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Should I include an appendix to my business plan?
Material that adds to the business plan, but doesn’t belong in the body. The appendices allow you to include valuable information to your business plan that does not fit neatly within the body of the plan. Generally, it is used to include exemplars of the material or information that is referenced within the business plan but does not need to be included in the body. You can include material that will serve a functional purpose in the business or that evidence key relationships. Generally, you can include any outside information necessary to support the propositions or assumptions within the business plan.
Consider including the following information or materials in the appendix of the business plan.
- Marketing Material (Advertising) – The ability to drive sales is a critical part of the business plan. Providing samples of marketing material can provide an understanding of the brand that you are attempting to build around your product or service.
- Primary and Secondary Research – In order to effectively market your product (and establish a brand) you have to understand your target market. Further, you will need market estimates in order to accurately evaluate the market potential and potential profit from pursuing the venture. This material should support the figures that you introduce within the business plan.
- Designs or Property Layout Material – Perhaps you have designs, artwork, facility plans, etc., that provide a picture of your intended venture location, buildings, image. This can help third parties to understand your vision.
- Important Contracts – Providing proof of key contracts (such as leases, supplier contracts, etc.) add substance to otherwise seemingly hypothetical plans. Again, this will provide comfort to potential their-party investors.
- List of Key Assets – Providing a list of key assets within the business plan would be too large and cumbersome. While you will include the collective value of the assets within the plan, it may be a good idea to attach an itemized index for review. This can help in budget planning.
- Organization Chart and Employee Backgrounds – Within the business plan you provide a concise background of your employees and an organizational chart. Here, can provide a more in-depth background on your key employees and their curriculum vitae. If you have many other employees, you may want to provide their backgrounds, key roles, and responsibilities.
- Customer or Expert Endorsements – Customer or expert endorsements can serve as excellent credibility for your product/service. While you will mention these or provide brief quotations within the business plan body, you may wish to include the entirety of the endorsement or letter within the appendix.