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    16 Replies Latest reply on Mar 25, 2008 12:24 PM by reffing08

    Business plan

    SemperFi1976 Newbie

      Can anyone provide suggestions on how long a business plan should be? I've heard 3-5 pgs, 15-18 pgs, and (my favorite) 30-50 pgs. I'm starting a small home based business and the entity is a one-member LLC. Please help...
        • Re: Business plan --I can help
          arkitconsulti Newbie



          I can surely help with business plan. I can explain things better over the phone. Plesase feel free to call me at 646 702 7055




          • Re: Business plan
            DomainDiva Ranger
            Hi there!!! 15-18 pages.

            Google 'how to write a business plan' and pull off the outline. Make a 3 ring binder by topic using binder dividers. Then start writing each section by hand.

            Then start the MS word document, rewording and refining.

            After you have the biz plan done, go to and look at the outline for the Executive summary. Then write the Exec Summary using what you have in the business plan.

            Always pass out the Executive Summary first.
            • Re: Business plan
              RocVigilante Wayfarer
              I did 2 b plans so far, around 20 pages each plus 200 pages in appendices. I designed my chapters as follows:
              1. executive summary (2 pages)
              2. concept statement (1 page)
              3. external and internal analysis (7 pages)
              4.operations and teaming (4 pages)
              5. financial analysis (3 pages)
              6. critical risks (2 pages)

              appendices (150-200 pages) containing:
              A. general environmental analysis
              industry trends and attractiveness
              B. competitive analysis
              internal analysis
              C. operations plan
              management team and personnel
              D. assumptions
              financial analysis

              It took my about half an year to do the first b plan and about 2 months to do the second. Good luck!

                • Re: Business plan
                  DomainDiva Ranger
                  200 pages in appendices????

                  You may want to read a few websites that tell you what not to do in a BP.

                  Are you funded?
                    • Re: Business plan
                      RocVigilante Wayfarer
                      When you design a bplan for a million $ company, it would be better to take care of all the aspects of the business.
                      If you need an angel investor, you'd better have a serios bplan, very detailed and very specific.
                      All you need when reading a bplan are those 20 pages, but if you want to see how serios it is, than you'll take a look over the appendices. There, you have each statement mentioned in the bplan justified.

                      That is a serios and good bplan!

                      With all due respect,

                        • Re: Business plan
                          DomainDiva Ranger

                          Its S-E-R-I-O-U-S.

                          To Anyone writing a business plan:
                          When writing your business plan be sure to use spell check and to use complete words instead of text message acromyms.

                          There are some good pointers on None of which advocate 200 pages of appendices.

                          With Respect, DD
                    • Re: Business plan
                      SemperFi1976 Newbie

                      Thank you so much for everyone's input. Its really appreciated. I suspected 15-18 pgs or even a little more. Would I need appendices even if it is for a start-up home based business?
                        • Re: Business plan
                          RocVigilante Wayfarer
                          Probably not. The bplan differs depending on the business. For a small home-based business, LLC with unique employee, you don't even need a bplan unless you do it for yourself. You can have a 2-page bplan for example if this comprises the most important aspects of your business. Most of times you'll need a bplan to make your business more attractive to your clients and other partners.Also, you'll need a bplan if you need a loan from bank or from a specific investor. However, regardless the number of pages, the most important is the content. So, if you can summarize the most important aspects of your business (organization, personnel, finance, operations, environment, market) in 2 pages, than that should be a good bplan. :)

                          Good luck!

                        • Re: Business plan
                          LUCKIEST Guide
                          Business plan. Do you know about SCORE??. SCORE is FREE.
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                          • Re: Business plan
                            Lighthouse24 Ranger

                            I understand the answers provided by other members so far, and would not argue with any of them in various contexts. Since this is a one-person, home-based start-up (which I assume you are funding yourself), my suggestion is that you can eliminate a lot of the "standard" business plan content that is designed to explain your business to other people (lenders and investors). Yes, you'll need all that someday, but a lot of the relevant detail that describes your business and key operating procedures (stuff that others will need to see in the future) will be a work-in-progress anyway, and it will change/evolve before you reach that next stage.

                            What you do really need is a good marketing plan (outlining exactly what you'll sell, how and where you'll get it, how much it will cost, who else is selling it, what competitive advantage you have over them, who will buy it, how much of it they will buy, how much they will pay, how they will know you're selling it, how they will pay for it, etc., etc.). It takes at least 4 to 7 pages to write a decent marketing plan for even a very simple business.

                            You also need a financial plan, especially a 12-month profit & loss projection and a detailed cash flow projection. A page or two (spreadsheets) should cover that.

                            Finally, you need to list and calculate your start-up expenses and capitalization. This is a good idea because people almost always underestimate these -- plus, you need to know your start-up costs for tax purposes. (You'll probably transfer some personal property to your business, and how you do that may have significant federal, state, and local tax consequences -- it's better to plan ahead and run the numbers now than discover you missed an opportunity or did something costly when you figure next year's taxes.) A page should cover it.

                            So overall, I'd think an 8 to 10 page plan would be a reasonable length for your start-up. I've gotten bank loans and credit lines with plans that that were less than 20 pages, and investment capital with a plan that was 46 pages -- so ultimately the plan needs to be however it long it needs to be to ensure your success.

                            Best wishes in your new endeavor!
                            • Re: Business plan
                              SemperFi1976 Newbie
                              I can't thank you all enough. Everyone has provided very good and relative information, and I really do appreciate those of you whom have taken the time to do that. Lighthouse, you are correct in that I am funding everything myself, initially, but I will like to present my vision/bplan to investors and/or lenders to receive funding.

                              I will take everyone's suggestions & useful information and develop a solid bplan. Thank you all again.
                                • Re: Business plan
                                  reffing08 Newbie
                                  I've used this software before, Ultimate Business Planner, and it was a huge help. It basically broke everything down for me, asked me the pertinent questions needed in a business plan, it even had sample plans I could borrow ideas from. It did all my financial forecasting for me automatically once I plugged in initial numbers. What I really liked was it did the financial forecasts first so I could see exactly what my 5-year forecast might be. This saved me the trouble of writing my entire business plan first and then discovering my projections would lead to a bad business decision. I actually bought the software online at Just $99. Worth every penny.