Your Plan’s Audience

Communicate in the best way possible to the person reading your plan

Objective: Learn about the different formats a business plan can take, and choose the right one for you.

Before you start writing a business plan, you need to consider who you are writing it for. A business plan to secure a line of credit is typically going to be about 20 pages or more in length. Whereas a business plan for yourself is going to look much different.

Audiences to Consider

1. A Bank or Credit Union

Length of Plan: 20-40 pages

Why Are You Writing The Plan?
– a line of credit
– a bank loan

What’s The Focus?
– proving that the idea is great!
– showing that you have security
– demonstrating your own equity and investment in the idea
– overwhelming evidence that you are the best person to execute this idea

2. Venture Capitalist or Angel Investor

Length of Plan: 20-50 slide deck

Why Are You Writing The Plan?
– investment
– their contacts and experience

What’s The Focus?
– proving that the idea is great!
– proving the marketability of the product or service
– demonstrating the sustainable competitive advantage
– overwhelming evidence that you are the best person to execute this idea

3. Potential Partner or Customer or Supplier

Length of Plan: 5-10 pages

Why Are You Writing The Plan?
– secure a contract
– establish a relationship of trust

What’s The Focus?
– proving that the idea is great!
– proving that the implementation is feasible
– demonstrating the financial benefit to both parties
– overwhelming evidence that you are the best person to execute this idea

4. Employees or a Partner

Length of Plan: 1 page

Why Are You Writing The Plan?
– create a direction for the team
– team motivation and engagement

What’s The Focus?
– show them the big picture and rationale
– high level financials to demonstrate the personal benefit they will get
– motivation!

5. Yourself!

Length of Plan: 5 pages or less

Why Are You Writing The Plan?
– strategic planning process
– testing your assumptions
– create a direction for yourself

What’s The Focus?
– outlining the pieces of the idea and how they work together
– double checking that no detail has been overlooked
– financial projects and feasibility
– self motivation!