Small Business Plan – Table of Contents
Does your busness plan really need a table of contents? In short, yes! That’s why we have included this section as a guideline or template. You should always include a table of contents with your business plan unless you are presenting only Executive Summary that is 2 – 5 pages in length.
Keep in mind that business plans are rarely read from front to back, in order. Different people will have differeny specific interests. A table of contents lets readers quickly find the information that is most important to them. Including a table of contents is both a courtesy and a way to help bankers and potential investors make efficient use of your business plan. If it’s well organized and includes a table of contents you’ll be getting started on the right foot.
It’s common for business plans to be updated on a regular basis, long after the first draft is complete. A small change on page two might suddenly mean the page numbers listed in the table of contents are completely wrong. Be sure to update your table of contents to reflect these changes. To make this task a breeze, use the Table of Contents feature built into Microsoft Word.
Why do we include such an obvious suggestion? The fact is, many people overlook this step. Don’t give some junior analyst at a venture capital firm with 100 business plans to review an early opportunity to say, “This person is sloppy and doesn’t pay enough attention to details. Next plan.”
If you use The Outline provided with this document as the starting point for your table of contents, you can include the subtopics while you’re creating the plan. Then, in your final Table of Contents, you’ll include only the major section titles.
Use the business plan template below for your table of contents. Start with the outline and add the page numbers when you are finished.
Table of Contents
Introduction and Overview
Sales & Market Potential
Products and Services
Sales and Marketing Plan
Team and Operating Plan
SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
Capitalization and Use of Funds
Exit Strategy or Payback Analysis
Notices and Disclaimers