Finish Your Business Plan Before Your Coffee

Feature

There are several intimidating things about starting your own business, but making a plan should not be one of them. Roblotter loves plans and believes that planning is an essential step to creating success. So if you want to be successful, but don’t have a lot of time or are intimidated by writing your own plan, then here is a simple, one-page format that you can complete in the time it takes you to finish your morning coffee.

Planning is probably one of the most important things that you can do, but as a busy person there is so little time to dedicate to drafting a 60-page business plan to guide your enterprise. Many people I have worked with put off this important step because it seems too daunting, but the fact of the matter is that we can streamline the process. That’s why I love Inc.com’s recent post about creating a business plan in under 20 minutes.

Using the “Running Lean” methodology created by Ash Maurya, in his book, Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Workswe can narrow the required information to get started. The key elements to any good plan are:

  1. A problem to solve
  2. What kind of customers or followers you want to attract
  3. What value (implied or expressed) will you provide to customers
  4. The solution to the problem your are trying to solve
  5. How you will deliver your goods or services to clients
  6. Specific ways your business will make money
  7. Costs to create or provide your product and service
  8. Identify measurable statistics that will help you judge success
  9. And your “unfair advantage (something that can’t be easily copied or bought)”

Now, by writing say, a sentence or two about each item above you can fit your entire business plan onto one page in the time it takes to finish your frappuccino. That’s genius.

Roblotter has been working to simplify the process too, here, here, and here. While you may need to develop more complicated and in depth reports if you are seeking money, such as loans or investment capital, you don’t need to get bogged down when you are first starting out. This one-pager could also become your cover page or introduction to a more detailed plan.

Roblotter will be running more articles on the subject, so be sure to follow along on Facebook or Twitter, and let me know if you think this is doable.

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