Highlight the key aspects of your financial plan, ideally with a chart that shows your planned sales, expenses, and profitability. If your business model (i.e., how you make money) needs additional explanation, this is where you would do it.
If you are writing a business plan to get a bank loan or because you`re asking angel investors or venture capitalists for funding, you must include the details of what you need in the executive summary.
First, you want your business plan to be read. No one is going to read a 100-page or even 40-page business plan. Sure, you may need supporting documentation for specific sections but you can include those elements in your Appendix.
And you don`t have to start with the full, detailed business plan that I`m going to describe here. In fact, it can be much easier to start with a simple, one-page business plan—what we call a Lean Plan—and then come back and build a slightly longer, more detailed business plan later.
The most common mistake by far is on profits. Startups that grow don`t produce profits. Investors make money on valuation increases, not profits. Real businesses rarely produce more than single-digit profits. Big profit projections are sophomoric. Take all those profits and dump them into marketing expenses and you`ll be better off.
By having a written business plan that you`re regularly reviewing, you can make confident decisions. You`ll have all the information necessary to know when you can hire new employees, launch a new product line or make a major purchase. At the same time, you can also plan ahead in case a decision doesn`t work out as expected, minimizing your potential risk.