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As management students, you have to design a business plan cover page to propose entrepreneurial ideas. The cover page presents the concept of your business plan in a holistic way. It creates an impression on the reader, giving them valuable insights about the content of your report.
The cover page of any business plan can make or break your idea. Ensure that your cover is neat, clutter-free, and comprehensive. Every cover page includes standard elements to inform the reader about the business.
The main purpose of any business plan cover page is to inform and enhance your report. Read on to know more about the basic structure of the business cover plan template.
The elements of a cover page template
A business plan is a great way to pitch an idea to others. Students develop a business plan to understand the practical application of management theories in realistic scenarios. What you learn as part of your curriculum have solid significance in real-life situations.
And while every business plan is different, there is a specific format you must follow. The cover page is the first part of the plan and contains the following elements. Here are some features I’ve discussed below in details
- Company logo and name
- Business motto
- Title of the plan
- Duration of the business plan
- Contact information
- Credits and citations
- Confidentiality statement
You can change the arrangement of these elements as per the business plan. Let me discuss these sections in detail below to clear a few things up.
Company / University name and logo
One of the first things that the reader sees on the cover page is the company name and logo design. The brand name and logo create an identity of the business. It makes the business idea easier to identify and differentiate from the competitors.
For your business plan, you can pitch an established brand or create a fictional one. For those building the brand, I would suggest you keep the name and logo simple. The emblem, particular, must be memorable yet unique.
Also, the colour scheme and designs used in the logo and title section can make a world of difference. Include the duration of the business plan in the title. For instance, your business cover title can be, “Five-Year Business Plan for (brand name)”
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Business / University tagline
The business tagline comes after the title. This is a short one-line description for your line of work. Think of the slogan as your brand motto. The more creative and catchier this section is, the better for your business plan.
The font size and style of the tagline should be smaller than the title. The brand name and business plan title should be the highlight of your cover page. Also, your title must be centrally aligned. You can italicize the tagline.
Once the title and tagline are done, you can add the company address and other details. This sheds light on the nature and location of your business house. Ensure that your content is evenly spaced out on the cover page.
Plan description and year
Include a short description of your business plan on the cover page as well. Limit this section to a line or two. Also, place it after the title and tagline of the business plan. This gives you cover a very organic structure.
The description section is usually titled as purpose. It is where the student tries to describe the nature of their venture. Include the size, scalability and sector of your business here.
The contact information comes next. This is where you mention the phone number, email address and other details about your company. Also include a section titled, “prepared by” to state your name and credentials
If there are partners and marketing collaborators, you mention them here as well. With accurate contact information, potential investors can reach out to you faster. Including this section also makes your plan more authentic and realistic.
Every business plan includes a confidentiality statement. Most students prefer to include this section on the cover page. The primary purpose of the confidentiality statement is to prevent the risk of intellectual theft.
The readers are legally bound to adhere to the rules of the contract and keep the business details a secret. It also protects the businessman from accusations of plagiarism in the future. You can patent the business idea or any unique marketing strategy mentioned in the plan.
How to design a business plan?
Contrary to popular belief, people so judge a book by its cover. And the business plan cover page creates a strong visual impact on the reader. I have already discussed the essential elements of any cover page template above. Here, I want to talk about some additional tips and tricks to make your cover page more interesting.
Clarity and concise
The purpose of the cover page is to pack information appealingly. Ensure that you don’t include a lot of details here but just enough to intrigue the reader about your business plan. Keep the title short, clear, and creative.
Explain the essential purpose, intent, and goals of your business plan. What is your brand all about? Who are your customers? What is your marketing strategy? These are a few questions you need to address with the business plan.
Creating Balance sheets
The balance sheet is one of the most vital financial reports for any company. Consider the balance sheet as a report card of an organization. The two columns titled Assets and Liabilities list down all your resources. Other than that, you need a section for equity accounts and stocks as well.
The assets and liabilities must tally towards the end of your balance sheet. List down the current assets like capital investment, stocks, and cash in hand first. Next comes the fixed assets like land and machinery.
Itemize your liabilities and equity shares the same way. Then you must add the gross profit/loss borrowed from the income statement. Financial analysts then compare the various elements of the balance sheet to derive accounting ratios. This gives you deeper insights into the business.
Accuracy and credibility
All the stats, figures and charts included in the business plan must come from credible sources. Cite your sources properly towards the end of the business plan. I recommend my students to pick APA or Harvard style referencing because they’re better suited to business projects.
The contact information and brand details in the cover page also must be credible and accurate. For a business assignment, you should also add a short confidentiality note. This protects your business plan from plagiarism.
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Summarize the key points
The cover page can also include a summary of your business plan. Explain the primary points of your project in a nutshell. Other than that, you can also add a short statement of purpose and overview on the cover.
For the sake of convenience, I suggest students prepare the cover page after they have completed the business plan. For although the cover page comes first chronologically, it is easier to design the page once you have your plan intact.
Also, while we are at it, I would suggest students add a short abstract after the cover page as well. This is where you can explain the main papers and sources taken for your business plan. It also highlights the central points of your plan, along with your primary hypothesis.
Keep it catchy
The cover page has to be catchy. However, that doesn’t mean you decorate the cover with glitter. Keep the look professional, academic, and yet fascinating. You can pick a specific colour scheme and font that complements your brand and product.
For instance, if your brand caters to an elite customer base, then keep the design minimalistic and elegant. Use light pastel shades to create a rich, subdued effect. You can consult your peers and professors about the aesthetics of the cover plan.
Ensure that your design matches the guidelines provided by the university. Don’t aim for a fancy or over the top cover page. Instead, stick to simpler, bolder layouts that are easy to identify and remember.
A quick Google search can give you a list of fantastic cover page template choices for Microsoft Word, Adobe, and other platforms. These layouts come with readymade designs, all you have to do is fill in the content, and you’re set.
Need for business plan cover pages
Business plan cover pages are both aesthetic and informative. The title and cover page outline the purpose of the business plan. Also, add a short note of acknowledgement and confidential statement.
Every business plan includes a beginning, middle and an ending. The cover page gives you insights on your product and service. You can expand on the title and explain the product in the introductory section.
The business plan cover page should be convincing enough to generate funding for their enterprise idea. With the cover, you convey the core message of the business plan.
Quick links and references
For this blog, I have collected some research papers and credible guides to help students. Students can refer to these sources for deeper insights into the business plan. You can refer to these reading materials that you can even cite for your paper.
Citations referencing guide: APA 6th referencing guide
Citation generator: Citethisforme
Business plan template: Business plan cover page template
Cover page guidelines: Business plan format guidelines
The bottom line
Preparing a business plan requires immense effort and planning. You need to outline a basic structure, purpose, and critical points of your enterprise idea. The cover page creates an excellent first impression on the reader.
I hope that this guide on cover page template creation was of some help. I have tried to explain the different elements of the business plan and cover page in detail. All the best for your assignment!
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