how long should a business plan be how to write a business plan startup
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Business professionals recommend a minimum of 30 to 50 pages. However, some may recommend fewer or more, according to their own personal preferences. We advise companies to keep their business plans to a word count of between four and five thousand words. It also depends on formatting, font size, and even how many big words are used. Four or five thousand words could be ten or twenty-five pages long. So it’s important you take note of the length of your business plan so it won’t be ignored by the reader. This article discusses how long a business plan should be for a startup and how to write a business plan.

Have a smooth ride!

What Is a Business Plan?

Your business plan should begin with the fundamentals of your company. Making a business plan should be a fun activity rather than a stressful one. It is important that you know how to write a business plan. Your business plan should explain and demonstrate to you, before anybody else, what your company is and what it intends to accomplish.

Your business plan should include:

  • Explain your business objectives;
  • Be a roadmap that can help you achieve your business objectives;
  • Highlight potential problems so that you can avoid their impact on the business;
  • Identify opportunities and gaps in the market;
  • Write out shortcomings, such as running out of money.
  • They provide information to help secure a loan or investment

When and Why Do You Need a Business Plan?

If you really want new investors to put money into your company, you’ll need to persuade them that your business will surely succeed and be productive. And besides, seasoned investors, such as venture capitalists, want to see that you have a strong business plan. A well-written business plan can go a long way toward persuading them that it’s worth their investment in the business. That’s why it’s important that you know how to write a business plan.

Potential investors will ask for evidence that you’ve conducted a thorough competitor study, have a good marketing strategy, and are familiar with the demographics of your target market. This can provide them with the peace of mind they need to invest in the business’s growth.

In addition, it assists in gaining input from potential investors and helps in keeping the team on the same page, in addition to helping you focus on corporate goals.

What Should a Business Plan Include?

There are no specific things to be included in your business plan, but here is key information that is needed in your business plan:

  1. An executive summary
  2. A short description of the business
  3. Your marketing research and sales strategy
  4. management team
  5. Information about how the business operates
  6. Financial forecasts

In our guide to writing a business plan, we learn more about them and what they entail.

How Long Should a Business Plan Be for a Startup?

A business plan is developed for a specific audience and might vary in length depending on a variety of criteria. It should not exceed 1,000 words. Any reader should be able to obtain a fair sense of the company from the summary of your business plan as a startup. In reality, this summary may be the only chance you have to convince investors of your argument and win over their hearts as a startup, knowing how to write a business plan comes with a bonus for you!

When researching how long a business plan should be for a startup, “How well does your business plan present itself?” should be the first question that comes to your mind, and not how long it is, because what is the essence of an extended and lengthy business plan with no effect on your reader or investor?

To help the reader, format your document to make it easy to read:

  • Use bullet points and clear headings to break up the dense text.
  • We have plenty of white space around the margins.
  • Use tables, graphs, and pictures of products.

Factors That Should Be Considered When Determining How Long a Business Plan Should Be

There are some factors you should consider to check how long you should make a business plan for a startup, and it is important you know how to write a business plan as well. You should keep the following in mind as a startup when writing a business plan:

#1. The Danger of Too Many Words

The use of excessive words to express information is unnecessary and will likely leave the reader confused and bored. Consider that a business plan just tells the most relevant details about your company, not the entire tale. Always go straight to the point. Investors are always busy. Do you want to know how they go about reading a business plan? They only look at the surface of it and not the whole document.

They’re scanning for the information they’re looking for. The idea is to harness this and assist them by focusing their attention on the most important aspects. There are numerous approaches to this, ranging from removing unnecessary information to using a smart layout.

Investors are always busy. Do you want to know how they go about reading a business plan? They only look at the surface of it and not the whole document.

They’re scanning for the information they’re looking for. The idea is to harness this and assist them by focusing their attention on the most important aspects. There are numerous approaches to this, ranging from removing unnecessary information to using a smart layout.

#2. The Problem With Too Few Words

The use of a few words provides the appearance that your proposal hasn’t been well considered, that you’re still in the early stages of development. Your business plan should give answers to your readers’ most pressing queries as well as crucial information about your business.

#3. The Range

Depending on formatting, font size, and even how many big words are used, four or five thousand words could be ten or twenty-five pages long. That’s why you should concentrate on the substance rather than the document’s overall length.

Write something in the appendix if it seems important but is longer than 5,000 words. It’s possible that you’ll need to work with a professional to help you figure out what’s important and what’s not for your business plan.

#4. What to Focus On

You need to entice readers to read your business plan by making it simple to read and grasp while still delivering all of the necessary details. It may appear straightforward, but some companies write in a style that isn’t intended for people.

Engage your audience and keep them focused on your main point. Also, don’t forget to address your audience. Determine what will be most appealing to the readers.

#5. Formatting Tips

To make your point, employ sufficient spacing, a readable font, and informative charts or images. If you want your strategy to be visually appealing, then you need to avoid making it complex. Never let your formatting get in the way of your business idea. Use headers to divide the text into readable parts.

#6. Get Feedback

Getting a second set of eyes on your business plan can help verify that it makes sense and make sure it answers all of the crucial issues. You’ll be in the best position to attain the result you want if you take the time to provide a comprehensive review of everything lenders and investors want to know.

Another team member, a trusted individual who understands your idea, or a professional business plan consultant would be the best proofreaders.

How To Write a Business Plan

For business owners, knowing how to write a business plan comes with great relief. A business plan must begin with the fundamentals of your business. The business name, address, and current owners should all be listed on the cover page. Begin by establishing your company’s legal structure and who owns it. Keep it short because a reader or possible investor will be more interested in how the business will develop in the foreseeable future. Business and its possibilities for growth and success. You might be able to use competitors to demonstrate the size of the market and the percentage of sales you believe you can achieve.

The following steps should be followed to write a good and solid business plan:

#1. Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is the most important section of your business plan. It gives a quick overview of your company and what you hope to accomplish with it, as well as a brief overview of the other sections of your business plan. This is the section of your business plan that an investor will examine if they only read a component of it. They’ll need to know who you are, what you do, where you need to go, and how much it’ll cost to go there from here. You’ll start with a simple one so you can finish the rest of your business plan, but you’ll want to go over it, again and again, to make sure it’s simple, targeted, and precise.

#2. Describe Your Company

You’ll write about your main idea and give the reader a more detailed introduction to it in this section. You need to specify what you do, why it matters, and the path you want to follow. Also, talk about the possible nature of the business you’re establishing. Your business model, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, should be defined in your company description, as well as the percent ownership held by each owner and the level of each owner’s engagement in the company.

Finally, it should go into your company’s history as well as the current status of your business.

The following information should also be included in your company description:

  • Your business’s registered name.
  • Address of your business location.
  • Names of key people in the business

#3. State Your Business Goals

This is an important stage that many companies overlook when they first get started. This part fully explains everything you want to achieve in the short and long term. When you’re seeking a business loan or funding, this section can help you explain why you need the money, how the money will help your company grow, and how you plan to meet your growth goals. The goal is to give a detailed explanation of the possibility and how the loan or investment would help your business grow. 

#4. Describe Your Products and Services

You need to explain what products and services your company will provide in your business plan.

Include the following when describing your products and services:

  • A description of your product or service’s operation
  • Your product or service’s pricing strategy.
  • Customers who you serve on a regular basis.
  • Your order fulfilment and supply chain strategy.
  • Your sales approach.
  • Explain your plan for distribution.

#5. Market Analysis

Your business plan must include solid market research. The market as a whole, as well as your addressable market and market share, should all be identified in a market analysis. Based on this information, you may begin to gain a sense of your target market based on this information, which will impact your content, placement, and unique selling point. Lenders and investors will be interested in learning what distinguishes your goods from the competition. It’s important you explain who your competitors are in your market analysis section.

Your market analysis focuses on these three important aspects:

  • Your target market.
  • Your customers 
  • Your competitors

Highlighting details about your ideal consumer will assist you in identifying marketing and sales approaches that will appeal to them. In addition, emphasising your competitor’s strengths and faults allows you to highlight what you do better than the competition.

#6. Marketing Strategy

A marketing strategy is essential for getting new businesses off the ground and growing existing ones. Here you can discuss how you want to persuade clients to acquire your products or services, as well as how you intend to build customer loyalty. Before outlining how you want to market your company, you should review your growth plan and target market. This marketing strategy may involve internet promotions, loyalty programmes, social media advertisements, and customer retention tactics. When you sit down to decide how to go about your marketing strategy, ask yourself this question: what is the most efficient method of acquiring customers? Well, online client acquisition is becoming increasingly cost-effective and productive by the day.

#7. Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis looks at the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.  Threats and opportunities, such as economic concerns or legal constraints, can also be included. A conventional SWOT analysis is the best approach to summarise this subject. This will clarify where your organisation is in reference to its competition

#8. Management and Staffing

It’s critical to include a section on staffing in your business plan. Talk about your current team and, if necessary, where you’re looking to hire more people. You should also think about your legal structure, such as whether you’ll form an LLC or incorporate your company, as well as the expense of engaging legal and accounting specialists to assure compliance.

#9. Funding

Any investor in this situation needs to know what you intend to do with their money. How much money do you require to advance to the next round of your investment? What kind of investment do you want to make? Is it going to be a loan, an equity round, or a grant?

#10. Financial Projections

If you’re seeking funding or investors, this is an important aspect of your business plan. It explains how your business will make enough money to repay the debt or provide investors with a reasonable return. Financial projections augment your funding data by demonstrating to potential lenders and investors that your business has great potential.

Before making projections, thoroughly examine your previous financial accounts. Your objectives should be ambitious, but they should also be achievable.

#11. Appendix

Any valid document should be placed in the appendix. If no additional documents have been requested by a lender or investor, you can skip this stage. Include any additional resources or supporting information that you couldn’t fit elsewhere, such as essential staff resumes, licenses, equipment leases, permits, patents, receipts, bank statements, contracts, and personal and business credit history. A table of contents should be included at the start of this section if the appendix is lengthy. However, it’s a good place to improve your business plan.

You’re good to go with the knowledge of how long a business plan should be for a startup.

Final Thoughts

The question “How long should a business plan be for a startup?” might seem confusing, but when you get help from a professional, it relieves you of the stress and saves you time too.


How many pages should a business plan be UK?

Your business plan should be concise and easy to understand, often no more than 15 to 20 pages, regardless of who you are writing it for.

Can a business plan be short?

You must keep it brief. With an additional 10 pages of appendices for monthly estimates, management resumes, and other information, you can likely explain everything you need to say in 20 to 30 pages of text. You’re probably not summarising very well if your strategy is more than 40 pages.

What are the 7 parts of a business plan?

  • Executive summary.
  • Market analysis.
  • Company overview.
  • Organizational structure.
  • Marketing and advertising.
  • Product/service description.
  • Financial analysis.

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