If you’re an entrepreneur constantly imagining new business ideas, a one-page business plan can help turn any new idea into a reality. One of the greatest challenges an entrepreneur faces is focusing on the core elements of an idea and adequately vetting it out. Because space is limited, a one-page plan forces an entrepreneur to concisely describe each component of the plan, including the problem, solution, target market, revenue model, and go-to-market strategy. The process enables an entrepreneur to flush out an idea and results in a summary that can be used with potential investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders.
There are many different variations of a one-page business plan which you can find through a simple google search. One popular template is the Lean Canvas by LEANSTACK. While some entrepreneurs use LEANSTACK’s online platform, others simply create their own one-page document.
Core components of your one-page plan
What core components should you include in your one-page business plan? Here are some ideas based on the Lean Canvas, along with brief examples.
What specific problem is your idea trying to solve? This should be a clear and concise statement outlining the pain point or need your product or service is addressing.
“There are no environmentally-friendly cleaning products on the market that are safe for families, particularly children. Existing products are harmful if accidentally consumed and can be absorbed through the skin.”
What products, services, or companies do people currently use to solve the problem?
“All-purpose cleaner by ABC cleaners, Kitchen Magic by XYZ, etc.”
How does your product or service solve the problem?
“EcoClean offers effective cleaning products that contain natural, non-toxic ingredients that are safe for people and the environment. Products include an all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner, and hand wash, which cover most household needs.”
Unique value proposition
What makes the product or service unique and valuable to customers?
“EcoClean cleaning products are as effective as competing products but are non-toxic and bio-degradable.”
Identify the unique qualities or assets that give your business a competitive advantage over other companies in your market. This could be anything from a proprietary technology or product to a strong brand or a highly skilled team.
“EcoClean has formulated a plant-based cleaning solution that is patented in the United States.”
Customer segments refer to the specific groups of customers a business will target with its products or services. In other words, they are the different “types” of customers a business will serve.
“EcoClean will target parents in the United States concerned about the effects of toxic cleaning solutions on their young children. Additionally, EcoClean will target schools.”
Marketing channels are the methods or platforms that a business uses to reach and communicate with its customers. They are channels through which a business can promote its products or services and interact with potential and existing customers.
“EcoClean will use a direct-to-consumer strategy leveraging its website, email marketing, social media, and online advertising.”
This section identifies the various sources of revenue that a business generates from the sales of its products and services.
“EcoClean will provide a subscription-based service that delivers cleaning products to customers quarterly. Subscribers can choose which products they would like included each quarter. We expect the average annual revenue per family will be $400. The subscription model will help create a consistent revenue stream throughout the year for EcoClean.”
What are the core costs that the business will incur to operate and generate revenue? This includes both fixed costs and variable costs. Consider the resources the business needs to operate and also identify any one-time or infrequent costs.
“EcoClean will hold a 50% gross margin product sales by outsourcing fulfillment. EchoClean’s main cost will be online advertising with an expected customer acquisition cost of $200. Fulfillment startup costs require $50,000.”
Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you measure the success and growth of your business. These are the metrics that will give you a clear picture of how well your business is doing and help you identify areas for improvement.
“Key metrics will include the number of subscribers, average annual recurring revenue, gross margin, cost of acquiring a customer, average annual contract value, customer attrition, and customer lifetime value.”
Key partners and resources
Identify the external resources and partnerships essential to a business’s success. Key partners are companies, organizations, or individuals that play a crucial role in the business’s operations. These could include suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, or service providers. Key resources, on the other hand, refer to the internal resources a business needs to operate, such as employees, equipment, and intellectual property.
“EchoClean will outsource the fulfillment and shipping of all products to XYZ Industries. EcoClean will leverage a third-party agency to handle email marketing, social media, and online advertising. Internally, EchoClean will hire a VP of Marketing and a VP of Product Development.”
Using the one-page business plan
Entrepreneurs can use the one-page plan to iterate through a concept individually or with a team. Addressing each core element of the plan helps an entrepreneur quickly flush out an idea and develop a summary document that can be shared with colleagues who can read, understand and challenge the plan. Through this process, an entrepreneur will gain clarity on whether it makes sense to move forward with the idea, pivot, or move on to a different idea.
This article is intended to provide a brief overview of creating a one-page business plan. Please contact our office if you would like to discuss a new product or service idea with one of our expert advisors.