The business plan boot camp will consist of nine parts in total, each tackling a portion of the plan and the basics of how to handle its successful creation as prospective businesses look to secure funding and backing. Put together, these skills will help create a business plan that will wow potential investors.
Part 9. Final Notes and Appendix
Keep in mind that you don’t have to include an Appendix in every business plan, but it is nice to have if you need or want to provide supplemental information that doesn’t quite fit into the communications flow of your business plan.
You never want to clog your business plan with unnecessary documents or documents that have a better place in a reference section where your investors can take a look as they need to or when they have a question. You want to keep your business plan as clear and as direct as possible.
Think of it as a road that gives a driver a straight shot to his or her destination. Don’t let documents — such as resumes or a credit report – become roadblocks along the way to getting your investor to your destination as quickly, easily and intelligently as possible.
Now, all of that written, your creditors may want to study some of the documents in your Appendix as they weigh whether they are going to grant your loan. Therefore, having one is a great idea. But don’t use it as a dumping ground.
Include all of the documents that may provide extra, insightful information to your creditors so they don’t have to waste time and come back to you with questions. The power is in your hands to create an Appendix that is well organized, substantial, and easy for your creditors to reference when they need information about your business quickly.
Appendix – Key Documents
- Copies of your business lease or leases
- Business contracts
- Your building permits to date
- Your credit history for your business
- Your credit history for your personal affairs
- Details related to market studies that are relevant to your business plan
- Photos of your products
- Photos demonstrating or documenting your services
- Book titles, articles, periodicals and other primary sources that support a point you have made in your business plan
- Legal documents related to your business plan
- Letters from your references who can speak to your ability to lead a business and your dependability/trustworthiness
- Copies of licenses, patents and/or permits that are relevant to your business plan
- A list of all of the consultants you do business with, such as contract accountants or legal consultants
- Private placement disclaimer (for business plans that are seeking to raise capital)
Putting it All Together
Now that you’ve made your way through your entire business plan section by section, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your plan. Remember, that even though your Executive Summary is the first section of your plan, it is the last section you’ll write. You really need the depth and breadth of writing your full business plan to be able to write an effective Executive Summary.
After writing your Executive Summary, make sure you copyedit at least three times, spell check and distribute your plan to trusted friends and colleagues who are particularly good at catching mistakes. Ask them to notate sections or points that aren’t clear to them. If they are confused, your creditors probably will be too.