Monday, April 16, 2012

How to Format a Business Plan

There is good news and bad news when it comes to formatting a business plan. The good news is that there isn’t a right way or a wrong way to format a business plan. The bad news is that a business plan takes a great deal of time. The average business plan is only 20 to 40 pages, but writing a business plan can take several days, if not months. But if you include the same elements listed below, the process of putting together your business plan will be much less time consuming.


  1. Begin Your Business Plan

    • 1
      Create a cover page for the business plan. Include all contact information for yourself and the business, such as your name, address, business telephone number and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all other owners or business partners.
    • 2
      Create an executive summary page. Write the summary last, but include a header in the document so that you can return to this step later. The summary is the most important element of the document because it provides the reader with a summary of your objectives. For instance, if you are requesting a loan, the summary specifies your financial needs, how money from the loan will be used and how the loan will be repaid. Since your objectives will change over the writing and planning process, it is easier to write the summary last. Writing the summary after the other elements have been completed also yields a more effective result.
    • 3
      Create a table of contents to help guide the reader through the business plan. List section headings and page numbers. Revise the table of contents throughout the planning process.

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