Creating the plan can seem downright daunting, yet Bytnar says it
doesn’t have to be. You don’t need an expertly manicured or incredibly
lengthy document to be successful. The best business plans are thorough
and concise, which can all be accomplished in one page.
A successful one-page business plan should include the following three key elements:
● The first is the mission statement, where you summarize the
organization’s purpose. Describe the values, goals, and culture of the
company. Answer the questions “What business are we in?” and “What is
our business for?”
● The second is the vision statement, this segment provides strategic
direction and describes what you want the company to achieve in the
future. What do you want to provide to the customer? These goals should
be specific and straightforward while striking a balance between
ambitious and achievable.
● Finally, an evaluation element should provide the framework for
focusing on the strengths of your business and minimizing potential
Bytnar recommends using the SWOT Analysis as your evaluation tool in
your business plan. Created in the 1960s by a management consultant, the
acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
It is a solid tool for successful long-term planning and growth.
Let’s look at each step:
Strengths – A company’s capabilities. Ask yourself what can you do well
and how do you stand apart from competitors? Examples include a strong
brand name or a good reputation among customers.
Weaknesses – Where can you improve? A high cost structure or poor
reputation among customers would be examples of weaknesses. Try to
clearly identify what your business may be lacking.
Opportunities – This is where you identify areas of potential profit and
growth in your market. Are there unfulfilled customer needs or new
technologies available to tap into for example. Can the perception of
your business be positively improved?
Threats – Outline the changes that present a risk to the company. Has
there been a shift in client taste? Types of threats can also include
things like new regulations or potential competitors. Is there anything
decreasing your profits?
Once you have created your working business plan, you can use it as a
springboard for digging deeper. Ask for advice. Review, revise, and add
as necessary. Consider expanding your business plan with Key Performance
Indicators or KPIs. These are measurable values that demonstrate what
you can do to achieve your business goals. Take a look at your business
plan at the end of the year and assess your achievements and progress.
“I challenge you to start today,” Bytnar said. “Take 15 minutes and jot
some ideas down. Business planning is a long-term commitment. You’ll
need to start harvesting those ideas and data so you can make good