When you think of putting together your business plan, the business plan cover page may not be the first thing that comes to mind. While it’s traditionally one of the last sections you create in a business plan, it’s one of the most important.
When potential investors or banks read a business plan, their first impression is the cover page—but don’t overthink it. A business plan cover page is meant to be simple and straightforward, with some important contact information and, more importantly, your logo.
Use this breakdown to find out what the purpose of your cover page is, which elements you need to include, and how to structure it to maximize your impact:
What is the purpose of a cover page?
Your cover page exists to communicate what the enclosed document is and to provide the necessary information for a reader to contact you about your business.
The appearance and quality of a business plan cover page will set the tone for your business plan’s content, so make sure it’s visually appealing, free of errors, and concise.“ Simple, clean and powerful are the three goals of a strong business plan cover,” suggest the experts at Growthink. Don’t clutter your cover page with details about how your business will operate—save those important details for the executive summary.
What should you include on a business plan cover page?
To keep it simple, your business plan cover page should include:
- Company logo
- Document title
- Business name
- Business address and contact information
- Business plan completion date
- Confidentiality statement
How should you format a business plan cover page?
Once you know what information belongs in this section, all that remains now is to organize it. If you need some further guidance, these downloadable templates can streamline the process of drafting a cover page—and the rest of your business plan, too.
1. Company logo
Add a high-resolution thumbnail of your logo at the top of the cover page. This will help establish a brand identity and allow readers to connect visually to the business right from the start.
Hot tip: people are 89% more likely to remember your logo if you put it in the top left corner.
Give the logo some space and then include the words “Business Plan” in a large, bold font. You can also frame the title as “Three–” or “Five–Year Business Plan,” if you intend to make those kinds of financial projections in the document.
3. Business name
Beneath the title, write your company name in a bold font. This should be the most noticeable and prominent feature on the page, so choose a large typeface.
4. Tagline (optional)
This part is optional, but you can also include a catchy slogan or motto that describes your company and what you do.
5. Address and contact information
Under the company name, include your business’s physical address and website if you have one. Provide the details necessary for interested parties to contact you, such as a phone number and email address.
It’s also helpful to include your name as the business owner and the names of any partners or executive officers so that potential investors know where to direct their inquiries.
6. Date of completion
Below the contact information, write the year (or year and month) in which this business plan was finalized and issued. If you’re including the month, it’s a good idea to update it throughout the year as you send out your business plan so readers don’t assume it’s outdated.
7. Confidentiality Statement
At the bottom of the page, include a sentence to the effect of:
“This document contains confidential and proprietary information created by [business name]. This document is issued exclusively for informational purposes and should not be reproduced without the consent of [business name].”
Adding this confidentiality statement offers a protective measure against the disclosure of your business idea, according to this cover page guide.
Cover page design
Now it’s time for the finishing touches: the actual design of your cover page. Your business plan’s cover page gives the first impression of your business, so your company logo, fonts, and brand colors should all work together to make people want to read more.
90% of a customer’s impression of your business comes from the brand colors you choose, so it’s important to choose colors that represent your business’s personality and elicit the right emotions from your readers.
Don’t know where to start? Grab a pen and paperand write down three emotions you want your customers to feel when they think of your brand. Now you can brainstorm some colors that represent those emotions. For example, you might choose blue if your product is associated with reliability, or yellow if your product is supposed to make your clients feel happy. It’s safer to only choose 2-3 colors, including black, for your color scheme.
You can also analyze the competition and choose colors that help you stand out. Canva has more detailed instructions on how to create your brand color palette.
When it comes to fonts, it’s best practice to stick to one type of typeface, such as serif or sans serif. It’s also important to choose fonts that are simple, easy to read, and represent your brand.
Serif fonts give off the impression that your brand is trustworthy and dependable, and work great for more traditional businesses, like law practices. “Serif fonts have been widely used in books, newspapers, and magazines, which is why they remind us of more classical, formal and sophisticated themes—think of Old English and Roman scripture,” Robyn Young, founder of branding agency robyn young & co, told Canva.
But if you’re going for a more contemporary and youthful feel, then sans serif is the way to go. “Brands that want a modern aesthetic that scales well at different sizes and is easy to read on screens are going to choose sans serif for their main branding elements,” said Young.
When it comes to choosing a logo, simplicity is key. Try to create something that represents your brand and speaks to your audience without being too busy (in other words: white space is your friend).
It’s also important to remember to be practical: your logo should look good in any medium, size, color, and even time period. Beyond your business plan cover page, you’ll need it for your social media, marketing material, or labels.
For more advice, check out our article on choosing a logo.
Business plan cover page examples
To further illustrate the structure and format of a business plan cover page, we’ve compiled a few cover page template examples. The first example from officetemplatesonline is simple but attractive and effectively emphasizes pertinent information. The next cover page example is from a fictional clothing store. They usea pop of color to instantly tell you about their brand personality.
Keep your business plan cover page simple
As you prepare to draft your business plan, remember to keep your cover page simple and concise. With your logo, business name, and contact information, you’ll introduce the reader into your business plan quickly and easily—and set yourself up for success as a result.
Just don’t forget to proofread and keep an eye out for typos!
The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.