When it comes to creating an impressive business plan, length might seem irrelevant, but it can actually play a big role in how you use your plan down the road and how potential investors respond after reading it. The page count itself is not as important as how you present your plan as a whole. The length of your business plan should be tailored to your unique ideas, strategies and goals. This is especially important if you want to request funding from investors.
A plan that lacks vital information can look unprofessional and risky. On the other hand, a plan that contains too much information and lacks focus can be just as detrimental to getting investors interested in your ideas. The key to creating a successful business plan is finding the perfect balance between the two extremes.
Don’t focus so much on the actual length of your document but rather on its structure and content. After you are done editing your plan’s layout and content, the length will work itself out. Your business plan should be separated into sections that need to be organized in a logical way. Each section should be further broken down into clear statements, facts and ideas that can be easily found by the reader. Remember that every sentence in your business plan should have a clear purpose and point.
How your business plan is formatted is just as important as its content. Today, editing professional business documents has never been easier. You can make the perfect layout on your computer in minutes, or you can use a professional business plan template that does it for you. Uninterrupted text might be much shorter than text with breaks and spaces, but it’s much harder to read and use. Using simple formatting like spacing and alignment can instantly make your business plan look crisp and professional.
Each of your plan’s sections should come with its own heading, and you can use subheadings to break up relevant pieces of information within each section. Headings and subheadings make it easy to find specific data quickly.
One way to test if your business plan is at the right length is to imagine that you are going through it for the first time. Someone who has no knowledge of your business should be able to get all of your main points in 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure that readers can get all the critical information they need to know quickly. Investors sometimes skim through business plans because they are busy or because they want to know the basics before deciding if they are interested enough to read the rest.
Stop thinking about the length itself, and always focus on readability instead. If your plan still seems a bit bulky, you can use other tools to break it up including graphics, bullet points, lists and business charts. When making final revisions, make sure that every page in your plan is easy to read and understand. Whether you use it yourself or present it to investors, a well-organized plan can make all the difference in the development of your business.