So, today’s article is about how to create a simple one-page business plan. Business plans are typically used to give business owners a clear plan of what they set out to achieve. A secondary purpose of business plans is to show third party investors how and why your business will be a success and why your business is deserving of their investment. I have also got a video on this topic on my channel.
I chose to discuss one-page business plans in this article over a full business plan because I feel that full business plans can seem very daunting to someone that is just starting out. One-page business plans are good for mapping out a short-medium plan of business success, from the perspective of the business owner. Simple business plans are also easier to create since they consist of just five parts.
In my opinion, a solid mission statement is usually a fantastic starting point. The mission statement represents why the business exists, nicely summarising the business’ activities. A good mission statement should be reflective of all the products and services provided but also, remain relevant throughout time.
Here are some examples:
Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Make-a-Wish: We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
A Vision Statement is a short sentence that summarises the medium to long term goal of the organisation. Essentially, the direction you see the business heading in. Writing a good vision statement should map out a clear plan towards your final goal and assist in setting your objectives. Compared to a mission statement, it is likely that a vision statement is reviewed periodically and changed accordingly.
Once again, here are some examples:
Amazon: Our [Amazon’s] vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Disney: To make people happy
When planning to start a business or even running a business, it is important to set goals. Objectives provide a measurable way of how the business will achieve its goals, increasing the likelihood of achieving it.
There is a popular acronym for describing a good objective: SMART Objectives
Specific: The goal should be clearly defined
Measurable: You should be able to compare against past performance, this normally includes using figures
Achievable: The goal must be something that can be reasonably met, it must be realistic
Relevant: Does this goal fit into the overall plan of the business?
Time Constrained: The goal must have a specific time period e.g. To achieve x within 1 month
Objectives should also be related to and support your long term goal.
After clearing setting out what you would like to achieve, next we need a strategy. Your strategy should define how you will become successful over time; choices in strategy should also highlight how your products/services will differentiate you from your competition.
Examples of strategies include:
An action plan is the ‘what’ and ‘how’ part of your business, it defines what actions you must do by when to achieve your business goals. They are useful in executing your plan since they can provide a timeline for your business activities. Personally, I’ve found that setting myself deadlines helps with moving things along faster. Writing an action plan is important and following it is equally important.
How to write a one-page business plan:
Alternative one-page business plan template:
How to write SMART objectives:
Reasons you need a business plan: