The cover page, executive summary, and table of contents will determine whatkind of first impression one makes on readers. In many cases, the introductoryelements, especially the executive summary, will influence whether readers readthe rest of the plan at all. A poorly prepared or unattractive document may noteven get a second look! Investors and venture capitalists may be presented withseveral proposals per day. They can not, and do not, read them all. Getting yourdocument looked at is a key step in the hunt for investment and support.
The cover of the document is often the "First Impression" of a business for anyinterested parties or investors. The purpose of a cover is to tell the reader whatthe document is about. Your cover should say the words "Business Plan," andshould include:1) Name and business name2) Company logo3) Address4) Telephone number5) Fax number6) E-mail address7) Other contact information The cover should be attractive and professional looking. Fonts used should beeasily read, and color contrasts should be pleasant to the eye.
The executive summary is what most readers will read first. Lenders in particularread executive summaries before looking at the rest of a plan to determinewhether or not they want to learn more about a business. An executive summarymay also be used singularly to attract potential curiosity in your company andcan be "followed up" with a complete plan if investors are interested. Theexecutive summary is the first part of your plan, but it should be written last. It isan abstract of the pertinent essentials of your business plan. The wording shouldbe chosen very carefully. The executive summary should be short, attentiongetting, and understandable.
Table of Contents
All pages of your business plan should be correctly numbered and the table of contents should include page numbers. Be sure to list headings for the majorsections as well as for important subsections. Thumb tabs for the documentsheadings are a nice feature and indicate a professional document.
II. BUSINESS DESCRIPTION
The business description is the "Business Vision", and includes: who thecompany is, what it will offer, what market needs it will address, and why the