Simple Business Plan:
How to Keep it Short and Simple

A short simple business plan written down on paper is much better than having no plan at all.

Business plans don't need to be complicated.

There are lots and lots of business plan templates that you can download off the internet and most of them are long and complicated to fill in, making it very easy to get discouraged.

However, detailed business plans are only necessary if you're applying for finance from a lending organization. If it's just for you to use, you can make a simple business plan that it as short, long, detailed or undetailed as you like. Some of the best business plans for small business we've seen are 1-2 pages long.

In fact, over-planning is almost as bad as no planning. It's great to sketch out a vision and plan but you also need to be able to flex, adapt and learn as you go.

So, hold on to your simple business plan lightly.

How to write a business plan for small business

1. Your Business:

Business name and a tagline if you have one

2. Your Vision:

When you're writing a small business plan always start with your vision. This is what gets you out of bed in the morning. Even for a simple business plan, you need to describe your vision in such a way that it really motivates you.

So, describe your vision in your own words:

  • What is your ultimate goal?
  • What would you like your business to look like in 20 years?
  • What products/services are you offering?
  • What are you known for?
  • What area do you operate in?(eg. regional, international?)
  • Who are your ideal customers?
  • What would you like your customers to say about you?
  • Why are you creating the business (ie. what gets you out of bed in the morning?)
  • What impact do you want your business to have on your customers and the wider community? Why?

3. Your mission

Your mission statement should contain a brief business description. What's in it for the customer and you? What do you do, for whom do you do it, how and where you do it, why you do it. What can your customers rely on your for? What values will you adopt to achieve them?

4. Business goals:

How will you define success for the business? What will happen and when? What three business accomplishments would you like to be celebrating at the end of one year? What about the following years? What goals do you have for each area of the business eg. financial, marketing & sales, operations, HR, R&D, personal development etc

5. Strategies:

How will you get from here to there? How will you accomplish the objectives? Select up to 5 strategies that are critical to building your company and draft a strategy statement for each.

6. The plans:

What are the key business-building projects that will make a big difference to your business success? What specific actions, tasks and deadlines will you implement to achieve the objectives? What are the critical path results that will keep you focused on the important (vs just urgent) business tasks?

7. Resources needed to make it happen:

What partners or advisors do you need? What business systems are required? What will be the cost?

Business plans for small business can be very simple and easy to create. This simple business plan template can easily be fitted on to one page and if it works for you that's all that counts.

Business Coaching Questions:

  • When did you last review and update your business plan?
  • If you haven't done one yet, what stopped you?
  • What was your original dream for your business?

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