The appendix of a business plan is usually the last section to appear in the business plan. Although not required, a well-structured appendix can go a long way toward convincing your reader you’ve got a great business idea, or indeed that you have thoroughly thought through your idea.
The appendix of a business plan is the place to include any additional documents that you want to use to give your reader a feel for your product, marketing, services and so on. It’s also a good place to include any additional tables or charts that you didn’t want to include within the content of the plan (after all, the simpler the plan, the better, right?), but that you feel may help your reader understand your business better.
Of course, you do not have to include an appendix in your business plan. Sometimes, you’ll only actually be using it to share information with specific people—perhaps a lawyer who wants to see patents, or trademarks. Banks or lenders might also sometimes require additional information like your personal or business credit history, though it’s best to ask them.
What goes in the appendix of a business plan?
In general, here are some of the documents you might think to include in your business plan appendix:
- Charts, graphs, or tables that supplement information from other sections of your business plan
- Any agreements or contracts that you have with clients or vendors
- Licenses, permits, patents and trademark documentation
- Product illustrations or product packaging samples
- Marketing materials
- Resumes for each of your executive team members
- Contracts and supporting documents for anything else
- Building permit and equipment lease documentation
- Contact information for attorneys, accountants, advisors, and so on
- Credit history
- Detailed market studies
Business plan appendix best practices
- If your appendix runs more than a few pages long, or contains a variety of documents, you may want to consider adding a separate table of contents.
- If you do share confidential information within the business plan appendix, you will also want to keep track of who has access to it. A confidentiality statement is a good way to remind people that the content you are sharing should not be distributed or discussed beyond the agreed parties.
- Given that the appendix is the last part of the business plan, it’s quite likely your readers will skip it. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your business plan can stand on its own. All information within the appendix should be supplementary. Ask yourself: if the reader skipped this part of my plan, would they still understand my idea or my business model? If the answer is no, you may need to do some rethinking.
- Be sure to also include relevant information in the appendix of your business plan. It should not be totally unrelated to the materials you’ve already covered.
- K.I.S.S. In case you’re not familiar with the acronym, it means “keep it simple, stupid.” This is good general advice for your appendix. Keep it short. You don’t need to include everything, just the relevant information that will give your reader greater insight into your business, or more detailed financial information that will supplement your financial plan.
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