For many, writing a business plan seems like a daunting task. You may even have been putting it off. A traditional business plan is longer and more complex, so many people ignore this important first step.
Instead, start with a one-page business plan to simplify the process and get started on your new venture.
What is a One-Page Business Plan?
A one-page business plan is a simplified version of a full business plan. Although the plan is shorter, it still outlines the basics of your future company. It follows the same structure as the standard version but with less detail. The one-page plan allows you to condense the information and present it in an easy-to-read format.
Similar plans like a lean business plan or executive summary also allow you to present your business in a condensed format. However, a true one-page business plan must fit on one page. It must also use a legible font size like an 11 or 12-point font.
When to Use a One-Page Business Plan?
You should use a one-page business plan when ready to present your ideas to others, such as potential investors. Instead of having to fill out a large business plan, you can start small to get started. This lets you present your ideas simply and cogently.
You should use a one-page business plan template to:
- Present a simple version of your business plan to interested investors
- Get started on writing a more comprehensive business plan
- Create a plan for a small business or one with a simple purpose
- Focus on your key ideas to generate interest
- Brainstorm and plan for your future company
Who Should Use a One-Page Business Plan?
One-page business plans aren’t limited to just one type of business; they can be used in a multitude of scenarios, including:
Idea phase – A one-page business plan is ideal for building a simple, quick overview for people and businesses still brainstorming their business idea. A simple plan allows it to be amended and updated as the idea is developed and keeps all the ideas on a single page.
Startups – When you’re first starting, you will want to constantly refer back to your business plan to ensure you’re sticking to your goals and core objectives. A traditional business plan doesn’t quite fit into an agile startup because it can be time-consuming to update and tweak as you grow and learn. Using a one-page plan means you can edit it easily as you go and either create a traditional plan down the line or, if you’ve already made one, fully update it once you feel more concrete with your plans.
Established companies – A one-page business plan isn’t limited to new and developing businesses. Established companies can take advantage of adding a one-page plan to their business strategy. You will be able to share your existing strategy internally and externally in a snapshot that will be easily understood by all, helping everyone to get on board with your goals.
How to Write a One-Page Business Plan?
Writing a one-page business plan is simple, especially when you use a template to help you get started. A one-page business plan should cover the following sections:
Step 1 – Business Overview
You should discuss important facts about your business and its identifying information, such as:
- Founding date
- Mission statement
- Type of business (LLC, Corporation, Partnership, etc.)
- Owner and leadership contact information
- Service of process information
Step 2 – Market Analysis
You need to identify who your customers are and where they are located. This section should also address how many potential customers are available in your business’s geographical area. This should also include whether you will engage in primarily business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) transactions.
Step 3 – Your Business Model
A description of your business model should include information like:
- How you will make money
- Costs of production and sales
- Prices customers will pay for products or services
- Will your company sell products online?
- Will you have a storefront presence?
This section could easily become lengthy. Focus on the key components of your business for the single-page business plan.
Step 4 – Financial Forecast
This section should outline critical financial metrics like cash flow, profit and loss, and a sales forecast. This part is often difficult to condense, but you should focus on standard business ratios that help you get the point across. You can always provide further details if you receive a request for financial projections.
Step 5 – The Team
This final section should detail the names, positions, roles, and responsibilities of each member of your team.
One-Page Business Plan Sample
You can download a free one-page business plan template below, in Word or PDF format:
Advantages and Disadvantages of a One-Page Business Plan
All types of business plans have their benefits and their drawbacks, including a one-page business plan:
Advantages of Using a One-Page Business Plan:
- See the big picture – There will be plenty of situations through the growth of the business that will require a snapshot of your business venture. A one-page plan shows multiple elements of your strategy but focuses on the big picture and what’s important.
- Consense your thoughts and ideas – Having to condense your thoughts and ideas allow you to be more critical of your business and provide a brief overview of your plan. It allows you to show investors, your management team, and potential partners a quick run-through of your business.
- Faster to create than a traditional business plan – Designed to be completed quickly and easily, a one-page plan is much quicker to create than a full-length business plan and will see you running through each section of your plan. You’ll likely have to revisit it to make amendments, but luckily with everything on one page, it won’t be time-consuming.
- Keep your core objectives at the forefront – As your business grows, processes and operations will become more difficult to manage and stay on top of. But when it comes down to making the big decisions, you can always refer back to your one-page business plan to keep your core business objectives in mind.
Disadvantages of Using a One-Page Business Plan:
- Not suitable for complex business ideas that require lots of supporting data – If your business idea is complex or your financial projections are detailed, you might struggle to get all the vital information into a one-page plan.
- Not as detailed as a traditional business plan – Squeezing all of your business plans onto one page often means you will miss out on important details that could be crucial to getting investment or bringing additional partners on board.
- Hard to identify weaknesses and potential opportunities – Only seeing a snapshot of your business can make it difficult to identify any potential weaknesses that could harm your business venture. The lack of in-depth customer and competitor information could also result in missing profitable opportunities.
Tips for Creating a One-Page Business Plan
Now that you’re ready to create your one-page business plan, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Use a one-page business plan template to make the process quick and easy; you can download the template above in PDF and Word.
- Make sure your plan focuses on the core information that is key to running and operating a successful business.
- Revisit, tweak and change. This isn’t a static document; update it as your business grows and develops.
- Before writing your single-page business plan, understand your target market and where your product or service fits. Don’t forget your value proposition.
- Don’t skip the financial projections, especially if you require funding.
- Keep your core goals and objectives realistic and achievable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should a one-page business plan include?
A one-page business plan should include the important details about your business. It should contain succinct information about the following:
- Business goals and mission statement
- Product or service offerings
- Target market and advertising strategies
- Identifying information
- Financial status and funding needs
Can I create my one-page business plan?
Yes, you can create your one-page plan. Just download the template and start building your business strategy’s big picture. Alternatively, you could use our document builder, the fastest and easiest way to create your single-page business plan.