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Let’s build a one-page business plan to get your big idea off the ground. (This article features a helpful one-page business plan template to get you started.)
There are dozens of use-cases for a one-page business plan. You can use it to impress investors, provide a fast company overview to potential clients, onboard new team members, and quickly align new ideas with the larger company vision.
But a one-page business plan shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for having a standard business plan. It’s more like an overview.
One of the downsides of a full-length business plan is that it’s not a quick read. Sometimes all you need is a snapshot of your company. For that, this single page business plan will be your guiding light, helping anyone who reads it catch the vision for your company with just a short glance.
Think of it as a resume for your business. You don’t have to name every target or team member. But anyone looking at your one-page business plan should be able to quickly grasp what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how. (I never said it would be easy — just short.)
Want to skip the article and grab a free one-page business plan template? Download yours here.
Here are the components of your one-page business plan.
- Financial Summary
- Product or Service Overview
- Sales and Marketing
- Product Roadmap
- Competitive Advantage
What to Include in Your One-Page Business Plan
A one-page business plan should provide a high-level understanding of your business. From financials to marketing and business development — here’s what to include:
Yes, even a one-page business plan needs an executive summary. But you’re not summarizing everything on the page. Instead, your overview will explain the business opportunity you see — and why you’re the team to seize that opportunity.
Are you a one-person business trying to go it alone? Or do you have a dream team helping to steer the ship? This is your opportunity to brag about your personal and team-wide credentials. Highlight the knowledge and experience behind your business.
Obviously, if you have several people on your team, you’ll want to only list your core leadership team, not every customer service or sales rep.
3. Financial Summary
Has your team received any funding? How much? From whom?
The investment overview can also be a space to list investment goals. If you’re currently shopping for investors, it’s okay to say so.
Even if you’re just in the business planning and market analysis phase, you should still find a way to make projections for your target revenue. Use your current marketing plan and business model to form financial projections.
What does it cost to keep the doors open? This includes fixed recurring expenses as well as variable or one-time costs. You can also use this section to state your profit margin if you think that’s relevant.
This is a one-page plan, so no one is expecting a long list of line items. Just tell us what it’ll cost to bring your business idea to life so anyone can understand what kind of cash flow it’ll take to keep you afloat.
Are you an online business using a subscription model? Do you sell one-off widgets? Do you bill your consulting by the hour? Tell us your pricing structure.
4. Product or Service Overview
Tell us what your product does. Keep the description simple. If your explanation comes across feeling complicated, potential customers and stakeholders will think you either (1) don’t understand your own product or (2) are compensating for a bad product with flowery language.
5. Sales and Marketing
Name your ideal customer. Provide an overview of their biggest motivations, demographics, psychographics, geographics — anything that’s relevant to reaching them. Name your target market and give us a quick overview so anyone can picture them in their minds.
This is where you name your competitors and their current market share. Don’t just think of this as a simple bullet point list of your competition. You want to focus on your positioning in relation to others in your field. Tell us about your competitors using your relation to them. Answer the big question: Why does the market need you if there are already competitors?
The industry overview should also include total industry sales figures. Are you entering a $20 million dollar per year market or a $3 billion dollar per year market? Both have their pros and cons. It’s worth mentioning the size either way.
Do you already have your marketing strategy nailed down? Summarize it in your one-page business plan.
6. Product Roadmap
Whether you already have a functioning product or you’re still in development, it’s advantageous to provide a roadmap. When do you plan to launch? What new features should customers expect in the near future? Tell us about any upcoming development and releases.
7. Competitive Advantage
What does your product, positioning, or team offer that no one else in your industry has mastered? What’s your unique value proposition (UVP)? This section is where you can really sing the praises of your hard work and ingenuity. Tell us why anyone would buy from you.
Note: Just because there are big players in your industry doesn’t mean you don’t have massive advantages over them. In fact, small businesses can often fill highly profitable gaps that are missed by more rigid large companies. Point out these holes as part of your competitive advantage.
Treat Your Business Plan as a Living Document
This one-page plan is not a replacement for a traditional business plan. Investors and executive leadership will still expect a document that offers a step-by-step guide — with balance sheets, an action plan, a full competitive analysis, a financial plan — to back up your larger business strategy.
This lean business plan will provide a quick summary of your new business — like a teaser or elevator pitch to get more people excited about your market-disrupting idea. Moreover, regardless of how long your business plan is, treat it as a living document — don’t hesitate to add or change information as your business grows.
Get Your One-Page Business Plan Template Today
Now that you know what to include in your one-pager, download a free business plan template. It’s an easy way for business owners to compile your most important ideas, figures, and strategies into one place. (Plus, the template sure beats working in Excel.)
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