Length of a Business Plan

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The page length of a business plan depends very much on the purpose of the plan and the type and status of the business. For discussion on different types of plans and their lengths, see the online white paper on Insights into Business Planning.

Based on Free-Plan's guidelines, the overall length of a (very) comprehensive plan could (in theory) be between 20 and 50 pages excluding appendices, cover page and contents list. A more basic plan might run from 5 pages up to 15 or even 20 pages.

When planning the length for your plan, go for the shortest possible plan consistent with your business's scale, objective of the plan etc. – go for quality rather than quantity! Between 20 and 30 pages (excluding appendices) should be adequate for most businesses. If your plan gets too long, do some ruthless editing and redrafting. If it is any consolation, it should be much easier to shorten a long plan than to lengthen a short one!

Possible Lengths of Plans

The following table suggests possible plan lengths for different situations based on the Free-Plan Template's structure:

 
 
Situation:    

Target Number of Partial/Full Pages (excluding appendices)

Very small services startup not seeking funding or support

Substantial tech startup seeking venture capital

Modest existing services business not seeking funding or support

Substantial existing services business seeking external funding

A "long" summary for a substantial business

Cover Page

 

1

 

1

 

Table of Contents

 

2

2

2

 

Basic Information

 

1

 

1

 

1. Introduction to Plan

1

1

1

2

1

2. Summary of Plan

1

2

2

3

 

3. Mission, Strategies etc.

1

2

2

2

1

4. Present Status

1

2

3

5

1

5. Products/Services Descriptions

1

2

3

4

1

6. Profiles of Target Markets

2

5

5

6

1

7. Marketing Strategies/Sales Plans & Projections

2

3

4

5

1

8. Technology and R&D

 

2

 

 

1

9. Operational Plans

1

2

3

4

1

10. Management & Administration

1

2

2

3

1

11. Financial Projections

2

5

4

6

1

12. Funding

 

2

 

2

 

13. Implementation

1

2

2

3

1

14. Conclusion

 

1

1

1

 

Total Pages

14

37

34

50

11

 

For further guidance, see Planning to Plan, Using the Free-Plan Template, Preparing a Short/Basic Plan and Table of Contents.

For further discussion on different types of plans and their lengths, see the online white paper on Insights into Business Planning.



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