One Page Business Plan

Do you really need a business plan?

Less than 10 percent of the small business owners I have spoken with have a business plan and if they do often it had not been updated in years. Many women tell me their business plans are in their heads, or they started one but never got around to finishing it. 

I don't have a business plan nor do I encourage my Profit Lovers to write one. That might seem strange considering I am a business coach but honestly, what's the point? Business Plans are usually written when you first start out, you have no clue exactly how your business will run so everything in your business plan is just guesstimates anyway. Once you get started in business you can feel your way through, and make more informed decisions about your true business purpose, who you want work with (target marketing/tribe/ideal customer avatar), competitors, running costs etc. 

Business Unicorn

"When you have no real experience in business writing a business plan is like painting colourful stripes on a white pony and calling it a unicorn. It's pretty, exciting and impressive but made from fantasy, not reality."

A lack of a business plan isn't the reason you're not making money!

If you have ever mentioned to a friend or family member, that your business isn't doing so well I am sure they questioned if you had a business plan. The thing is that a business plan alone won't guarantee success. The action involved in making your plan come to life is what really matters. The problem is that a business plan often really isn't a plan at all. It's an outline of what you assume a successful business looks like. There is no breakdown into little bite-sized pieces that make sense. 

The most likely reasons you're not making money from your small business are:

  • You're not using your time wisely, you're focused on the stuff that doesn't really make a difference
  • You don't have a clear picture of the exact person your product or service is designed to help
  • You don't clearly communicate the solution that you offer
  • Your business doesn't get in front of enough people (posting a couple of times a day to social media doesn't count!)
  • Your pricing is too low (so much more common that too high!) and you're turning people off
  • Your branding doesn't match your message and neither appeal to your target market
  • You don't have a step by step funnel that you lead people through to nuture a sale
  • You don't have any consistency in your business
  • You're not tracking or measuring your results so you have no idea what works and what doesn't

*If you intend on applying for government grants or schmoozing your bank manager into giving you a loan or overdraft you will need a big fat business plan, that is the ONLY time I suggest women in business invest the time into prepping one. 

Don't get excited! You still need a plan! 

If you think you're off the hook, and you can now go wild and wing it in business, you need to hold your horses, Nelly! You still need a plan, just not a formal, stuffy, mind-numbingly boring business plan. You need a plan that focuses on getting stuff done. A plan that feels interactive and measures your progress as you go. A plan that covers off on the five important areas of business so you can deal with them on a daily basis. A  plan that helps you manage the stuff in your business that you're most likely to be dealing with like time and marketing. 

In a perfect world, we would all sit down to and complete a formal business plan. We would check the business plan monthly and make modifications as necessary. That isn't reality. Most women in business would be at a loss as to how to answer the majority of questions in a formal business plan. I have been in General Management, Consulting and now Coaching for many, many, many... years and I would struggle to answer some of those questions. 

I want to show you below what I do instead of writing business plans. I use one spreadsheet that I call my Profit Lovers Plan + Track. It has everything I need to run my business in one spreadsheet. So much easier! ​

Formal (boring) Business Plan vs the Profit Lovers Plan + Track​

Formal Business Plan

  • Mission Statement (boring)
  • Vision Statement (kind of cool.. I guess)
  • Promise (unnecessary)
  • Key Objectives (snore...)
  • Management and Ownership (unnecessary)
  • Products and Services (yes!)
  • S.W.O.T analysis (useful but most people can answer)
  • Risk (useful)
  • Resources (what is another word for unnecessary?)
  • Cash Flow (too complicated for most)
  • Competition (irrelevant if you market correctly)
  • Income vs Expenses (uh.. that's cash flow again)

Profit Lovers Plan + Track Spreadsheet

  • 12 Month Action Plan with Deadlines + Costs
  • Perfect Week Time Planner
  • Social Media Posting Schedule 
  • Marketing Schedule with List of Content Idea's
  • Monthly Money In - Money Out Tracker
  • Tribe Tracker (for Social Media + Database)

Want to steal my one-page business plan?

If you're still reading this you're probably pretty excited that you can scratch "write a business plan" off the to-do list you started back in 2012. You can release yourself from the guilt and panic of not having a printed, bound plan sitting on your shelf collecting dust bunnies.

Instead of stressing about creating a big-ol-business-plan why not create a simple one-page plan? Here is what your plan might look like (below). Let me tell you why this kind of plan works so well:

  • It is broken down into 90 Day chunks making it easier to focus on short term goals (great for mums/moms too)
  • Each month has a list of action tasks. If you don't complete a task you can simply move it down into the next month
  • See your monthly sales goal right next to your actions
  • List the priority or tasks so you always know where to focus your time and energy
  • Mark the area of business you're working on improving so you can feel your progress across all areas of your business
  • Mark your project as major or minor so you know if it is achieveable in a day or two or it will takes months to complete
  • Allocate a start date and deadline to help you stay focused
  • Decide if the project could be outsourced to someone like a Virtual Assistant before you even start
  • Think about the potential cost of the project to ensure you have the funds available before you get started
  • Colour code your progress! Perfect for creatives who find it difficult to stay focused and for women who feel like they struggle to make progress in their businesses. 
Example of a one page business plan

Now let's go a little Beyonce crazy and really focus on an awesome 2017

So now I have covered what my one-page plan looks like I want to show you the other hidden gems all stored within the one spreadsheet. Last year I got a little tangled in my business. I had spreadsheets everywhere and often would forget they even existed. My tribe wasn't growing, my sales had stalled and I felt overwhelmed. There is a LOT to manage in a business! It's easy to forget bits here and there. 

The solution....

I shoved all the important stuff (and only the important stuff) into one spreadsheet. Every morning when I turn my computer on the first thing I do is open my Profit Lovers Plan + Track. I can see what my focus is for the month, my sales target for the week, my daily tasks, how my tribe is growing and what marketing I have planned.

Shut up!! You can see all that in one spreadsheet?

I sure can! Let me break down each of the pages within the spreadsheet for you. 

Marketing Planner Template Example

A Marketing Planner

You know you need to consistent with your marketing, you know you need to forward plan, but how? A planner of course! Brainstorm 20 ideas and start scheduling them in. Don't forget to track how many people opened your email too!​

Every time you think of a new blog/newsletter idea you can stick it in the planner. You can also make sure you're planning well in advance for those important key sales times in your business. 

Easy Sales Goals Planning + Tracking

With all this fancy marketing going on you're going to fall in love with tracking sales. The beautiful thing about sales tracking is that "where focus goes ... energy flows". One of the simpliest ways to increase sales is to pay the numbers a little attention by tracking each and every week. 

Nothing is more motivating that reaching money goals, although scary to start it will soon become a habit that you love.

Sales Goal and Targets Tracker Example Template

Grow Your Tribe

You know you need to consistent with your marketing, you know you need to forward plan, but how? A planner of course! Brainstorm 20 ideas and start scheduling them in. Don't forget to track how many people opened your email too!​

Every time you think of a new blog/newsletter idea you can stick it in the planner. You can also make sure you're planning well in advance for those important key sales times in your business. 

Everything in once place means you can plan + track your business in just a few minutes per day!

Plan Your Time

Guess what is NEVER covered in a standard business plan? Details about how time poor ladies are going to get everything done. Business Plans feel like they are written for middle aged men with no responsibilites. Not for woman with few hours and many things to do.

If your business planning the Profit Lovers way you're going to want to stay organised and feel like you have control. The best way to do that is to plan your Perfect Week Schedule! 

Money In/Out

The only thing we haven't covered now is tracking your money. Not nearly as difficult as many women think. It really is as simple as taking note of the money you make in sales and any money you're spending from your business. 

If you track these two numbers weekly you will always know if your business is making money. Don't want to know? Urgh... please don't let these numbers freak you out! The sooner you feel comfortable tracking them the sooner you can work on improving. 

Sweet furry peaches... I REALLY want one of those fancy Plan + Track spreadsheets...

I thought you might... It seemed selfish to keep it to myself so not only can you download a fully customisable copy for yourself I will also teach you how to use it. Just enter your details below to get started!