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Tips for making your business plan more reader-friendly

To focus employees on goals and strategies for each new year, the leaders of Exelon’s Power Team roll out their updated business plan with a half-day themed program at an off-site venue. When the Power Team leaders decided to make the plan itself exciting, they asked Hollister to create an appropriate theme in words and images and apply it to the entire 32-page plan.

The result is an internal document for employees with the design quality of an annual report for external stakeholders. The implicit message: This is important, and you are important enough to have it presented to you in a beautiful package. While that message alone is a powerful incentive to read and absorb the plan contents, the design also supports readership in several key ways:

  1. Chapters, sections and subheads help readers navigate 12,000 words of text by dividing it into smaller chunks.
  2. Pictures keep readers’ attention by providing new surprises as they turn each page.
  3. Graphs and charts convey information that would be ponderous in paragraph format.
  4. Captions, pull quotes and subheads provide plenty of entry points for browsers.