Does it Take Long to Develop a Good Business Plan?

Business Plan Length

A comprehensive business plan will usually be well over 50 pages and often is upwards of 100+ pages. Of course this depends on the scope, size and sophistication of the business, project or venture. For this comprehensive plan, it is a very simple task to form up the shorter, targeted ancillary business plans, such as a business funding plan. Targeted ancillary business plans are in general 20-25 pages in length. This brevity forces you to decide what is really most vital and important in the business plan for the particular audience reading the plan.

Business Plan Writing and Development Time

300 Hours would be the maximal in most circumstances with 75-100 hours being a typical range.  Again this depends on the scope and complexity of the Business Project.

Packaging

1)     Clear Front Cover, Dark back cover, bound

2)     Cover distinctly denotes the Type of Business Plan (i.e. Funding Plan), Your Company Name and name of the Venture Project.

3)     First page should contain any Disclaimers, Non-Disclosure Requirements and Proprietary Protections. 

4)     Table of Contents

5)     organised by Sections

6)     Cover Letter accompanies the Plan with Hot Button highlights for the specific reviewer.

7)     Use a Long Version Executive Summary, Fact Sheet, Venture Overview, Investment Overview and / or  Loan Summary (as applicable for your type of deal and targeted reader) to solicit interest.  Follow up with the Business Plan if serious interest is obtained, subsequently having your Non-Disclosure Agreement signed (if applicable and really necessary—unnecessary NDs turn off potential investors).

8 )     Neat.  No sloppiness or errors.  Good Grammar and Punctuation.

9)     Use concise nomenclature.  This is a business document, not prose.  Don’t be too technical for external plans.

10)  Have paper copies, email version and online versions.  When sending a Paper Copy to somebody, also include a DVD so different parts can be printed off as needed for department or committee review.

11)  Keep your Loan Package and the Business Plan as separate documents.  The Loan Summary should go with the Loan Package and the one sheeters (Venture Overview, Fact Sheet and Investment Overview) should accompany the Business Plan (these summaries can be used as standalone documents as well).  

12)  Package is specific to the audience.  Include Sections specific to that audience’s requirements and interests. Each Business Plan is packaged and edited for the Type of Plan and customized for the audience.  Select the particular sections from your Comprehensive Plan and adjust as necessary to target the audience and use.

13)  Some examples of specialty / ancillary Business Plans:

a)     Funding Business Plan:  i.e. for Lenders, Venture Capitalists, Investors, Finance, etc.

b)    Strategic Plan:  i.e. For the Strategic Planning Team, Sales Manager, Strategic Partners, Suppliers, Customers, etc.

c)     Marketing Plan:  Internal Company Version and External Version (i.e. for Customers).

d)    Sales Plan: Combine the applicable parts of the Strategic & Marketing Plans for your Sales Division.

e)     Supplier Plan

f)     Customer Plan

g)    Distributor Plan

h)     Government Relations Plan

i)      Public Relations Plan

j)      Technical Plan

k)     technology Plan

l)      Joint Venture Plan

m)   Strategic Alliance Plan

n)     Product Development Plan

About this Article Author

Frank Goley is a business consultant, business planner, and business turnaround consultant for ABC Business Consulting, and he has been helping companies to succeed for many years. He is an expert in developing business plans, marketing plans, funding plans, strategic plans, turnaround plans, web marketing strategies, and project specific business plans. Frank is also a business coach and a web development, web marketing and web seo consultant. Frank is author of the business plan book, The Comprehensive Business Plan Workbook – A Step by Step Guide to Effective Business Planning, and he has over 50 published articles on business success strategies. He also writes the Business Success Strategies Blog.

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