How to Finish Your Business Plan

The business plan’s conclusion should sum up the opportunity the business represents with language targeted at the specific audience the plan is intended for (for example, investors or lenders). Without going into the detail allowed in the executive summary (a conclusion should be just a paragraph or two), the conclusion can offer a more personal appeal for consideration and funding. However, the conclusion should not depart significantly from the rational and professional tone of the plan. For example, it is never appropriate to write sentences along the lines of “I beg of you to invest in this company”, “It would mean so much to me and my family”, and “You’d be stupid to not to jump at this opportunity.”

Future Vision

The conclusion is also where it can be appropriate to return to your greater vision for what the company can become and speak about future possibilities beyond the five years detailed in the plan. This can include an idea of what the company can become in ten or fifteen years. It is recommended to focus on the company’s potential impact for customers and the marketplace rather than its long-term financial impact, as it is increasingly difficult to put numbers to where the company will be so far ahead in the future. For example, you might say that “the business will introduce a new level of quality in liquor stores and become a regionally-known brand over the next fifteen years”.

Appendices

The conclusion is not actually the final section of your business plan. Supporting documents should appear in appendices after the conclusion. These appendices should include detailed pro forma financial statements, and may also include resumes of managers, partnership, supplier, and customer agreements, evidence of intellectual property, records of business licenses and permits, detailed results of surveys, focus groups, or competitive research, and letters of support.