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The One Page Business Plan by Jane Horan

The full title of this book by Jane Horan is

The One Page Business Plan: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Write a Business Plan“.

In my review posted to Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a Four Stars rating. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A very interesting way to develop or summarise your plans for a business

This is very different from other business planning books I’ve read. It solves a problem which puts many small business owners off the idea of business planning because of the time required.

The typical business plan is long on words and numbers but this does what it says on the tin. While it’s short on words, it is deep in the most important thing – the quality of thinking which goes into creating a successful business.

It is much more of a workbook where you do the exercises and get clarity on your business ideas than a book which gives you a lot of detail and theory.

While the author says that The One Page Business Plan is liked by banks and investors and I can understand they like the brevity and focus, it won’t be enough to raise finance.

If you need a business plan to raise cash, you’re still going to have to produce the 20 to 40 page detailed plan with lots of words and numbers.

This short plan is a good starting point for producing a longer written plan because, once you’ve got your thinking clear, it is easy to add detail and supporting evidence.

There are five sections:

  1. Vision – how you visualise your business in the future.
  2. Mission – why the business exists for the customer.
  3. Objectives – what must be achieved for the business to be successful.
  4. Strategies – how the business will achieve the above.
  5. Plans – the specific time based actions the company will take.

When you see it in those terms you can understand how you get get a business plan onto one page. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it will be very quick and easy.

It’s often much more difficult to be short and concise. The upside is that your time is spent on the constructive action of thinking and not padding out your plan with stuff you already know and feel comfortable with.

One of  own special interests – how you differentiate your business – is covered in the mission section. A differentiated business will be delivering a unique customer experience in some way.

Personally I’d like to see it take more of a constraints view – what is stopping your business from achieving its vision and mission? This is covered in the strategies section but if six things are necessary and you only do five, then your business is stuck.

If you want a business plan to move your business forward and you don’t want or need the full, wordy document, then I recommend The One Page Business Plan.

I think it’s particularly good for take the essential elements of your business strategy and communicating it to those who need to support the plan. This might be your employees, suppliers, joint venture partners and anyone else who has a vested interest in your business succeeding.

If you need to raise finance for a business start-up, you need more than this short plan gives.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


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