One Page Business Plan
This article on simple one page business planning has been on the agenda for some time but never quite made it to the keyboard. Often when I run business advice sessions one of the biggest barriers to many people starting a business – or at least a barrier in their head is the business plan. They go on course, read business start-up websites and they all say you must start with a plan – well they are right – but not the sort of plan that many of the business books promote.
If you are a typical person looking to start your own business, then you will probably not be looking for finance, you are doing this with the resources you have available – then you do not need a monster 50 page business plan, what you need is a one page plan. Even if you do need a 50+ page business plan for fund raising, this will generally sit on the shelf and not get used so you need something practical too.
Introduction to the one page business plan
When starting a business it is easy to “go off track”, to have inconsistent messages in your marketing material etc – so some form of reference point is required. Something that you go to every day when a decision is required to ask yourself a simple question – is this activity required for the development of my business (to do it or not do it) or is it a distraction?
The one page business plan needs to be clear enough that it helps you explain to people what it is you do – and more importantly sometimes what you don’t do.
Author Jim Horan, suggests that there are five questions a well written business plan must answer:
- What are we building?
- Why are we building it?
- How do we measure success?
- How are we going to build this monster?
- What’s the work to be done?
These questions themselves could form a simple one page business plan template.
Below is our preferred format/ sample template for a one page business plan.
One Page Business Plan – a rapid approach
|Vision||What do you want to be a part of?What type of company?What products/ services…
to who… where… when…
|One page business plan actions|
|Goals/ Mission & Objectives||What is your purpose? Why start/ run the business?How will you achieve the vision?What level of engagement will you have with your suppliers & customers? How will you measure success?||1) 2)3) 4) 5)|
|Strategies PRIMO-F||People (you & the people that support you) What must be achieved in the next 12 months?How will you measure success?Who can do what? What skills we have|
|Resources What physical resources are available?How will you use them appropriately (cost effectively)What must be achieved in the next 12 months? How will you measure success?|
|Ideas & Innovations What is the big idea?|
|Marketing *its critical that people know you exist *What must be achieved in the next 12 months?Who are your customers?Where are your customers? How will you reach them?
How will you know you are reaching them? (How will you measure success?)
|Operations What needs to happen to deliver the product/ service?What must be achieved in the next 12 months?How will you measure success?|
|Finance What must be achieved in the next 12 months?How will you measure success?Start up Budget __________||Per month…Projected & actual: Revenue __________ __________ Costs __________ __________ Profit __________ __________ (what’s left)|
|Actions||What specific actions are you taking to achieve your vision?When will key projects be completed?How much will each project cost to complete?What help & support do you need to be successful over this period?||1)2) 3) 4)|
This one page business plan tool for Rapid Business Improvement can be used alone or as a practical summary to a comprehensive business plan.
** Marketing is one area than many new and young businesses neglect. the of saying “build it and they will come” works well in the centre of a village which everyone has to walk past – but in the modern age of fast life style and literally millions of people on the web, it is harder than ever to get your messages to people that might want your services. Knowing you exist is one thing, converting those visitors to sales is quite another. never expect that a simple website without a comprehensive social media and traditional media marketing campaign will work – it wont!
Marketing always takes much longer than you expect – often by a factor of 10.
A one page business plan document like this is a valuable tool to develop clarity, it is not a replacement for a full business plan if needed for external parties (fund raising, etc). Line any effective plan, a one page business plan should be a living document, and revisited regularly – weekly/ monthly!.
Also see our pages on SWOT & PESTLE to help further develop your one page business plan. If you are an established business then consider using a tool like our BIR to help identify improvement priorities
see one page business plan