Business Plan Development – Plan Length, Development Time and Packaging

April 15, 2010 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant

Business Plan Length

A Comprehensive Business Plan will typically be over 50 pages and can be upwards of 100+ pages.  This is highly dependent on the size, scope and sophistication of the business, venture or project.  From the Comprehensive Plan it is a simple task to form your Ancillary Plans (such as a Funding Plan).  Ancillary Plans typically are no more than 30 pages with 20-25 pages being the goal.  Ancillary Plan brevity forces you to decide what is most important and necessary for the type of plan and the intended audience. 

Business Plan Writing and Development Time

300 Hours would be the maximum in most circumstances with 75-100 hours being a typical range.  Again this depends on the scope and complexity of the Business Project.


1)     Clear Front Cover, Dark back cover, bound

2)     Cover clearly denotes the Type of Business Plan (i.e. Funding Plan), Your Company Name and name of the Venture Project.

3)     First page should contain any Disclaimers, Non-Disclosure Requirements and Proprietary Protections. 

4)     Table of Contents

5)     Organized by Sections

6)     Cover Letter accompanies the Plan with Hot Button highlights for the specific reader.

7)     Use a Long Version Executive Summary, Fact Sheet, Venture Overview, Investment Overview and / or  Loan Summary (as applicable for your type of deal and targeted reader) to solicit interest.  Follow up with the Business Plan if serious interest is obtained, after having your Non-Disclosure Agreement signed (if applicable and really necessary—unnecessary NDs turn off potential investors).

8 )     Neat.  No sloppiness or errors.  Good Grammar and Punctuation.

9)     Use concise language.  This is a business document, not prose.  Don’t be too technical for external plans.

10)  Have paper copies, email version and online versions.  When sending a Paper Copy to someone, also include a DVD so different parts can be printed off as needed for department or committee review.

11)  Keep your Loan Package and the Business Plan as separate documents.  The Loan Summary should accompany the Loan Package and the one sheeters (Venture Overview, Fact Sheet and Investment Overview) should accompany the Business Plan (these summaries can be used as standalone documents as well).  

12)  Package is specific to the audience.  Include Sections specific to that audience’s requirements and interests. Each Business Plan is packaged and edited for the Type of Plan and customized for the audience.  Select the particular sections from your Comprehensive Plan and adjust as necessary to target the audience and use.

13)  Some examples of specialty / ancillary Business Plans:

a)     Funding Business Plan:  i.e. for Lenders, Venture Capitalists, Investors, Finance, etc.

b)    Strategic Plan:  i.e. For the Strategic Planning Team, Sales Manager, Strategic Partners, Suppliers, Customers, etc.

c)     Marketing Plan:  Internal Company Version and External Version (i.e. for Customers).

d)    Sales Plan: Combine the applicable parts of the Strategic & Marketing Plans for your Sales Division.

e)     Supplier Plan

f)     Customer Plan

g)    Distributor Plan

h)     Government Relations Plan

i)      Public Relations Plan

j)      Technical Plan

k)     Engineering Plan

l)      Joint Venture Plan

m)   Strategic Alliance Plan

n)     Product Development Plan

Posted in Business Planning.

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