One Page Business Plans
At times, a substantial and detailed business plan is required, particularly if you are applying for finance or are in startup mode. The risk with these lengthy documents is that they never get used properly. Often, a neat one pager is sufficient. Let’s chat about the contents of a one page business plan and its advantages.
The most well known one-page business plan is the Business Model Canvas approach by Osterwalder. This is a favourite of mine and a default when I am nutting out a new product, checking in on progress and strategy, or just dreaming. The model consists of nine building blocks: customer segment, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, costs structures. It isn’t a business speak-heavy as it sounds, the boog is excellent and covers all the business concepts a modern business owner needs to know.
Many of my clients plan their business on our Five P’s framework.
The process is fun, colorful and visual. To get started, you need five A4 pieces of paper and lots of post-it notes. It is ideal if this is done on the wall or spread out on a table or bench. Each page represents one of the P’s: Plan, People, Product, Process, Promote—write one of these across the top of each page.
Now, with pen and post-it notes ready, stand and brainstorm every single idea you have and every activity you need to do and go wild. Write single ideas and tasks on to a single post it note. Then stick the note on the page you think it fits best. There will be overlap, first guess is the best!
Recap. Paper, pen, post-it notes on the wall. Brainstorm. Stick ideas and activities under their best P.
I now predict that on each P page, many of the post-it notes will naturally be able to group together. Shuffle them around on the page to form best possible groups. Finish this step by putting a circle around the cluster of notes. Voila. Now you have doable bit-sized projects. Repeat for every P page.
Now, time to prioritize!
With all of the pages laid out in front of you, select the very best possible project to start on. Write a big Number 1 on this project. Proceed through all the projects numbering down priority order. I name all my projects, for instance—website wonderfulness, marketing magic, fantastic finances, etc. …
Lastly, block it to rock it. Allocate the month during which you will start each of your projects and the month by which you will finish it. Repeat. Write it all up in your diary. Better still, fill a year planner with these key dates or take a big piece of fresh paper divided into months and block it all out visually for your wall.
Implementation is key. This is where the default diary is a powerful time management tool. To eat the elephant you need to take one bite at a time, so it is true for implementing business projects. I encourage you, strongly, to allocate a weekly or fortnightly business development time in your diary to work ON your business. Let’s do this!