If you have a business idea, there are many steps between coming up with the idea and launching your business. You have to figure out what you’re going to sell, who you’re going to sell to, and how you will make a profit. With so many moving parts in play, it can seem a bit overwhelming to keep track of them all. Fortunately, with a one-page business plan, you can consolidate your planning to build a strong foundation upon which to launch your enterprise.
If you haven’t developed a one-page business plan before, don’t worry. We’re here to show you the ins and outs of this document and how to make it as comprehensive as possible (while sticking to one page).
How to Create a One-Page Business Plan
When developing this document, you need to be able to distill lots of information into one or two sentences. In some cases, it might be easier to write these sentences first and work from there. For example, when discussing the products you’ll sell, you can write something like, “We sell organic dog food for purebred pets.” From there, it’s easier to stay on track than if you just know you want to sell “dog food.”
Research Market Need (and Solve It)
Before even starting a business, you want to make sure you can succeed. After all, if there’s no demand for your products or services, how can you expect to make any money?
So, during this step, you need to conduct some market research before developing new products. What problems are customers having, and how can you solve them? Using our dog food example above, the problem may be that dog owners want a healthy and safe option for their pets. In this case, you can research how popular organic dog food is among different demographics. You can look at Google search trends and sales data from within the industry.
This phase is essential because it tells you whether your business model is feasible or not. For example, if organic dog food searches were trending downward, that indicates a lack of interest in the product. So, you might fail before you even begin.
Which Products or Services Will You Offer?
In this step, the important thing is to be as specific as possible. As we mentioned, selling “dog food” may be too broad, and it’s hard to narrow your focus. One easy way to figure out how to describe your products is to think about how you would optimize your website for SEO. As a rule, it’s far better to have a niche product. If you sell multiple items, describe each one in detail.
Also, you should think about your customer demographic and what they value most. For example, organic dog food may be most popular among suburban, middle-class families. So, they might prefer food with different ingredients than city-dwelling, low-income individuals. Often, it helps to develop an ideal customer avatar. This way, you can address their specific needs more easily.
What’s Your Business Model?
A business model is much different than a business plan. While a plan involves every aspect of your business, a model focuses on how you’re going to make money. In many cases, you might want to develop your model before working on a business plan including email security to protecting your business services from being copied from your competitors. The core elements of a business model are:
- Market Size – How many potential customers are within your market?
- Market Demand – How valuable are your products or services? Is demand growing or slowing?
- Profitability – What kind of profit margins can you expect with your product? Consider your operational costs as well.
- Resources – What resources are already at your disposal? Which ones do you need to secure, and how?
- Partners and Management – Who is running the business, and what experience or insight do they bring to the table?
While you can outline these components in your one-page plan, you should also develop a comprehensive business model to show investors and lenders.
The Advantages of a One-Page Business Plan
As we’ll discuss, there are many factors to consider and research before executing your business plan. Typically, this document can be upwards of 40 or 50 pages.
A one-page business plan, however, is an ideal option for entrepreneurs looking to start a small business in speed and have all the necessities in one place:
- Easier to Secure Funding – Whether you need a business loan or investors, having a one-page plan lets lenders get a sense of your business before diving into a larger document.
- Helps You Stay Focused – Before filling in the details of your one-page business plan, you should create an outline based on this list. That way, as you gather more information, you can always come back to the page to figure out the next step.
- Gives You a Bird’s-Eye View of Your Business – Since there are so many intricate details involved in starting a business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A one-page plan helps you visualize your company more efficiently so that you don’t get bogged down with the minutiae of individual processes.
Who Are Your Competitors?
Just as you need to research your target customer, you also need to figure out which other companies are competing for their business. In this section, you want to look at the top and bottom-performing companies. For example, when selling dog food, you’re competing against big brands like Iams and Purina, as well as smaller operations. You should pay attention to where these brands operate, the size of their market share, and the products they offer. The more information you can gather, the easier it is to figure out the next step – your competitive edge.
What Marketing Strategies Will You Use?
As a new business, you need to promote yourself aggressively to build brand awareness and recognition. So, how do you plan to make a name for yourself in a crowded marketplace? In this step, you want to include marketing elements like:
- Brand Assets – If possible, create a logo to include in your business plan. Fortunately, AI logo makers allow you to do this quickly and efficiently. Other assets can include business cards, website mock-ups, and more.
- Marketing Channels – Will you promote your business on social media or more traditional means? Will you have a marketing budget to use paid ads to reach new customers?
- Brand Identity – What do you want people to think of when they see your brand? If you had to describe your company as a person, which terms would you use?
How Will You Cover the Costs?
Finally, you need to break down the financial side of your business. Here is where you can discuss your existing funds as well as any you’ve already secured. For example, perhaps your business partner has supplied $20,000 in startup funds, but you need another $50,000 to buy equipment and supplies.
If you need to secure funding, it’s best to break down exactly what you need the money for. Also, don’t try to get money to pay yourself. Most investors have no interest in supplying funds so entrepreneurs can get a big payday. Instead, focus on elements like equipment, warehouse space, website development, and more.
As you can see, a one-page business plan allows you to condense the ins and outs of your new venture efficiently. Once you complete this document, you’re practically ready to launch!
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