Unformatted text preview: ur company. Are There Standard Steps to Completion?
I don’t recommend developing the plan in the same order you present it as a ﬁnished document. For
example, although the Executive Summary comes as the ﬁrst section of a business plan, I recommend
writing it after everything else is done. It will appear ﬁrst, but you write it last.
This book, therefore, discusses the business plan in the recommended order you develop a plan,
rather than the order of the document outline. Is There a Standard Business Plan Outline?
No, there isn’t. Every plan should be tailored to your needs. Don’t include anything that doesn’t help
you do your business better. The purpose isn’t the document; it’s the results of the document.
However, if and when you have a speciﬁc audience for a business plan, you should recognize what’s
standard in that audience’s mind. Certainly banks, investors, academics, and seasoned business
people have expectations that a business plan should meet.
The business plan outline at the end of this chapter explains in detail where the different tables and
topics fall in a standard outline and where you can ﬁnd the related discussions in this book. Form Follows Function
As we noted in Chapter 1: It’s About Results, business planning is about results. Make the contents of
your plan match your purpose and adjust the outline to match your type of plan.
For example, if you are developing an internal plan for company use, you don’t need to include a
section about the company. If your plan focuses on existing products or services and is intended for
internal use only, you may not even need to include the details about the products. CHAPTER 2: PICK YOUR PLAN 2.3 Another example that comes up frequently is the level of detail required in your market analysis.
Business plans looking for investors need to have some convincing market data, but a plan for a small
business, to be used mainly by a small group of people close to the company, may not need as much
research. Is there an opportunity to...
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