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Use bar charts to show, at a minimum, sales, gross margin, net profits, cash flow and net worth by year. Three-dimensional bars look slicker, but two-dimensional bars are usually easier to read. Make sure the numbers are obvious. Stacked bars make totals easier to visualize. If your sales divide into segments, stack the bars to show the total. Use pie charts for market share and market segments. Show tasks and milestones as horizontal bars with labels on the left and dates along the top or bottom. Most people call this a Gantt chart. Show only the major tasks and milestones, because too many details make these charts hard to read. Always put the source numbers close to the charts in a summary table so readers can reference them quickly and recognize the numbers in the charts. And never leave a business plan reader unable to find the source numbers of a chart. That's frustrating. Don't use a chart without referencing it in the text. If source numbers aren't completely obvious in the summary tables, make sure you specify which appendices contain the detailed numbers.
Polish the overall look and feel. Aside from the wording, you also want the physical look of your text to be simple and inviting. So take my advice: Stick to two fonts for your text. The font you use for headings should be a simple sans-serif font, such as Arial, Tahoma or Verdana. For the body text, you should probably use a standard text font, like Century, Times Roman or Book Antigua. Avoid small fonts. Only a few of the more readable fonts are fine at 10 points; most of them are better at an 11 or 12 point size. Use page breaks to separate sections and to separate charts from text and to highlight tables. When in doubt, go to the next page. Nobody worries about having to turn to the next page. Use white space liberally. Words crammed together into small spaces are uncomfortable to read. Always use your spell-checker. Then proofread your text carefully to be sure you're not using a properly spelled incorrect word! Double check that your text numbers match those in your tables.