Writing A Business Plan - The Text

Writing a business plan is a daunting exercise. There are no true standards for substance or length, but the documents often run between 30 and 60 pages and include content related to all aspects of the business and industry. The business plan for The Virginia Beer Company clocks in at 51 pages, including the text, financials, and an appendix. We began researching business plans in early 2011 in advance of making the final decision to pursue a new brewery. The actual writing process didn't begin until September of 2012, but by that time we had a very good idea of what would be included. We believed that the main task would be the consolidation of existing notes and emails that Robby and I had been sending back and forth. When pen hit paper (or whatever the technological equivalent would be) we were definitely surprised by how much work actually remained!

The two distinct portions of the business plan are the text section and the financials (although a good business plan always references financial figures in the Executive Summary and various other places). I'm going to cover the creation of financial statements in a separate post due to the complexity of that process. The first order of business for us was coming up with a rough table of contents...