04. Compiling the plan
You will write your plan based on information that you collect from a variety of sources.
For most businesses, the business plan will be the main method of convincing prospective funders that the venture is viable and that the proprietor has the commitment and determination to succeed. It is important therefore to take the time to research the content carefully and to present it professionally.
Your business plan should be presented in a form that can be quickly and easily understood. The main part of a business plan normally needs no more than eight to ten pages, supported if necessary by more detail in the appendices. Your plan will then be manageable, and a working document in which you, and potential funders, can find the management information you need.
Think of your business plan as a marketing tool - in this case marketing yourself to prospective funders. It needs to be honest, but it should present you in the best possible light. It should be easy for busy people, such as bankers, to read and assimilate quickly the required information.
You will notice that some of the examples in this section are written in the third person, eg 'The Hawthorn Brewery was formed in May 1993', instead of 'My business was formed in May 1993'. This is recognised practice, and can look more professional, but is by no means compulsory.
The cover gives the reader an instant impression of the business so it needs to look professional. It should show the business name and logo, if you have one, and your name. A well laid out cover page will present a professional image to funders and will attract their attention and interest. You should make every effort to have your plan typed up or word-processed. It will make the document easier to read.