Table of Contents
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The Guide > Table of Contents
The Table of Contents in the Template is based on the headings used for main, subsection and sub-subsection headings in the body of the Template.
When making changes to these headings, apply them to the headings within the body of the Template rather than to the Table of Contents as, once your changes have been made, the Template's Table of Contents can be updated automatically. See Using the Free-Plan Template for more information on this.
The contents list of your plan performs three critical functions:
The third function is often overlooked but it is critical to the successful compilation of a business plan. Your time will be very well spent drawing up a detailed table of contents for the plan prior to any writing. Build up this table by progressively expanding main sections into subsections and even sub-subsections to cover all the key issues. This will allow you to:
You should critically examine and fine-tune the contents list and allocate page lengths to each section. This contents list can then be used as the basis for identifying and assigning tasks to be researched, analyzed or discussed prior to drafting. See Planning to Plan for more guidance on this.
The importance of using the contents list as a guide when writing a business plan cannot be overstated. It is your road map. Try going on a long journey without a good map and see what happens - you take wrong turns, you drive into blind alleys, you get lost, you waste time, you have to double back, you miss short cuts and, in the end, you may never get to your destination. A similar outcome could apply if you attempt to write a plan without first compiling a detailed contents list.
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