The Mythical One Page Business Plan

A One Page Business Plan is more useful than you’d think. I was a bit sceptical about writing a one page business plan until my client twisted my arm to write it. I’d wanted to write a more in- depth document or use Business Plan software to scope out the requirements. As an experiment we tried it.

A One Page Business Plan is more useful than you’d think. I was a bit skeptical about writing a one page business plan until my client twisted my arm to write it. I’d wanted to write a more in- depth document or use Business Plan software to scope out the requirements. As an experiment we tried it. Here’s what I learned.

One Page Business Plan: Where’s the real benefit?

Writing a one-page business plan helps the small business owner focus on the main components that make up the company.

The Mythical One Page Business Plan

Difference Between One Page Business Plan and Traditional Business Plans

The difference between a one page business plan and traditional business plans (e.g. MS Word templates) is that:

  • A one one-page business plan is not a replacement for your strategic planning documents.
  • A one one-page business plan is not meant to provide in-depth analysis of your business model. How could it?
  • A one one-page business plan is not used to seek finance, for example, from your local bank manager or investors. But, there may be exceptions…
  • A one one-page business plan gives you a snapshot of the key points in your business
  • A one one-page business plan is a framework upon which you can start to build a more comprehensive document outlining your Strategic Plan, Marketing Plan, Technology roadmap, and Training & Development needs, Costs, and Personnel
  • A one one-page business plan provides direction for the future growth of your business. It’s a finger pointing in the right direction and

[Video] One Page Business Plan: Example of How It Works

In this video, we look at some of the differences between one-page business plans and the larger documents, for example, Business Plans in Microsoft Word format that you can format to suit your needs.

One Page Business Plan: Who Uses It

What I learned from this exercise is that – if you approach it with the right attitude – you can use this as a stepping stone for more in-depth analysis. The upside is that you get a ‘business plan document’ written in less than a day, while the downside it that it’s a snapshot and needs to be fleshed out if you decide to push ahead with the project.

So, who can benefit from this?

I can see the following benefiting from this:

  • Business Units
  • Cost Centers
  • Cross-functional teams
  • Departments
  • Divisions
  • Government Agencies
  • Not-for-profits
  • Profit Centers
  • Programs
  • Projects
  • Startup Companies
  • Subsidiaries

There are others but you get the idea.

One Page Business Plan: Why It’s Not a Plan

It’s a way to get your business planning up and running quickly and start to explore market strategies quickly.

But, it’s not a plan in the traditional sense. You can’t use this to develop a framework for your marketing plans or use it to seek funding.

There is an upside though. It does allow you to get a quick snapshot of how the business model may work and use this to refine gaps in the process or identify areas where the business plan needs more attention.

Why You Should Write a One Page Business Plan

A one one-page business plan grows with the business. As you change, so to does the business plan.

One final thing. The name of the document is irrelevant. You can call it what you want.

The real purpose of the one-page business plan is to help you navigate the choppy waters of running your business. Keep it simple. Make it useful. Keep it up to date!

What do you think?

7 thoughts on “The Mythical One Page Business Plan”

  1. Seems to be a useful idea though I found it difficult to follow. I tried to squeeze out a one page document from a detailed business plan and everytime, I felt as if it is incomplete 🙁

  2. The One Page Business Plan is a wonderful tool. I am glad that you shared positive applications that budding entrepreneurs can enjoy. It certainly can help people become focused and attain clarity, two of the most important steps in developing a new business.
    Shallie Bey
    Smarter Small Business Blog

    1. Thanks Shallie,
      Great point about clarity. It really has helped me to distill the key points.
      Hope all is well down in Texas. Fond memories of that part of the world 🙂
      Ivan

  3. A one-page business plan is a very helpful strategy in having a birds eye view of your business. This is one great business tip that every businessman should not miss out.
    Indeed, @68fdbcc8d0dca6208e15c5447faf1098:disqus also got a point about creating a one-page business plan from out of a very detailed business plan. But taking the challenge feels great especially if you get to see the gaps and the needed attention within your business.

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