Business plan cover page templates for students

by Dr. Alan August 09, 2020

Business plans are an essential part of any B-school curriculum. It is a document that outlines the necessary details of a brand. Business plans give investors and potential partners an idea about your core product/service.

A standard business plan begins with a cover page. This is the first thing the reader sees, so you better make it intriguing! Students often struggle with the cover, looking for ways to make it enjoyable and yet professional.

Well, this is where I come into the picture. Here is a detailed stepwise guide on how to format your business plan cover page.

Structure of the cover page

Most business plan cover pages follow a standard structure. You can tweak the elements and arrange them in a different order for more appeal. However, I suggest students include these primary sections in their cover page template.

Company name and logo

The cover page is vital in creating a solid first impression on the reader. Ensure that the brand name, sector, and logo is visible and apparent on the cover page. It helps the viewer identify your brand and the line of business you deal with.

The company name and logo also establish brand identity. I recommend students to add a catchy title on the cover page as well. This increases your readability and appeals tenfold. Ensure that the title and brand name are centred, and aligned to the page margin

Neatness and professional arrangement earn you some extra points from the professor. The company logo can be at the top of the page or below the company name.

Business moto

For business projects, you usually get to pick a brand of your choice. In some cases, the professors might ask you to create a fictional business from scratch. In such a case, you also have to think of the business tagline or motto

Business tagline features below the company name. The slogan highlights the theme and message of your branding strategy. It also states your core market interest and what you plan to achieve from this business plan.

Title of the business plan

Business plan cover pages create a substantial impact on the viewer. You can have the most detailed business plan, complete with reports and studies, but it goes to waste without a proper cover. The cover page presents your project in a holistic way

Note that the title of the business plan and your brand name are two different things. You can place the title after mentioning the brand name and logo. Or you can club these two together in a way that saves space and looks good.

The primary purpose of the title is to inform the reader about the content of the business plan. I suggest that you conduct quick keyword research online to know about the relevant terms and phrases.

Basic purpose

Next, comes a short para on the primary objectives of the business plan. A business plan is basically a document to propose a case or pitch an idea to potential investors. Your project can discuss expansion strategies, ask for more capital funding, or collaboration opportunities

Whatever be the reason, the cover page must give the reader a clear idea about the plan. The business objectives summarize the contents of your proposition in a nutshell. For the sake of convenience, I recommend students to leave this bit for last.

For even though the cover page comes first, designing it after completing your business plan saves you time. This is because you are already familiar with the business plan and all it entails. It is easier to summarize the critical points in a logical order.  

 

You can tweak the elements and arrange them in a different order for more appeal

Duration of the business plan

Every business plan follows a limited period. Usually, the most common methods stretch for a few months. Students also prefer annual plans as it is easier to curate figures for a financial year. Whatever be your duration, make sure that you mention it clearly on the cover page

The term also sets your business plan in a more realistic context. Any reader with the bare minimum understanding of the economic and socio-political situation can gauge the effectiveness of your business.

The duration also adds a degree of credibility to your business plan. It sets your brand in a concrete, contemporary environment.

Confidential statement

The confidential statement is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of your business plan. A brand shares its market research and information in good faith. The onus of protecting this intellectual property lies on the investor/reader.

The confidential statement safeguards your data against theft or unauthorized usage. With this para, the reader is held liable to keep the information they read in the business report to themselves. With this statement, you also reduce the risk of plagiarism accusations.  

Contact information

The contact information is where you state your name and email address. Earlier, business reports and plans were made on paper. Today, you get readymade templates for Microsoft Word or PDF platforms

These templates look well across multiple screen sizes, giving you greater flexibility to edit content as per your requirement. Contact information is a section where you add the address, email, and phone number of your business.

Steps to writing a business plan

Every business plan follows a standard structure to put forth the key points of a brand/service. But before you begin writing one, I suggest you ask yourself the following questions.

  • What is my brand all about?
  • What is the core competency of my business?
  • Why do I need this business plan?
  • Who is the reader/viewer of this plan?
  • What are my core objectives/demands?
  • How do you want to present your brand?

These questions offer some clarity on the nature of your brand and the purpose of the business plan. Here are some other elements that you must look into

 

Duration adds a degree of credibility to your business plan

 

Step 1: Think of a catchy title

The first aspect is the title. Ensure that you include all the key terms and phrases associated with your business in the title section. Also, the placement and presentation of the title section are imperative to your plan. Keep the title section centred, use Times New Roman (or any professional font), size 14.

State 2: State the core objectives

The introduction of the business plan begins by stating the core objectives of your business plan. I advise students to keep this section in bulleted points to highlight the key terms of your proposal. Here, you can discuss the intent and purpose of the plan. Keep the part clear, concise, and clutter-free.

Step 3: Thorough market research

After stating the objectives, you can start with the main body of the plan. This is where all your infographics, stats and studies are featured. You can also add surveys, other business reports and marketing papers. In this section, you expand upon the market and your core customer base.

Step 4: Competition analysis and insights

Next comes a review of the competition. Every brand must conduct this peer study where they figure out the existing market and demand patterns. This gives you an idea about the scope and potential of your business. There are multiple competition analysis tools that students can use for this section

Step 5: Include a business overview

A business plan must be convincing, credible, and convenient to read. So, when I say business overview, I refer to a general description of your brand. The summary also includes details about your current and previous projects, the company performance, profit margins and more. 

Step 6: Discuss growth trends

Business plans usually try to present your brand in a positive light so that it attracts more investments. This is the section where you talk about the scope and future plans of your venture. You can discuss the current growth trends of your product and how it can improve in the foreseeable future.

Step 7: Budget and pricing options

This is perhaps one of the most complex yet vital sections of the business plan. Here, you present a financial report of your business, including profits, losses, risks, and current investments. Remember the confidentiality statement I mentioned in the beginning? Well, this is what that statement protects. Anyone who leaks this data is liable for a lawsuit.

Step 8: Conclusion and referencing

The ending paras are where you try to tie all the loose threads together. Here, you reinstate all the points mentioned earlier to remind the reader about why your business is a good investment. Also, ensure that you cite all your sources and references. I recommend students to use APA or Harvard referencing formats.

Quick links and references

Citation generator: Citethisforme

Harvard referencing guide

APA in-text referencing guide

Business plan guidelines

Business plan cover page templates

Cover page samples to follow

The bottom line

Business plans bridge the gap between theoretical learning and its practical application. As students, you learn a lot about how brands get developed. With business plans, you finally get to put this knowledge to test.

A new cover page sets your business plan apart from your peers. I hope that this guide would be of some help for your next assignment. Good luck!   

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