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Format of a Business Plan

Simple Alliance, Kenya Limited


Business Plan Definition

A business plan is a way of explaining preferred business strategy.

Preliminary Components Description

The format of a business plan constitutes some major introductory sections. The introductory features of your business plan are the first elements your audiences usually come across. These preliminary elements of business plans include items such as:

Cover Page

The cover page is the very first preliminary element of a business plan.  It usually has a few brief details about yourself as well as about you.

Significance

Your business plan’s cover page serves several important functions. An old adage advises us not to ‘Judge a book by its cover’.  Unfortunately, this saying is usually not abided by when your audiences encounter your business plan’s cover page.  Normally, your audiences base their assessment of your business acumen and personal character on the appearance of the cover page of your business plan. 

Useful Caveat

The cover page of your business plan enables your audiences to assess yourself as well as your business.  You therefore need to take good care not to give a bad first impression through a disorganised business plan cover page. In addition, ensure that your cover page offers your readers all the necessary details.

Table of Contents

The table of contents presents your readers with a pictorial presentation of how your business plan is organised. Each of the elements of your business plan, as well as the page(s) on which it appears, is presented. As such, the table of contents section acts as a roadmap for your audiences.  This section facilitates easy movement to and from within your business plan.  

Executive Summary

Basically, the executive summary is a brief, succinct presentation of your business plan. This section is normally between 1 and 3 pages in length. Most of your audiences will find your executive summary very interesting.  Those who are likely to be most interested in reading your executive summary are your potential lenders. The prospective financiers will go through the brief executive summary before making important conclusions about your business. Your prospective funders will use the executive summary segment of your business plan to determine:

  • If the rest of the document is worthy their time   
  • If your business plan model is viable
  • If they will extend fiscal support to your business

The format of a business plan contains several major preliminary elements. These sections include; the cover page, the executive summary, and the table of contents. Each of the mentioned business plan elements plays a crucial role.  The cover page of a business plan presents readers with a condensed version of key business data such as address, name, logo, owners, and contact details. In the executive summary, you describe your business in a very brief and clear way. This section enables your audiences, notably potential funders, to evaluate he viability of your business model as well as your status as a business person. The other business plan introductory element is the table of contents. This section shows your readers how your business plan is organised. The table of contents section guides audiences as they move through business plans.

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