For your business plan to fully benefit your company you need to make sure that it has a maximum impact whilst keeping it short and detailed but to the point. It is more likely to be read if it is straight forward and a manageable length so that whoever reads it can clearly see everything that they need to know.
As well as considering the length of your plan you also need to keep in mind the presentation of it. The presentation needs to be professional as this will create the positive impression that you want to create of your company. Your business plan is a direct reflection of your company; it demonstrates the management, the financial side, how you market your company and how it will operate. Everything that you have done and that you intend to do should be documented within this document. Your business plan is often the first encounter that people will have with your company so you need to make sure that it is a good one.
You also need to keep in mind that it will not only document what is currently happening but it is also a living document that you will need to update as your business grows and expands. This is regardless of whether your business plan is going to be used internally or externally, whatever you use it for you should ensure that you write it with an honest and objective frame of mind. If you fail to do this it could go on to give people a false impressions of your business and unrealistic expectations of what it can achieve.
Going back to the professional presentation you should consider aspects such as including a cover or binding and a contents page as well as section numbering. You should make sure that all the sections are legible, one way of doing this is to make sure that the point size of the text you use is ten or above. Also there may be times when you will need to email your business plan so you will need to make sure that it is email friendly. When you have finished actually writing your business plan it is important that you edit it carefully, to do this you should get at least two people to read and check it to make sure that it makes sense and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. One last point when it comes to the presentation of your business plan is to avoid jargon and put details such as market research or balance sheets at the back of your plan.
The whole process of writing your business plan and putting it together will focus your mind on how your new business will operate, which will give you the best chance of making your business a success.
by Helen Cox