A business plan is a crucial part of starting a new business.
It is one of the things every small business needs, as it can help you define your business strategy, target market, goals, plans of action, and more.
While an extensive, traditional business plan is invaluable to your success, knowing how to condense that into a single-page business plan is just as crucial.
A one page business plan template helps you look at things from a wider perspective.
While it is quicker to make, a one-page business plan must still be packed with key elements so that you, or anyone else in your team, can focus on the important things about your business.
Read on if you’re interested in creating a one-page business plan template.
We’ll go over use cases and other important details about the plan, so stick around.
What Is a One Page Business Plan Template?
A one-page business plan template, also known as a lean business plan, is similar in principle to a traditional plan template.
But instead of being 30, 40, or 50-plus pages long, it’s only written on a page.
A lean business plan is much more stripped down and less detailed than a traditional one; however, it does not sacrifice clarity and the main points of your business plan.
This means that you don’t need to go into too much detail that your lean business plan template transforms into a more traditional one.
And at the same time, you don’t hold back on too much information that you write vague or incomplete plans, as that can confuse you or your business partners.
What’s the Point of a One-Page Business Plan Template?
A one-page business plan is called a lean business plan because, although not as big and full as a traditional plan, it still packs quite a punch and is potent when used correctly.
For most people, business plans aren’t something that you can or should skimp on since they can act as a guide throughout your journey.
The success or failure of your business often relies on how well it’s structured and how much you’re following it.
However, some people don’t need extensive details and can instead fall back to something simpler but equally complete in favor of less time and effort spent on establishing the document.
This is where one-page plans come in.
These one-page plans are useful for internal use within the company rather than showing off your business resources and strategy to your potential investors or lenders.
For example, by hanging a one-page business plan on the walls of your company office, you can give your team a reminder of the current status quo and what to focus on.
A one-page plan can also be useful for small businesses or charity organizations that don’t need to spend as much time on writing the plan.
Benefits of a One-Page Business Plan
- Saves time: For starters, a one-page business plan can be written in as little as an hour, or even less if you already know everything you need to write about beforehand. In contrast, a traditional plan can take up to months to complete.
- Easy to skim through (full focus): If you need to check on the current state of affairs or just have a reminder of what you or your team need to do, it’s much easier to do so with a one-page template than a full 40+ page document.
- Understood by everyone: A single-page plan is more beginner-friendly and can be understood by anyone on your team. As it doesn’t go into as much detail as a traditional plan, it relies less on jargon.
- Easy to update: A one-page plan is easier to update than an entire booklet, especially with big changes.
What Are the Elements of a One-Page Business Plan?
As a business overview, the one-page plan should contain the most crucial elements of how to run a business, often depicted as boxes.
Inside these boxes, you can include relevant sub-elements or activities as bullet points or lists.
Since no two companies are the same, most business plans differ on what to include, but the idea is generally similar.
Here are some of the most common elements you’ll find in one-page business plans:
- Company Description: A short statement highlighting the business idea and what the team consists of.
- Value Proposition or Competitive Advantage: How does the company bring value to the market and potential customers? Why should new customers resort to this company?
- Competitors: Listing some of your biggest competitors is always useful, but you could also define what your competition is in more general terms.
- Business Partners: If you plan on working with other businesses, suppliers, contractors, or else, it’s always beneficial to list them in your business plan.
- Target Market: Considering your target audience is crucial to establishing an effective marketing plan. You can list customer segments if there are multiple.
- Key Activities: What are the actions you need to take to grow this business, win over more customers, and increase profit margins? These activities could be directed at individuals or specific segments like the management team.
- Marketing Strategy: Listing a marketing strategy can help your team figure out how to reach customers. You can also list some key marketing activities here.
- Resources: Consider all the resources your company has, from capital, labor, funding, property, and others that could help you achieve your goals.
- Revenue Streams: What are the channels that your business will make money through? Are they reliable, and for how long?
When Not to Use a One-Page Business Plan Template
A one-page plan sounds wonderful for many reasons, but it’s still the far less popular option when compared to a full-size business plan.
The latter is often considered the full guide to running the business from start to finish, including all the fine details.
The full business plan can also act as a handbook when you run into problems.
In comparison, a one-page business plan couldn’t possibly fit all the details needed to cover all scenarios your company might go through.
Lastly, if you’re looking for additional funding, you should know that prospective investors will ask for a full business plan, as it can give them all the information they need to analyze your chances and see whether the risk is worth the potential return on investment.
A one-page business plan template, also known as a lean business plan, can provide numerous benefits over its counterpart in just a single page.
For example, it can help you and your team get a full overview or make changes to the plan while saving plenty of time.
However, don’t forget that a one-page plan isn’t always a viable alternative to a full business plan.
For example, investors will almost always ask for the latter.
Lastly, feel free to check out our guide on how to start a business plan for more inspiration on establishing your plan!