Basic Business Plan Guidelines
Writing a Business Plan will probably take a lot of time. Up to 100 hours or
more is not uncommon for a new business that requires a lot of research.
A typical plan will have three sections. Section one is a written section
describing Management and Marketing aspects of the business. Section Two
includes financial projections. Section Three is supplemental information.
A short (3-5 pages) Executive Summary is often added at the beginning of
more complex business plans.
• Section One should be thorough, but concise and to-the-point. Use
headlines, graphs and “bullets” to improve readability. Length of this
section is usually 10 – 20 pages.
• Section Two describes in numbers the outcome of your business
strategies and plans. Your financial projections should be based on facts
and research, not “wild guesses.” Be prepared to justify your numbers.
• Section Three contains supporting information to reinforce the first two
sections. This section’s contents will vary with your type of business.
Owners should be very involved in the planning process. Hiring someone to
do it or delegating it to someone who is not a key member of the company
will result in an inferior plan.
No plan (or a poor plan) is a leading cause of business failure. You can
improve your chances of success with a good Business Plan.