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Business Plan Layout: How to Design Your Plan

The layout of a business plan is not an area where great imagination and creativity is needed or recommended. It should be a more or less straightforward task to design your plan, using industry standard practices which funders have become familiar with through thousands of plans. Use the following steps to implement this standard layout and save creativity for your business ideas within the plan.

Find an Outline, Sample, or simple business plan templates

Start by getting your hands on a business plan outline, sample, or template, especially if it is associated with the business sector which your business is within. This could be found online, within business plan books, or from a small business development center or similar resource center. Business plans generally start with an executive summary and company overview, move through background research and analysis on the industry, customers, and competition, describe the company's intended methods in the marketing plan and operation plan, show who the management team, and conclude with the financial plan and appendices featuring full financial statements.

Use the sample or outline to guide your understanding of each section and to see how they relate to each other. Don't assume that any one example should dominate your understanding unless it comes from an extremely trusted source with a reputation for business plan expertise and success.

Page Layout

Section headings, page headers and footers, the cover sheet and other layout decisions offer some room for you to make aesthetic decisions. The most important directive to remember is to keep the look of the plan formal and professional. This means to have consistent layout and fonts throughout the document and to use no distracting headings, graphics, or typefaces. In terms of formality, the business plan should be considered on the level of a PhD dissertation, rather than a middle school paper or essay where teachers will let you get away with (or encourage) decorative and creative elements which show your personality.

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OR, We Can Develop Your Plan For You


Our professional business plan writers can create your entire business plan for you. We will make sure your business plan is sound and ready for investors so you can continue to focus on running your business.

To speak with a Growthink business plan consultant, call 800-506-5728 or complete the form below.

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Testimonials



Thank you very much for all of your hard work. We are very pleased with the final result of the business plan and the PowerPoint - say congratulations on a job well done and that you can use us a reference for any future clients. We will definitely look to utilize Growthink's services in the future as we build our company.

Bryan Langslet
MediaCompound



Without Growthink’s professional help, we would never have been able to create an effective business plan. Growthink not only did deep research on our business environment, but its representatives also listened to us and refined their analysis to include what we had found out through experience. We would recommend Growthink to any start-up business which does not have a professional business plan developer on staff!

Howard Brown
Laptop Mini Mart



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