Monday, 26 August 2013

Creating A One Page Business Plan

The one page business plan is the key to getting your business started and running quickly.

I'll get to where the 93.5 inches comes from.

The One Page Business Plan Advantage

Most people start a business without a plan. The ones that do a business plan will sometimes spend months on the plan and never get to starting their business.

I am a huge fan of planning. If you don't plan, you will never get your business moving forward. That said, you really need to start doing business to make a plan worth doing.

A one page business plan can help you define what you are going to do, who you will do it for and how much you will charge, but it doesn't get bogged down in five-year financials, etc.

The One Page Plan: When to Use It

If you are going to try to get financing for your business from banks, investment bankers or angel investors, you will need a full blown business plan. At that point, I would recommend that you get a professional plan writer at that point.

If you are simply trying to start a business, you need to make some decisions. Who will you sell to? How much will you sell for? What will be your measure for success? And so on.

The One Page Business Plan: The Questions

This is a list of questions that you need to answer on your one page business plan. Answer them with one or two sentences, in the order I have them here.
  • What product or service will you offer?
  • Describe your average customer?
  • Describe your ideal customer?
  • What will you charge for your product or service?
  • What will it cost to produce the product or service?
  • What will your profit be?
  • What volume (how many sales) will you need to break even (profit - expenses = 0)?
  • How much do you need from the business in order to survive (your minimum income)?
  • What will be your measure of success (your salary, number of customers, etc.)?
  • Is your goal to build the business and work it for years or to build it and sell it?
  • What is your company's mission statement (based on the information above)?
No answer should be longer than 25 words. In other words, imagine you need to put this information up on Twitter.

The One Page Business Plan: Implementation

The key to your one page plan is the same as everything else I talk about here: Get going. Start now.

Now you know who you want to sell to, how much you want to sell things for and how much you need to do to break even and achieve success.

That's the map, now take the journey.