How to use Graphs and Charts in Your Business Plan

“How Much Graphs or Graphs Should My Business Plan Have?” is a frequent question. Like many other business plan questions, the answer is “it depends.” This article discusses the key factors that will affect the number of charts and graphs you should include in your business plan.

Purpose of charts and graphs

Understand the audience

To start with, the key thing to consider when developing your business plan is to limit your audience. If your audience is a retired angel investor, he may have several obligations and can spend an hour reviewing your business plan. Most likely, however, a business capitalist, corporate investor, or loan officer will sit down at a table with fifty other business plans and review your plan. Therefore, it is important that your plan has its main points quickly and easily – this is where charts or charts come from.

A picture is worth a thousand words

When deciding whether to use a graph or chart, consider the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The point here is that the picture should save a thousand words. That is, the graph or chart must be supplementary to the text; It should not defeat its purpose. Similarly, the chart  or graph should apply and support the text without being ract.

Energy level of Audience

In addition to respecting the timelines of the audience, the business plan should respect the energy level of the audience. That is, after reading seven business plans, an investor may skip a 400-word page. Although no charts are applied to support the page, Grotik suggests using appropriate spacing and / or call boxes (eg, the main text phrases highlighted in the boxes) to make the page more readable.

Understand stakeholders

Finally, if the business plan is presented to a single or small group of investors, the size of the graphs and graphs should reflect the needs, needs and innovations of those few stakeholders. For example, if the plan is presented only to market-savvy strategic investors, these investors can use charts to bring in background information they already have.

On the other hand, always keep in mind that the plan is not a slide presentation, and many charts and graphs can position the company as being lazy to complete the process of developing a formal business plan.

Key points

To summarize, the amount of charts and graphs used in the business plan should reflect the audience for the plan; usually an audience that limits time and energy. Charts and graphs should complement the text, enabling the audience to digest information quickly and easily, and encourage the audience to take the next step (such as scheduling a personal meeting) as always.