A One Page Business Plan is a great brainstorming tool for entrepreneurs who are just beginning the journey of starting their own business.
Writing a full business plan seems like a scary concept to most people. When we get a client who really just doesn’t know where to start we often ask them to condense their thoughts into one page.
A one page business plan is a excellent way to formulate thoughts and get you thinking about the key information that will eventually blossom into a full business plan.
A one page business plan is a concept. It is a tool to help entrepreneurs structure their thoughts and create a broad roadmap of how to plan the vision of their business.
It is really just a broad list of objectives. The most important thing to remember with a one page business plan is you are NOT going to be presenting this to anyone or asking for funding. It is for the author’s eyes only!
So how exactly do you write a one page business plan?
The first thing you need to do is picture your business idea in your head. In two sentences describe exactly what your business will selling and how you think you will sell it.
This is the first hurdle with business planning process. Telling your audience what it is you actually do! You would be surprised at the number of people who forget to do that.
From here your one page business plan will begin to take shape. Think about the following questions and answer each question in no more than two bullet points on your page:
- What market will you be trading in?
- What are the characteristics of the customers in that market?
- How competitive is that market?
- Why will your product or service be better.
- What do you bring to the table that will make customers buy your product before the competition?
Remember this is a one page business plan so you should have covered all of the above in less than quarter of a page. Stick to bullet points and you will be surprised at the amount of information you can get on one page.
READ MORE: Business Plan Presentation
Planning Your One Page Business Plan
Next up in your one page business plan you have to think about the practicalities of the business.
You need to devise a very rough plan as to how you will be able to make the plan a reality. Think about the following:
- Where will I trade? (Location)
- How will I sell my product of service? (Sales Strategy)
- How much can I charge for my product? (Pricing Strategy)
- How many do I reasonably think I can sell? (Financial Projections)
- How much money will I need to start the business? (Capital Required)
Thinking about this information as building blocks will help you get a better idea of what the actual business will look like and how much it will cost to set up.
You should only have three quarters of a page of bullet points now and are ready to make a list of things that need to be done to make the plan a reality. Think of this as your strategic and operational milestone list (version 1.0).
This list will evolve and be amended many times before you graduate from a one page business plan to a full business plan.
Your milestone list in the one page business plan should be no more than five items that need to be done now! At this stage you just want a broad action list to focus your mind on researching all of the bullet points on your page.
By going through this process you are training yourself to focus on the key strategic areas that will eventually become your full business plan. Don’t let this deter you.
The concept of a one page business plan remains relevant even when you eventually have a 30 page business plan.
It is called the Executive Summary of your plan and learning how to condense information into one page is an essential skill to have for any entrepreneur.
The reality is that most investors will listen to your pitch and flip straight to the executive summary page anyway!
This doesn’t mean that your full business plan isn’t worth reading. It is just the reality of investor behaviour.
However, it does make the one page business plan thought process all the more valuable when you do try to get funding.