Plan Layout or Business Plan

The first point to make with regard to a business plan layout (also known as a business plan outline) is that there is no one typical layout. Business plans are unique and the layout will be dependent on a number of factors, not least the purpose of the business plan, but also whether the plan relates to a new start up or an existing business. In Business Plan Pro, for instance, we ask a number of targeted questions as the planning process starts which then serve to shape the subsequent business plan layout.

Although the layout itself can vary, every business plan needs a number of crucial components.

It needs to start with an executive summary (typically written at the end of the process) so as to whet the appetite of the reader (often a prospective investor).

It then needs to follow a particular structure which will include details about the opportunity, those tasked with delivering the idea, and the financing required to bring the idea to market.

Within Business Plan Pro, you get a recognised business plan layout which can be fully customized so that you can tailor it to meet your own individual requirements.

A second common theme is for people to abbreviate phrases so we get biz plan, bizz plan, biz plan pro or even bizplan. Perhaps I’m a little old fashioned, but again I find these abbreviations lazy, annoying and by extension I feel they reflect poorly on the author.

A business plan is a formal document, whereas a text or an email are typically less formal and I feel therein lies the crux of the issue. We undertake these activities daily and brevity is accepted in these exchanges as an acceptable trade off for grammatical and spelling accuracy. A business plan however is not only used as a means to describe an opportunity but is also used to assess the competence of the author. I am sure I am not alone in the view that no matter how good a bussiness plan is, I will have serious doubts about the person entrusted with delivering the business plan if the document contains basic spelling mistakes.