Creating your business plan is more than just getting your ideas down on paper for potential funders to see. It is an exploratory process in which you can evaluate your options, test your assumptions about your idea, and even discover new opportunities. It might even lead you to kill off aspects of your business before investing too much time or money in them
Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan? A corporate business plan for a large organization can be hundreds of pages long, but for a small business it is best to keep the plan as short and concise as possible, especially if you intend to submit it to bankers or investors — 25-30 pages should be sufficient unless you need to include photos of products, equipment, logos, business premises or site plans, etc. Potential money-lenders or investors will be looking for solid research and analysis in your plan rather than long, wordy descriptions.
That does not mean you have to bust out Word and start the plan from scratch. A template is great--you probably are not doing anything that has not been done before, so it provides a proven structure for your plan. Pretty much everything on it can be customized.
A standard business plan consists of a single document divided into several sections, including a description of the organization, the market research, competitive analysis, sales strategies, capital and labor requirements, and financial data.
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