Opening Hours. Contact Us. The Business Plan. The Business Plan Format. The Milestone Schedule.
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What is a Business Plan?
THE BUSINESS PLAN FORMAT In reality there is no standard format for the presentation of a good business plan. Business plans vary in content and size according to the nature and size of the business concerned and on the emphasis that is placed on certain critical areas as opposed to others. Second, the business plan is a requirement if you are planning to seek loan funds. It will provide potential lenders with detailed information on all aspects of the company's past and current operations and provide future projections. The text of a business plan must be concise and yet must contain as much information as possible. Jul 01, · A comprehensive business plan format guide. A full guide to the business plan contents including the standard business plan format for these 10 basic elements: The overview, executive summary; general company description; the opportunity; industry and market; your strategy; the team; a marketing plan; operational plan; financial plan and the appendix.
Your business plan should accomplish certain goals: raise money, guide your team, and set strategies for growth. Either way, getting the formatting right for your business plan is important.
Here are my top eight tips to make sure your business plan accomplishes what it needs to do. The executive summary introduces your business to your reader.
Ideally, your executive summary should fit on one or two pages. Your executive summary should also be able to stand alone, without the rest of your plan. A common strategy is to send your executive summary out to investors and then send out the complete plan when more detail is requested.
You need to explain things simply so that anyone can understand your opportunity. We have a more detailed guide on writing an executive summary if you want additional tips on this critical business plan section.
All business plans should start with an executive summary and end with your supporting documents—an appendix of key numbers and other details that support your plan. These are the key business plan elements that should start and end your plan. At a minimum, your appendix should include your financial forecasts and budgets. You might also use your appendix to include product diagrams or detailed research findings, depending on your business and your industry.
Be careful not to cram your appendix with endless additional information—three to six pages should be plenty. Investors and other readers of your plan can always ask for more detail if they want it.
Instead of trying to cram everything in using small fonts and tiny margins, focus on trimming down your writing. Use direct, simple language that gets right to the point. Try not to repeat things, and omit needless words.
Short paragraphs and bullet points are always a good option as well. Investors that read your plan are most likely going to skim it, so making it as short and readable as possible will increase the likelihood that they will have a solid understanding of your business.
Because readers will most likely skim your various business plan elements and not read every word, visuals will help communicate that extra information. Use charts and graphs to explain your forecasts. Add pictures of your product. You still want to keep your plan length reasonable, and images can take up a lot of physical space in a business plan document.
This story is familiar to anyone who reads a lot of business plans. The key to solving this problem for your reader is to understand who is going to be reading your plan and write for that audience. However, if your audience is a blend of people from different industries and backgrounds, you need to present your business ideas in a way that is clear to everyone.
A beautiful business plan that talks about an ill-conceived business idea with incomplete financial forecasts is never going to beat out a plan that is formatted poorly, but discusses a great, clearly explained business idea. Instead, focus on polishing the words that you use in your plan. For general formatting, use single spacing with an extra space between paragraphs.
If your plan will mostly be read on a computer screen, go with a sans serif font like Verdana or Arial. Why choose different fonts for on-screen versus off-screen? Well, the research shows that readers have much higher comprehension when they read a document with a serif font on paper, while they have higher comprehension reading with a sans serif font on a screen.
Choose any one of the four fonts mentioned above and move forward. For font size, 10 to 12 point is usually ideal and readable by most people. If you need to reduce the font size to make your plan shorter, then you should be cutting content, not adjusting the font size.
The same rule goes for margins: Use typical one-inch margins to make the plan readable. Cover pages are always a good idea, too. Use the cover page to show off your logo, your tag line, or your value proposition. The last piece of advice I have for formatting your business plan is to get a second pair of eyes. Recruit a friend or family member, or even hire a copy-editing professional to read your plan and give it that last bit of polish.
A second pair of eyes will go a long way toward catching the majority of those potential problems. Average rating 4. Vote count: 9. No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post. You can follow Noah on Twitter. How to Format a Business Plan 6 Min. Read Planning By: Noah Parsons.
Always start with an executive summary The executive summary introduces your business to your reader. Every executive summary should include a very brief overview of the following: The problem your business is addressing Your solution to the problem i.
End with supporting documents All business plans should start with an executive summary and end with your supporting documents—an appendix of key numbers and other details that support your plan. Keep your formatting simple For general formatting, use single spacing with an extra space between paragraphs. Get a second pair of eyes The last piece of advice I have for formatting your business plan is to get a second pair of eyes.
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