- Having a clear plan of actions is probably the most crucial step in ensuring that whatever you are planning to do will actually end up being properly implemented and succeed.
- But since traditional business plans are too resource-consuming, there is now a different, easier alternative to write down your business plan without spending too much time and effort on it.
- One page business plans are now an extremely popular and widely used method to help businesses succeed and follow the right business direction, so get yourself started on your own one page business plan the sooner, the better.
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.
We’ve all heard about the importance of having a business plan, yet somehow the task of creating one can see us trapped in a spiral of such overwhelm that we go out of our way to find a million other things to keep us distracted and that enable us to hide from putting pen to paper.
Whether it’s the thought of putting measurable targets in print, a general lack of experience in putting a plan together or simply not knowing where to start … the fact is, sitting down and documenting a strategic business plan can leave us daunted and feeling a bit lost.
You might be in business deliberately – or you may have found yourself becoming an accidental entrepreneur. It doesn’t really matter how you got there, the important thing is that you master the art of making your business work for you … rather than the other way around.
The best way to do that is to take the reins and make sure you create a strategic document – a business plan that will help you map out where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and what it will look like once you’ve arrived.
It’s at this point that most small business owners nod their heads and agree that that sounds like a good idea, but it’s also this point where most people step straight into overwhelm, because creating a strategic business plan is daunting, intensive work, and there’s a widely held belief that without the correct skill-set a business plan is impossible to put together.
After all, you need a template, resources, money and know-how, as well as a significant amount of time to create a worthwhile document that will govern the direction the business goes, don’t you? Not to mention the time putting such a document together takes – after all, who has the time do anything other than run the business?
There’s another saying that you might have heard:
Remember to spend time on the business as well as in the business. Well, it’s actually true. Doing your business plan is firmly in the ‘on’ category, and it’s critical for long term success.
The good news is that there’s a simpler way to get the business plan done – quickly, easily and for a relatively low cost.
Gone are the days when your only option was to create a thick document, full of details and information that is bound and sits proudly on your shelf – never to be referred to again!
Today it’s really easy to create a one-page business plan that allows you to capture the information you need that will keep you focused, on task and on track to guide your business in the direction you need it to go. And, because it’s only one page, you can easily laminate it and stick it to the wall where you can see it constantly and be quickly reminded of what needs to be done.
What is a one-page business plan for?
A one-page business plan is really similar in format to an executive summary. Its purpose is to create a fast plan that you can easily and simply put together, and which provides you with direction for your business activities.
It should be simple, so that anyone reading it can follow it easily. This means that the requirement for specialist training and/or business tools is negated, making it effortless to move forward while still having a specific direction.
The process you choose to follow should make it easy for you to complete the one-page plan in under an hour – and often less. Once completed, it will be easy to share, and because it’s only one page it is also flexible and easily updated as your business grows and develops.
Why is a one-page plan so powerful?
A one-page plan is powerful because it is written with short, succinct keywords rather than lengthy sentences that are designed to bamboozle. It doesn’t take long to create and it includes all the really important information broken down into quickly digestible chunks so you understand it quickly and can refer back to it frequently to check on your progress.
With all the information you need on one page, it is easy to always have the plan in sight, it’s easy to communicate and it’s easy for you to stay on track because you know exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
What would you typically include in a one-page business plan?
There are different formats out there depending on where your business is at and what you’re wanting to achieve. Here are a few things you might find in some of the templates:
- Key partners
Who are the key people who supply/work with you? What is their contribution to your business?
- Growth targets
-Expertise (professional development, training and so on)
-Personal (health, fitness, well-being and so on)
What are the key activities of your business? Are there any missing? Can you leverage current activity by easily adding a new activity?
What are your revenue streams? How much does it cost you to produce/provide each product?
-What are your costs? Where are they coming from? Can you reduce them in any way?
-What are the emotional, physical, energy and opportunity costs for each product/service?
-What resources do you have and what do you require?
-What types of resources are they – financial, human, intellectual and capital (physical)?
Who are your mass and niche markets and where can you find them?
- Value proposition
What do you offer and how do you offer it? Why/how are you different?
So how do you start?
Writing a one-page business plan is as simple as following a few quick steps:
- Find a template that works for you and your business (there are a few suggestions below but you can always search the web for other examples if these don’t work for you);
- Carve out a small amount of time to spend documenting the information you need to fill in your chosen template;
- Share the plan with employees, key stakeholders and others as required;
- Laminate, post in plain sight;
- Get working on your business plan!
Where can you find a few templates to get you started?
If you’ve never completed a one-page business plan before, it can be overwhelming wondering where to start. To make it easier for you, here’s a few powerful templates to give you an idea of what to include in your one-page business plan:
1. The $100 Startup – 1 Page Business Plan
This plan is fabulous for those who are just starting out in their business. No fuss, no stress just asks all the questions you need to get you going.
2. The Lean Canvas
The Lean Canvas was created by Ash Maurya to help people deconstruct ideas into key assumptions. It breaks a traditional plan down into key components and allows the key assumptions to be mapped out on one page.
3. The One Page Business Plan
This is a management and results-oriented software platform that provides you with templates, assessments and thought-provoking prompts that will assist you in putting together your plan.
Depending on how you learn, and how confident you are in putting something together for yourself, there are often local resources that offer options that are more guided. For an example of services, have a look at the options offered by the Small Business Development Corporation in Western Australia.
Check the web for the options located near you.
If you’ve been putting off writing your business plan, you’re not alone. The old, traditional methods of spending significant time creating a document are gone and it is now quick and easy to put together a one-page plan that will give you direction and help keep you on track whilst being flexible enough to ebb and flow with the demands of your business.
Do some research, find the template that works for you and give your own one-page plan a go – then watch how easy it becomes to direct and grow your business as a result.
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