How To Write a One-Page Business Plan

one page business plan
Photo by The CEO Kid on Unsplash

Writing an old-school business plan can be painful, so we’ve put together a quick guide where we’ll teach you how to make its simplified version, a one-page business plan.

So, in the next five minutes of reading, you will learn the following things:

  1. What is a one-page business plan
  2. Why it can be better than a traditional business plan
  3. What templates to use
  4. What information to include in each of the sections

Now without further ado, let’s dive right into it!

What is a one-page business plan?

It’s a great tool for the earliest stages of your business because it helps you structure your thoughts and brainstorm your business ideas with partners, friends, and fellow entrepreneurs.

In a nutshell, your one-page business plan should explain:

  • Who your customers are?
  • What their problems are?
  • How you can solve them?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • How can you set yourself apart?
  • Who is on your team?
  • How will you make money?
  • What are the costs you anticipate?

Basically, it should cover all the same points as a full-length business plan, but in a condensed format.

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The advantages of a one-page business plan

It’s possible to boil everything down to a single page if you’re economical with words.

It will help you to map out your idea in under an hour, and explain your business model to the potential investors. If they like what they see, it will make them want to read the full-length version.

As we’ve just covered, a one-page business plan makes it more likely that investors or banks will give you the time of day. One page is a quicker read than a pamphlet — although you will need a comprehensive business plan eventually!

In the meantime, there are other advantages to a one-page business plan that will come in handy. So read on, if you’re still not convinced that you can work magic with a single page.

Advantage #1 Condense your thoughts

It’s easy to get carried away when you are dreaming about your future business. A one-page business plan will force you to condense your thoughts and formulate them as clearly as possible.

Advantage #2 See the big picture

You’ll cut out all the fluff when you’re limited to one page. That automatically makes you look at the big picture. And that will also help guide your decisions when you put your plan into action.

Advantage #3 Build a business model

It will help you to identify all the internal and external factors that form the building blocks for the business model that can tell everything about the business, like the product, target customers, competition, or any other element of your business.

Why people write a 50-page business plan? It takes money to make money, or so the saying goes. That’s why many entrepreneurs find themselves in a position where they need to court investors or banks – or both. But your potential financiers would like to know what’s going to happen with their money once they hand it over to you. More importantly, they want to know how you plan to turn their investment into more money. That’s why you need a fully-fledged business plan, which we explained in another article.

You know why it’s a good idea to write a one-page business plan, and you could now open a blank Word document to get started. But why do that when there are ready-made templates?

Let’s have a look at some of the popular one-page business plan templates below.

Idea Plan

Idea Plan is created by the IdeaBuddy team, and it is inspired by more popular business model templates, like Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas.

What makes it unique, and why it’s more practical than the other one-page plans?

It is very well organized, easy to understand, and it can be used by people who are not experts in business planning. Also, it has the templates for the most popular business ideas.

one page business plan - ideabuddy
Idea Plan – Copyright: IdeaBuddy

The story starts from the inner, core blocks.

There you are defining the problem/solution and product/market fit that together represent your value proposition, or what makes you stand out from the rest.

Then you are moving on to the remaining blocks, in order to build your business model, and also to understand the external business elements, like competitors and market conditions.

Business Model Canvas

Strategyzer is the team behind Business Model Canvas (BMC), which is a strategic tool for sketching, visualizing, analyzing, and pivoting business models.

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Business Model Canvas – Copyright: Strategyzer.com

This is the most popular one-page business plan template and is has nine building blocks. These blocks allow you to map existing business models, design new ones, and manage a portfolio of models.

Lean Canvas

Lean Canvas was created by Ash Maurya, and it represents an adaptation from the original Business Model Canvas, inspired by the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This one-page business plan can help you deconstruct your idea into its key assumptions.

one page business plan - lean canvas
Lean Canvas – Copyright: Ash Maurya

What’s so special about this template is that it follows the problem-solution approach, and it’s more suitable for startups and entrepreneurs.

Sections Of Your One-Page Business Plan

Hopefully, you’ve picked a template that looks visually appealing and suits your specific needs. Now it’s time to fill it in with all the information we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post.

1. Market needs

You should describe the market needs right at the beginning of your business plan. Your entire business idea relies on solving a specific problem, so make sure you describe it clearly.

2. Business solution

Once you’ve described the problem, it’s time to explain how your business is going to solve it. Whether you want to design a product or provide a service, this is where you sell it to the world.

3. Competition

Chances are that you’re not the only one who wants to solve that particular problem. Make sure you analyze your direct and indirect competition so you know what you’re up against.

4. Target market

Who has the problem your business wants to solve? Where are they in the world, what do they do, and what are their greatest hopes and worst fears? Describe your ideal customer in detail.

5. Sales and marketing

It’s not enough to know who’s interested in what you sell. You also have to sell it to them. Make a plan for how you want to promote your product or service and convert people into customers.

6. Budget and sales goals

You need some money to get this baby off the ground. So what’s your startup budget and how do you plan to spend it? More importantly, how much do you plan to sell and over how long?

7. Milestones/roadmap

Your business will (hopefully!) evolve over time as you build a reputation. What does the future look like? Create a roadmap with milestones to mark significant progress along the way.

8. Team summary

No matter how awesome you are, you’re only one person. It’s good to have a team to help you out. Who are they and what do they bring to the table in terms of skills and experiences?

9. Key partners

Are you selling a product? Then who manufactures it, who distributes it, and who promotes it? You should list your key partners, without which your business can not exist.

10. Funding needs

Finally, we’re at the bottom line… literally. Make a list of people or resources you need but don’t have the capital to afford without the help of outside investment. Specify how much you need.

. . .

Start writing your one-page business plan

Congratulations! Now you know why you should write a one-page plan, where to find some great templates, and what you should include in it.

But knowing is only half the battle.

Now it’s time to put your knowledge into action and actually write the damn thing! Fortunately, you don’t need to go back to Google for a solution to that problem – you’ve already found it.

IdeaBuddy is an excellent platform you can use to go from zero to a fully-fledged business. And the best part? You can write your one-page plan completely for free!

So what are you waiting for? Start writing your one-page business plan today, it’s much easier than you think!

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