When consulting for businesses, the first thing I ask owners to do is write their business plan on one page. Consulting with businesses begins with asking the right questions to acquire this information as well. This tells me two things:
- Have they burned their business plan into their memory?
- Can they make it as simple and precise as possible?
Most business owners can’t do this exercise well and this is where many problems start. You need to understand the fundamentals of your business to know what to fix from day-to-day. Business owners and start-ups not knowing what is on their business plan is far more common than you would think. I feel that the main reason this occurs is because the business plan may not seem to have an impact on key metrics or too accomplishing goals. This is a common misconception.
Every single business has to continuously change and adapt. This involves knowing what the parts of your business plan are and how it’s going to change. The moment any business stops moving forward is the moment they start to fall behind. The business plan is fundamental to understanding and exemplifying your business. That is why knowing your business plan is so vital to a business. Your business plan doesn’t become irrelevant when your business evolves. Your business plan simply adapts and should reflect that.
The one page business plan has several different fundamental parts to it. Different people may have different parts on it to echo your unique business. Some of the key parts to a one page business plan will include items such as:
- Customer Problem
- Product/Service Solution
- Customer Value
- Business Model
- Target Market
- Competitive Advantage
- Direction & Positioning
- Management Team
- Financial Summary
- Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
A business owner should know the majority of the sections of their business plan off the top of their head. I don’t expect them to know every single item, but the more the better. Getting a one page business plan strips it to the bones. It trims out the needless words that add fluff. You need to understand your business at it’s simplest. One Page!
It a tough exercise for so many business owners and that’s the biggest problem. Knowing simple things like your competitive advantage and customer value will completely change how you run your business. The day to day actions reflect your business plan. Make sure your properly implementing your unique strategy.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Knowing something as basic as like the value you offer customers will lead you in running your business in an organized and goal driven manner. This includes leading your employees in selling products and services to your customers. As well as accomplishing operational goals and consistently on target for your key objectives.
This outline has all the basic areas that a business needs to consider for long-term growth. A business plan is only the foundation of a business and you make it into an architectural masterpiece.
I can’t comprehend why a business owner doesn’t know their business. A plan in business will define your success because you don’t know what to do without a plan forward. Implementing plans effectively is especially difficult when you try to communicate a plan to various departments or coworkers. Please don’t be that person who thinks they can be successful without one either. This simple exercise will shed light on many of the major problems any small business has. This is why you should expect to make one when your working with most consultants or as least know the information within one.
Addition: Because I was asked by so many people, I have included a one page business plan for you to print and use. Download Here → OnePageBusinessPlan-JoeyGedgaud
Need some help or have suggestions? Let us know in the comments below!