Posted by: bevmeldrum | October 29, 2007

Common Questions About Business Plans – Just How Long Should It Be?

As long as it needs to be. That’s the answer to this question if you are seeing your Business Plan as central to your organisation rather than just a document written for a funder.

A Business Plan that is first and foremost an internal document driving the direction of the organisation can never be too long – it can never have too much detail, as long as it is written clearly.

Pack in as much detail and information as possible – you can always edit it down to a version of it later for a funder that asks for a shorter document. That will always be easier than trying to pad it out if there’s not enough information and the funder wants to see at least 30 pages.

One lending officer we talked to explained that when he read through a Business Plan he wanted to know that the organisation had through everything in detail – from the design of the menus in the cafe, for example, right down to the position of the till.

If he saw that much detail in the business plan it gave him confidence that the organisation had really thought this through properly.

From an internal perspective, if you include as much detail as possible in your Business Plan then your staff and volunteers will have access to everything they need in order to do their jobs. When you are writing funding applications all of the information you will need will be in one place – rather than in different folders and documents which makes the process of putting together an application a lot more time consuming.

Imagine a new member of staff coming on board, or a new volunteer. With a comprehensive business plan to read through and digest they will learn a lot about the organisation quickly and they will have a document they can come back to time and time again.

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Responses

  1. […] Bev Meldrum Wrote an interesting post today on formorethanprofit.wordpress.comRead this summary…. […]


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