Ok... yes, we understand encouraging people to not write a 30 page business plan is a controversial statement but hear us out.
Typically, traditional business plans take months to write, are almost never updated, and seldom read by others.
These hefty business plans are filled with unknowable assumptions and 5 year financial plans based on almost no data.
However, it is important to have documentation to clearly outline the business model and layout your plans to achieve it.
So if 30 page business plans are long and cumbersome, and having no business plan isn't ideal, what is an entrepreneur to do?
We suggest an even compromise of a... '1 page business plan'.
A 1 page business plan captures your idea rapidly so that you can deconstruct the idea into a set of key assumptions.
Ideas may seem crystal-clear in our minds, but it’s only when we attempt to deconstruct them, or share them with others, do we realize just how much we don’t yet know.
Why opt for a 1 page business plan?
It is fast, compared to writing a full business plan, you can outline multiple possible business models on a page in one afternoon.
It is concise, the 1 page forces you to distill the essence of your product or business in a very small amount of time and space.
It is effective, The 1 page business plan is the ideal way to visualise how all of your problem, solution and customer analysis will work as a potential business.
Ok, for those who are converted and on the 1 page business plan bandwagon, let's move to the 'how to'.
Unlike a traditional business plan, the goal here isn’t perfection, but taking a quick snapshot. You'll have heaps of time to revisit your 1 pager and refine it further.
Your business plan should address these 9 questions.
1. What's the problem? (and existing alternatives)
2. Who are my customers? (and early adopters)
3. What's my unique selling proposition?
4. How do I solve the problem? (and how I describe the High Level Concept)
5. What's my unfair advantage
6. How do I make money?
7. What are my main expenses?
8. How do I measure success?
9. What channels will I use to get new customers?
Answers these questions in any order, leave some blank if you can't answer them right now and don't get bogged down on a topic. Don't feel the need to scrutinise every word, if you can write it up in 20 minutes, great, you can go straight back to making sales, doing research, or you know... watching Netflix.