May 29, 2020
There was a time when business plans were anything from 75 to 100 pages in length, but today, 10 to 15 can be considered too long. In fact, today’s business analysts are advocating a one-page business plan.

With simpler, to-the-point methods becoming the norm, many entrepreneurs and start-up businesses have turned to one-page business plans to get their businesses off the ground faster.

If you are pitching to a government institution or bank, or seeking an investor, you may need more detail than a one-page business plan affords. However, this could be considered your initial version and is a brilliant place to start to hone your ideas when developing your long-term goals and short term objectives.


DETAIL STILL REQUIRED

It's important your one-page business plan isn’t light on important detail. Just because this is a shorter version of your business plan, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do enough research to validate your objectives and strategies. Your plan, however brief, needs to be dynamic and be able to answer any questions about your idea, your market and your finances.

It must give your team and any interested parties a clear idea of how the business will work.


ADVANTAGES OF A ONE-PAGE BUSINESS PLAN

  • It’s like a game plan that summarises your high level strategy in one page.
  • It’s a handy snapshot of your plan you or your team can refer to every week to ensure you’re on track.
  • It enables you to create a straight forward strategy around each of the concise, specific goals.
  • It’s less time-consuming to write, read and update.
  • It’s concise and provides clarity to whoever is reading – important information stands out because you’ve used key words and short phrases.
  • The concise approach will assist you and your team with your pitch.


5 STEPS TO DEVELOPING A ONE-PAGE BUSINESS PLAN

  1. Vision: short and to the point, this should get any reader fired up. Talk briefly about what you’re building.
  2. Mission statement: this will describe what you do, what your product or service is and who your customers are.
  3. Objectives: identify in bullet points your business goals for the next week, month and year.
  4. Strategies: using short sentences, summarise insights into how you plan to achieve your objectives.
  5. Action plan: using bullet points, explain the steps you’ll take to action your strategies. Add deadline dates to these items.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

When writing your one-page plan, considering the following:
  • The problem: who will you serve? What problem are you solving for them?
  • The solution: what is your strategic plan to solve that problem? How will you turn that value into something people will pay for?
  • Bridging problem and solution: how will you explain your business in a compelling, concise way? How will you measure whether your idea is working?
  • Business reality: what will this business require? What advantages do you have in the marketplace? Is this business the right fit for you?
A one-page business plan is an ideal place to kick-start your planning process and is the precursor to a more detailed and comprehensive document.

It forces you to condense your thoughts and explain yourself clearly with a powerfully succinct message, grabbing the attention of your audience, and enabling them to quickly understand your business idea and spur them to action.

This article was originally published on Business Australia and can be viewed here.