How to Write a One-Page Business Plan

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Growthink One Page Business Plan Template

The one-page business plan is one of the most popular tools for entrepreneurs, startups, and established companies. It’s also one of the simplest to develop. This article will walk you through a description of a one-page business plan, the purpose of this type of plan, and how to create a one-page business plan for your company.
 

What is a One-Page Business Plan?

A one-page business plan is a compressed version of a traditional business plan that fits neatly into a single page. Creating a one-page business plan requires significant research, strategizing and financial modeling on the front end to be effective. In that respect, rather than being easier or simpler to create than a full-length business plan, the single-page business plan actually requires an additional distillation effort for the entrepreneur.

As always, utilizing a business plan template provides the basis for you to clearly communicate your value proposition, business concept, business strategy, services, product offerings, etc., and improve your business planning process. ​
 

Benefits of Using a One-Page Plan

A one-page plan is easier to read, share and understand.

By boiling down your business plan into one page with only the most important elements, you are better able to 1) focus on the key action items your business must accomplish and 2) present your vision and plan to your team in a way that won’t overwhelm them and will allow them to most easily understand it.

The reward is that the brevity of a one-page business plan is very attractive to prospective investors, who are usually pressed for time. Because it is so brief, it is also an effective tool to share among your management team and employees to get your team motivated and working towards the same goals. A strong one-page business plan proves you grasp the crux of your business and appreciate what is most critical for audiences to quickly understand about it.

Below, we walk through the content of a one-page business planning template.
 

The One-Page Business Plan Template

Whether you are starting a service business or a product-focused business, your one-page business plan should include the following 7 items:

  1. Problem
  2. Solution
  3. Business Model
  4. Market Analysis
  5. Competitor Analysis
  6. Financial Projections
  7. Funding Required & Uses of Funds

Each of these items are detailed below.

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How to Create a One-Page Business Plan

Each of the key elements included in a traditional business plan retains its position in the one-page business plan. You need only provide a few words, phrases, or sentences in the description for each of the sections and move on to the next. The following are the essential elements:

1. Problem

identify customer problemProblems are unmet or underserved needs of people you have observed. Identifying a problem is the starting point for entrepreneurs to develop relevant business ideas and plans. Your business is relevant because you propose to meet this need.

For example, Netflix in its budding days identified a problem with video stores. It was time consuming and inconvenient to go to the video store every time you felt like watching a new movie.

2. Solution

the key to attract customersIn the solution section of your single-page business plan, you bring out your business idea that will solve the problem you highlighted above. Your product and/or service is immediately justified because of the problem you had introduced to the audience beforehand. In one or two sentences, explain how your business solves or meets the identified problem.

Again, looking at Netflix, the company initially solved the problem of time consumption and inconvenience by delivering movies directly to customers’ homes.

3. Business Model

how will your new business make moneyA business model highlights how your organization will create and capture value, or make money. You will need to provide details like production costs, selling costs, pricing strategy and distribution channels among others. You may also create a business model canvas, but it’s not typically part of a one-page business plan template.

Consider the example of YouTube. YouTube’s business model hinges on users who by and large engage on the platform for free. YouTube leverages this ever-increasing user base to attract advertisers, which provides revenues.

4. Market Analysis

target market researchThe market analysis includes a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of a particular group your business will target. Through market research, you should identify the size of the target market, regulatory considerations, and customer segments along with their respective buying powers and patterns.

For example, Swedish furniture brand Ikea’s US target market could be described as urban young professionals who like the Scandinavian style and are willing to put in a little setup work themselves to save money on quality furnishings. These individuals spend, on average, $8,000 on furnishing when they move into a new home or apartment.

5. Competitive Analysis

provide your customers with better serviceIn this section, identify your main competitors, who could turn into competitors with time and your competitive advantage.

Take the example of coffee giant Starbucks. Their competitor analysis would yield large brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread and McDonald’s McCafé, as well as boutique coffee shops on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis. Starbucks differentiates itself through providing specialty coffee products of consistent quality under a national brand.

Bonus: Download our business plan template here and complete your business plan today.


6. Financial Plan & Projections

sales goals to make more moneyStrong financial projections include an income statement, a cash flow statement and a balance sheet. These detailed spreadsheets will not fit into a simple one-page business plan. Instead, include one or two graphs that illustrate the crux of your financial projections. This works for both a small business or larger companies.

See below for example graphs that show a growth in topline revenues year over year as well as the projected revenue distribution by service area for a hair salon:

Financial Projections for One-Page Plan

7. Funding Required & Uses of Funds

detailed information regarding the use of fundsHere, you must clearly write about your funding expectations from the investors you are pitching to. Provide additional detail in either a short table, words, or pie chart of the amount of capital you are seeking from investors and its proposed uses.

See below for an example table of fund uses for a startup hair salon:

Use of Business Plan Funding
 

Free Downloadable One-Page Business Plan PDF

Click the image below to download our one-page business plan pdf.

one page business plan pdf

Download Growthink’s One-Page-Business-Plan-Template for Microsoft Word

 

Final Thoughts

Remember to focus on your business’ strengths as much as you can. If your market analysis reveals you have a strong position then highlight it more in the single-page plan. Likewise, if your financial projections come out stronger then elongate the financial section.

Editing the enormity of a business plan into a single page is a daunting task but doing so will bring clarity to the core idea and value of your business and help you pitch well in front of potential investors.
 

One-Page Business Plan FAQs

Traditional business plans are sometimes 25-50 pages long. It's hard to read that many pages for one company, let alone dozens of them.

One-page business plans are more digestible. 

They provide key points on what you do, why you do it, and how you plan for growth. 

A one-page business plan is a reduced version of a traditional business plan that can be easily wrapped onto a single sheet of paper.

The key elements included in a one-page business plan are:

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Business Model
  • Market Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Financial Projections
  • Funding Required & Uses of Funds

On the other hand, a lean business plan is a short-term planning method that allows you to more quickly and accurately develop your business plan based on actual customer feedback and interactions. A lean business plan is focused more on helping you build a better business and testing a variety of strategies to assess if they are effective for your chosen business model. 

Also in a single-page format, the key elements included in this type of plan are:

  • Business Overview
  • Value Proposition
  • Key Partnerships
  • Key Activities
  • Key Resources
  • Customer Relationships
  • Customer Segments & Channels
  • Cost Structure
  • Revenue Streams

A typical rule of thumb for these types of plans is that every sentence should be meaningful and useful for orientation purposes in order to appease investors in an efficient way while retaining their interest long enough to make an informed decision about investing in your business. 

Looking for more information? Lean Business Plan: How-To Guide & Template


 

Finish Your Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your business plan today.

 

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies that have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to see how Growthink’s professional business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

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