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I. Introductory Elements

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network


The introductory elements of your business plan - your cover page, executive summary, and table of contents - determine what kind of first impression you make on readers. In many cases, the introductory elements, especially the executive summary, will determine whether readers read the rest of your plan at all. Moreover, your table of contents indicates how well you have organized the entire plan. For this reason, all of your introductory elements must be top-notch both in presentation and substance.

A beautifully crafted plan that is unprofessionally put together will send a strong message to readers about your professionalism and your standards. Your cover page must have all pertinent information, your executive summary must convince readers that your entire business plan is worth looking at, and your table of contents must make it easy for readers to navigate through your plan. Read about each specific element to learn more:

Need additional information try our Tookit with a number of helpful worksheets.

Back to Creating an Effective Business Plan



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