How to write a page business plan
A page business plan? Really? How? Can a whole business plan be written on just a single page? Yeah, I know all these and more are probably the questions going through your mind right now and if you happen to be with me physically, you possibly could have even argued that there is no such thing. But before you use too much energy trying to figure it out, just relax and let me explain.
What is a one-page business plan?
A page business plan is an abridged version of your conventional or traditional business plan – the one you possibly have been used to or familiar with. Writing this kind of document can be very tasking and it is important that you know how to prepare this type because there are times when you’re looking for something as an entrepreneur (most especially funds) and this type of document is actually a requirement. So, knowing how to write a page business plan is very important for people who live and operate in the world of business.
One important thing to emphasize at this point is that a page business plan which is an abridged version is not a replacement for the traditional type, and while it is good for you to have your one-page business plan ready for a day when it will be needed (and you never can tell when that day will be), your normal business plan must be equally prepared ready as that is also needed. As a matter of fact, the most meaningful and accurate one-page business plans are the ones that were made by summarizing existing traditional business plans.
Advantages of a page business plan
So, having said all that, I feel it’s important for me to talk a little bit about why a single-page business plan can be important before we even begin to look at how it is prepared. Here are some of the advantages:
- A page business plan presents your entire business idea at a glance, which can be a good thing if the person or group of people you are trying to communicate with are busy people. Many entrepreneurs have missed investment and funding opportunities in their business simply because the persons at the receiving ends of their business documents are busy and do not have the required time to go through the bulky traditional business plan they have presented.
- It is a very good tool during an elevator pitch.
- It provides a good opportunity to quickly grab the attention of investors and lenders.
- Just like you cannot summarize an essay you have not read and understood in an examination, the process of summarizing your traditional business plan into a single-page business plan forces you to have a better grasp of your business ideas and concepts. If you can summarize and meaningfully compress your business plan and ideas in a way that grabs attention, it means you have studied your conventional plans deeply, and this is a good thing.
- It helps partners and investors to gain a quick understanding of your business ideas and concepts, especially when it is done properly.
How to write a page business plan
- Begin by writing and completing your conventional business plan
As we have rightly said earlier, a very smart way of arriving at your single-paged business plan is to have your traditional business plan written and completed first. Yeah, this is not the only way to get it done but it is a better way of getting it done. If you jump directly to write a page business plan from scratch without any recourse to a fully written business plan, there can be too many assumptions in the facts you’re presenting as the research leading to the business plan will either be shallow or outrightly non-existent. A traditional business plan usually calls for hard work and detailed research cannot be avoided or easily glossed over like you can do when you’re writing a page business plan.
- Understand every component of your traditional business plan
Being able to meaningfully summarize your entire traditional business plan into a page document requires an in-depth understanding of your original business plan. Without it, the summary is bound to be meaningless as well. This is one point that can not be overemphasized. This is because, creating a page business plan is mostly about summarization and compression, and your ability to do this meaningfully largely depends on your understanding of each section/part of your traditional business plan and how each section relates with each other and work together to produce the overall objectives of the business plan.
Read Also: How to write a business plan step by step
- Summarize each of the sections in your main business plans into a paragraph
A section in your traditional business plan can be up to 3 or 4 pages, and it can be more than that sometimes. This isn’t an easy task but once you have taken your time to understand the entire parts of the main document, you can easily summarize it meaningfully using simple words that capture the most important and the most relevant idea about the entire section in question. For instance, “Marketing Plan” is an entire section in your traditional business plan that could take several pages depending on the complexity of the business you are involved with. So, if you are working on a single-page business plan for the same business, you have to find a way to summarize the entire Marketing Plan section into a paragraph at most.
The implication of this part of the exercise is that when you are done here, all the main sections of your business plan would have become a paragraph each. For instance, if your main business plan contains 8 sections namely: business description, market need, and your solution, target market, sales, and marketing, budget and sales goals, milestones, teams and operations, financials, and funding needed, you would have ended up with nothing more than 8 paragraphs in all which, of course, will be more than a page.
- Summarize each paragraph into short sentences
Finally, you need further summarization of each paragraph from the previous stage into short, simple but loaded sentences. Just following the same principles in the stage above, and finding ways to remove repetitions, and using better word constructions that capture more ideas using lesser words, you will arrive at a page or less eventually. If possible and if there is excess space, you may use one or two charts or diagrams that reinforce one or two sections of the plan. In fact, certain sections’ texts can be outrightly replaced with a chart or diagram. For example, you can use a chart or diagram only to present your sales profitability projections without including any text about that entire aspect.
- Pay attention to the formatting and style of your document
When creating a page business plan, you should use a font type, font size, and spacing that favour your write-up not exceeding one page. However, you should ensure that the letterings are legible enough and can be easily read by whoever needs to assess your document. There is no sense in making the whole thing so messed up that people have to strain their eyes before they can read your document, just because you want to compress it into a page.
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