It should be no more than 30 to 40 pages in length, excluding supporting documents."Pinson recommends starting a business plan with a cover sheet stating the principles of the business, the name of the business, and the address of the business.
She also suggests following with a table of contents to provide a quick reference guide to the topics covered in your plan.
"Don't confuse the health of your company with money for the investors, because they don't make a dime if your company is healthy and growing.
To get money back to the investors they have to be able to sell their shares in your company, either because you've sold shares on the public stock markets (called going public, or initial public offering) or because you've been acquired by another company.
A business plan may also be required if you plan to do business overseas. Small Business Administration to write its government business plan publication.
"If you do business internationally, a business plan provides a standard means of evaluating your products' business potential in a foreign marketplace," says Linda Pinson, author of , who runs a publishing and software business, Out of Your Mind and Into the Marketplace. But a business plan is not only for start-ups or businesses seeking investment or loans.
This is the exit strategy."If you're developing a plan involving a business loan, then your lenders are going to want something slightly different.
They will want to see a section detailing collateral, or assets to pledge against the loan.
Collateral includes funds to support loan payments, interest expenses, and debt repayment, Berry says.
Banks aren't allowed to make speculative loans, so you need to include information in your plan to make the banker feel safe.