After taking the time to write your business plan, you want it to be read. That means the body should be no more than 15 pages in length. That’s where the business plan appendix comes in!
Although the final section of a comprehensive business plan, the appendix is an integral part of your plan. For example, suppose you are using your business plan to attract investors. In that case, the additional documents in the appendix will provide greater insight and can help convince your potential investors that you’ve got a solid business concept. You’ve done the research necessary to support the claims and forecasts included in the other sections of your plan.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the business plan appendix so that you can start developing a great appendix for your business plan.
What is a Business Plan Appendix?
The appendix is used to provide supporting documentation for key components in your business plan, such as financial statements or market research.
The appendix is also a great place to put any other tables or charts you didn’t want to put in the main body of the business plan. Depending on the intended audience of your business plan, you may also want to include additional information such as intellectual property documentation, credit history, resumes, etc.
What is the Purpose of the Business Plan Appendix?
The purpose of the appendix is to provide supporting documentation or evidence for key components in your business plan. While you may include charts in graphs in the body of your plan, these should be summary projections, while the fully detailed charts and tables would be found in the appendix.
How to Write the Business Plan Appendix for Your Company
Several supporting documents should be included in the appendix:
Full Financial Projections
Business plans used to raise capital or loan applications will typically need more detailed projections, including monthly, quarterly and/or annual cash flow statements, balance sheets, and income statements.
This can be helpful for companies looking to expand their market presence and reach new customers or clients, as well as those who are considering investing capital into your business.
Testimonials from your current customers are a great way to help other investors and lenders feel more confident in investing or loaning money to your business. You can include online reviews, letters, personal email communications, etc.
Intellectual Property Documentation
This should be included if you have any patents or trademarks registered and might also be helpful if you are using any technologies that other businesses have patented.
This can include organizational structure, job descriptions, resumes, certifications, advanced degrees (i.e., Master’s degree in a specialized area), etc., that will help establish the expertise and experience that supports your business’s success.
Leases & Customer Contracts
Businesses need to comply with all leases and customer contracts before seeking investors. You may include rental agreements, copies of key agreements, sample customer contracts, etc.
Building & Architectural Designs
Businesses looking to build or expand their operations will need access to building plans, architectural drawings, permits, etc.
Some small business owners may also include the following documents in the appendix:
Company History and Background
Businesses with a lot of competition in their industry will need to include more detail. Business plans for major businesses should have the company history section last so that you can provide additional information about your competitors or other companies that are relevant to your business plan. Businesses planning on using their business plan as an internal document can use less detail here.
Your market analysis should include relevant information about how you defined your industry, potential customers and competitors, etc. Include any identifiable risks and assumptions based on your market research.
Individual & Business Credit History
If you don’t have much experience with business credit or borrowing, it might be worth adding a short explanation of your current and past financing use, including your tax returns and incorporation papers. This is especially helpful if you plan to apply for a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Marketing Materials & Plan
For some entrepreneurs, the marketing section of the business plan only provides a brief overview of their marketing strategy. Attaching the complete Marketing Plan in the appendix section helps your reader understand if you’ve thought through your target audience, where you should target your marketing efforts, and how you will advertise to them to expand awareness of your brand and sales of your products and/or services.
Best Practices for Your Business Plan Appendix
- Table of Contents: If you are including several documents in the business plan appendix, include a table of contents for your reader’s easy reference.
- Confidentiality Statement: If you include credit history documents, intellectual property diagrams or applications, or any other legal documents with confidential information, have a Confidentiality Statement within the appendix to remind your readers that they are not to share or discuss the information within your plan without your written consent.
- Short & Simple: This business plan section is likely to be skipped unless your reader is looking for specific information to support a claim in your business plan. Think about your intended reader and only include what is necessary to help make your request (e.g., business partner proposal, raise funding, etc.) and support your business plan.
As a business owner, you want to keep your business plan short so that it gets read. The Business Plan Appendix is a great way to include additional information about the preceding sections without adding to the length of your document.
At Growthink, we have 20+ years of experience in developing business plans for a variety of industries. We have 100+ business plan examples for you to use as a guide to help you write your business plan. You can also get our easy-to-use business plan template to help you finish your plan in less than one day.
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