Introduction to this document


Business plan

A business plan is a written description of the future of your business. It's a document that tells the story of what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. There are some generally accepted conventions about what a full-blown business plan should include and how it should be presented. 

What should your plan cover?


Your business plan should cover all the important matters that will contribute to making your business a success. These include the following:

  1. Your basic business concept.
  2. Your strategy and the specific actions you plan to take to implement it.
  3. Your products and services and their competitive advantages.
  4. The markets you’ll pursue.
  5. The background of your management team and key employees.
  6. Your financing needs.


How long should your plan be?

A useful business plan can be any length, but a typical business plan runs from 15 to 25 pages. The size of the plan will also depend on the nature of your business and your reason for writing it. If you have a simple concept, you may be able to express it in very few words. On the other hand, if you're proposing a new kind of business or even a new industry, it may require quite a bit of explanation to get the message across.


When should you write it?


It's time to start writing a business plan if you’re doing any of the following:

  • a business plan is a good way to explore the feasibility of a new business without actually having to start it and run it. A good plan can help you see serious flaws in your business concept
  • any venture that faces major changes (and that means almost all businesses) needs a business plan
  • you’ll need a business plan if you're seeking financing. Bankers, venture capitalists and other financiers rarely provide money without seeing a plan.