Have you been putting off writing your business plan? Well, more than likely you’re not the only one. Most entrepreneurs believe it to be an intimidating job, so they delay working on it for as long as possible. Although it seems daunting, it can actually be quite easy, especially if you stick to a one-page business plan.
There’s no longer any need to have a 30-page business plan when you can easily simplify your business concept into one page. Investors don’t have a lot of time to read over a lot of information, so if you’re seeking funding for your product or service, potential backers need to be able to see everything on one page.
What do you need to include?
Your business plan must include all of the information investors would want to see. It’s easy to get lost in the details, however you need to show that you’ve considered everything and put the most important facts onto one page.
The problem – what problem is your business solving? If there isn’t a need for your business, do you really need to start it?
The solution – how is your product or service going to help solve the issue at hand, and is the solution worth people paying for? How will your product or service change the marketplace?
The audience – who are you hoping to market to? Can you provide any data about the size/value of your market?
The competition – who is currently operating in your market? Will your product or service be able to compete with these established companies?
USP – what’s your unique selling point? Why should potential customers choose you over your competitors? How do you add value to your customers? Do you have any form of competitive advantage?
Vision and goals – what’s your plan for developing your product or service? What’s your big vision and short-term milestones? Do you have an exit strategy?
Revenue and key financials – what’s your revenue model? How will your product or service make money, and how quickly will you become profitable? This section is very important, as it will help potential investors to understand how much of a return on their investment they can hope to achieve.
Funding requirements – how much are you looking to raise, and how do you anticipate spending these funds (e.g. on staff or marketing)?
Advantages of a one-page business plan
You may be thinking that you won’t be able to squeeze all the information you need into one page without missing out vital points, but there are definite advantages to this approach. Here’s just a few of them:
You’ll only be adding the main points, so the important information will stand out
You can constantly update it, as it won’t take that long to revise
By having specific goals, it’ll be easier to have a strategy revolving around each goal
When it comes to pitching the idea, you’ll remember everything on that one piece of paper
If you think your business plan needs more than one page, don’t worry, just make sure you don’t get lost in detail and write endless pages that investors are not going to be interested in. Longer business plans should include a one-page executive summary, which will be easier for potential investors to digest, and should help them decide whether they want to know more.
Have you written a business plan? How long was it? Or do you subscribe to the belief that business plans are unnecessary? Let us know in the comments below!