What is the ideal length for a Business Plan?

Typical Investor reviews 500 business plans each year, perhaps more. Of those 500 business plans, the majority are filed, lost or disregarded. Reasons for this are numerous, but Investors commonly complain that many of the business plans they receive are thick, overly ponderous documents. Many Investors will reach for the thin business plans first, finding this strategy most appealing when sifting through several hundred candidates. The ideal length for a business plan, according to many Investors, is 25 pages, with appropriate appendices.

A side note.... Many Investors encourage management to write their own business plan, or at least be involved in the research and development of the plan opposed to hiring an outside professional. The management team needs to feel responsible for the contents of their business plan because they have to perform. Outsiders, such as an accounting firm, assisting a team with their plan, is fine but they should never write the entire document. Outsiders don't have to live up to the plan, management does. This is a perfect reason for the use of an industry specific 'template' plan. It gives you a solid accurate base to work from, but leaves enough local research and elbow grease to make you intimate with your plan and the local opportunity. Instead of starting at square one and working for 6 months or more, you can step in with a well written plan and spend a couple of weeks refining it for your business goals.

- Courtesy of Northwestern Capital Group

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