Business Plan Outline
Your business plan outline serves as a table of contents.
Sales & Market Potential
Management Team & Operating Plan
Business Plan Outline – Serves as Your Table of Contents
A business plan outline like the one below, will put you on a straight course to starting and finishing your business plan. In fact, you should consider this business plan outline to be your table of contents.
Does your busness plan really need a table of contents? In short, yes! That’s why we have included this section as a guideline or template. You should always include a table of contents with your business plan unless you are presenting only Executive Summary that is 2 – 5 pages in length.
Keep in mind that business plans are rarely read from front to back, in order. Different people will have differeny specific interests. A table of contents lets readers quickly find the information that is most important to them. Including a table of contents is both a courtesy and a way to help bankers and potential investors make efficient use of your business plan. If it’s well organized and includes a table of contents you’ll be getting started on the right foot.
It’s common for business plans to be updated on a regular basis, long after the first draft is complete. A small change on page two might suddenly mean the page numbers listed in the table of contents are completely wrong. Be sure to update your table of contents to reflect these changes. To make this task a breeze, use the Table of Contents feature built into Microsoft Word.
Why do we include such an obvious suggestion? The fact is, many people overlook this step. Don’t give some junior analyst at a venture capital firm with 100 business plans to review an early opportunity to say, “This person is sloppy and doesn’t pay enough attention to details. Next plan.”
If you use The Outline provided with this document as the starting point for your table of contents, you can include the subtopics while you’re creating the plan. Then, in your final Table of Contents, you’ll include only the major section titles.
Professional Business Plan Outline
Introduction and Overview
Sales & Market Potential
Products and Services
Sales and Marketing Plan
Team and Operating Plan
SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
Capitalization and Use of Funds
Exit Strategy or Payback Analysis
Notices and Disclaimers
The business plan outline above is used throughout this site. Every section is explained in detail and includes examples or templates you can use. Follow this format you’ll end up with a well-organized business plan.
There are a number of free business plan outlines you can find on the web. Here is another. But don’t stop there–dig in and start writing your plan. If you follow a good outline you’ll get it done much faster than you thought possible.
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