Getting the Ideal Length of Your Business Plan
Business Plan Writing Tips

If this is your first time writing a business plan, you may not know how long it should be. Your business plan should be however long it needs to be to excite your readers. It should also be long enough to show that you understand your market and that your execution strategy is complete and detailed.

The optimum business plan length should be 15-25 pages. If you make your business plan longer, the reader might skim through and miss important details. If you make your plan shorter, they might assume your plan is incomplete and therefore not worth investing in.

Keeping it Essential

Remember that your business plan is not meant to tell your entire story. You may think that 15-25 pages will be too short to describe your complex business, but only essential elements should be included in your plan. If the reader is interested in investing, you will have time to tell your entire story in subsequent meetings.

Just like your marketing communications, your business plan should be easy-to-read and visually appealing. Use graphics and charts to entice your readers. By using the proper formatting your potential investors will be able to easily understand your business and value within a few pages.

The Appendix

The body of your business plan should be 15-25 pages, but you can add appendices if you need to add supplemental information. Your Appendix should include financial projections, partnership or customer agreements, expanded competitor reviews and lists of key customers. Use a divider to separate different sections of your Appendix if you find that it is long. You can also prepare a separate document if you wish. You should avoid handing your reader a thick business plan. This will make them dread reading your plan, before they even know what your idea might be.

Your business plan is meant to generate interest, not necessarily get you a check from the investor. You do not need to explain your entire story in your business plan. Include essential elements as to why the investor should spend time investing in your company. The reader should want to examine your business opportunity, not feel like they are dealing with a pushy salesman. It was Mark Twain who once said, “If I had more time, I would write a shorter story.” Remember that the quality of your pages is much more valuable than the quantity.

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