LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
The One Page Business Plan
LAUREN DUREN, SENIOR ACCOUNTANT
Traditional business plans usually consist of dozens of pages of text and data tables. They can take many days or even weeks to produce. But if your small business is seeking financing, you may need one.
Or do you? Can you get by with a one-page look at your company’s structure and financials?
There may be occasions when you can. Even if you’re required to present a lengthy, by-the-book business plan to a potential lender or partner or other interested party, summing it all up on one sheet of paper can be a helpful exercise. There may be numerous occasions when you can introduce your company with a document that’s longer than an elevator pitch but shorter than your average Executive Summary. In fact, that may be all that some investors want to see.
What would a “business plan lite” look like? It could consist of several short sections, answering questions you had to ponder yourself as you prepared to launch your company.
First, what problem(s) did you hope to solve with your products and/or services?
Many businesses have been started because the founder had a personal or professional need and didn’t like the available solutions. The founder of a popular invoicing website, for example, created his application because he saved over an important invoice created in Microsoft Word.
What is your solution?
It will be hard to boil your dream down into a paragraph the size of a Tweet. Try to frame your product description in terms of how it will benefit buyers.
How/why will your product make money?
You don’t have room for a spreadsheet here, but you can touch on issues like production, distribution, and pricing.
What does the competitive landscape look like?
Who else is selling similar solutions, and in what ways is yours better (cost, quality, geographical location, effectiveness, etc.)? If you’ve come up with a unique product that has no serious rivals, the rest of your mini-plan needs to be especially robust and convincing.
Who’s going to buy it?
Other businesses, or consumers? Is it a local solution, or one that might have national or even global appeal? Who do you picture as your customers (age, gender, economic status, interests)?
How will prospects find their way to you?
Do you anticipate needing a sizable marketing/advertising budget, or are you planning more cost-effective ways to spread the word?
Why are you the right person to launch this venture?
Toot your own horn a little here, but avoid over-selling yourself. Point to any experience or expertise that will increase the chances that your entrepreneurial vision can be a successful reality.
If you do find yourself in need of help with a comprehensive business plan, we can help, particularly with the complex financial reports required. We can take a look at your entire business plan and suggest how you might make it more effective. Contact us soon, and we’ll get started.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LAUREN DUREN + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT
Lauren Duren is a Senior Accountant at Lutz with over three years of relevant experience. She provides outsourced accounting services to clients with a focus on tax, payroll compliance, and healthcare consulting.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Outsourced Accounting
- Payroll Compliance
- Healthcare Accounting Consulting
- Nonprofit Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Certified Public Accountant
- MBA, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
- BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
- Lutz Gives Back, Volunteer
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