I remember when I first starting thinking about becoming self-employed, I felt so lost. I just didn’t know where to start. I didn’t have a business idea. I didn’t know how to fully test my business idea. I didn’t even know if I had what it took to truly build my own business.
And because I had only witnessed the building of traditional businesses, which included acquiring financing, finding office space, and hiring employees – I had no idea where to start as a solopreneur. So sticking to what I knew, and what I had been taught, I started out by creating a business plan for my business idea in the making.
At first I used conventional business planning guides, and spent hours upon hours researching the information that I would place in the various sections of my business plan to be. If you’re familiar with a traditional business plan, then you know they run upwards of 30 pages and include things like an executive summary, a marketing plan, an operations plan, financials, and appendices! And those are just half of the sections typically found in a traditional business plan.
My “Perfect” By-The-Book Business Plan
After spending a few weeks putting my business plan together I was sure I’d feel totally equipped to become successfully self-employed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have felt farther from it. I ended up with a lengthy packet of papers that seemed totally useless to me. I wasn’t trying to get financing! I didn’t want a bunch of employees! I didn’t want to go public! I wanted to create a job and lifestyle for myself that was fulfilling AND financially rewarding. But the business plan I created didn’t really help me develop a map for getting to that place.
So of course, instead of trusting the brain God gave me, I decided that I must have needed something else to help me create the perfect step-by-step business plan. So I bought the “best-selling business planning software” on the market – Business Plans Pro. Why I thought this would be any easier or more insightful, I don’t know, but I hit the process full force once again only to come out with an incredibly complicated inaccurate picture of what I intended my business to look like.
Now don’t get me wrong. The conventional guides I used where incredible. The software I bought was a powerhouse. The problem was – they didn’t meet my need. They didn’t help me accomplish what I needed most. I needed something that would help me layout all of the most important parts of my business, and help me articulate how I’d carry out my goals, so that I could build a profitable lifestyle business.
Sometimes When You Want Something Done, You Have To Do it Yourself!
I realized then, if that was what I wanted, I would have to create it myself. So I sat down, and extracted all of the most important questions and issues that were presented in these traditional plans. Then, I thought about all of the questions I had that these plans didn’t ask and wrote them down too. And finally, I went through and weeded out any questions that weren’t absolutely necessary. When I was finished, this is what I had: The One-Page Business Plan.
The One-Page Business Plan contains 25 core questions that you need to ask yourself, and answer, before you fully launch yourself into self-employment. Once you’ve tested your business idea – and you know you can make money with it – then you need to complete your one-page business plan.
Simple, short, and straight to the heart of the matter, The One-Page Business Plan will help you think through the most important parts of your business, so that you can become successfully self-employed from the get-go.
How To Make the Most of The One-Page Business Plan
The best way to use The One-Page Business Plan is to block out three to four hours and answer each question as comprehensively as you possibly can.
For example, question 18 asks:
What methods will I use to promote my product/service?
Your job is to list every single method under the sun that you plan to use to promote your products and services.
So your answer may look like this:
I will promote my products and services using direct mail, pay per click advertising, blogging, social media marketing, in-person networking, hosting free seminars, and speaking at events.
Then, when you answer question 22:
How will I execute the creation, delivery, and promotion of my product/service?
You are going to need to describe how you are going to carry out everything you listed in question 19.
See how that works?
In the end, this one-page business plan becomes an amazing comprehensive guide that serves as a personalized step-by-step blueprint for building your own business. Don’t you just love that?!
So now it’s your turn. If you haven’t taken the time to REALLY write up a practical and powerful business plan for your business, download your free copy of this one-page business plan and get started.
And, if you’re just considering self-employment for the first time, download your free copy of this one-page business plan immediately and hang on to it, because before you complete this one-page business plan you need to test your business idea. Once you’ve done that, you are good to go!
I’d love to hear what you think about this method of business planning for the lifestyle entrepreneur. Do you think this one-page plan is useful? Have you ever created a traditional business plan before? What was your experience like? Do you think lifestyle entrepreneurs really need those traditional plans or is this a better fit? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to tell me if you download the plan and plan to use it! Good luck!