The first section of the One-Page Business Plan, Your Business Vision, sets the scene for your business.
Your Business Vision is designed to paint a picture of your business. It introduces the idea you have for your business in a clear and concise manner.
The subsequent sections of the business plan are there to PROVE that the Business Vision you set out in this section is viable and realistic.
In other words, all the other sections of the document support this Vision and prove it is possible.
The Business Vision section answers the questions:
- What is my overall business concept?
- What are my products and/or services?
- What is my market segment?
- How does my business fit into my industry?
Let’s look at this in more detail.
First on the list is the Business Concept Statement.
It is a single sentence that encapsulates your business proposition – or one sentence description. It can be used as the opening line of many of the documents you may need to fill in for administration purposes – for applying for a business license for instance – or in networking situations when you are explaining what your business does to others. It’s a quick, simple introduction to your business that gets straight to the point. It’s not marketing copy.
A complete Business Concept Statement is generally made up of facts about your business:
- The name of your business if you already have one.
- What it sells
- Where it is sold
- And to whom it is sold
- For the purposes of a business plan which is to be used for financing requests, it should also state whether it is a new business or an existing one.
Here are some examples of completed Business Concept Statements:
- “My new business provides specialized restoration services for classic cars in Northern Alberta”.
- “I am purchasing an existing health food store which supplies customers in Red Deer, Alberta”.
- “Quick Clean is a new commercial cleaning service in Devon, Alberta.
- “A+ Concrete was established in 2018 and services Edmonton, AB. We are now expanding to reach towns and cities further East”.
Second, are your business goals.
There is space in the template for up to 3, but again, don’t get hung up on that. You may only have 1 at this point, or you may have 5 – if you need more space use a piece of paper – but remember this one-page template is supposed to be high-level, you can always expand into a full Business Plan template later if you like.
Here are some examples of bullet pointed goals:
- 20 regular clients by year end.
- My own retail space by year 2 (get out of my basement!)
- A monthly income of $3000 by month 6.
If you need help setting goals, check out SMART principles by Googling, or look at one of our other more in depth Business Planning courses.
Next we have the information about your key product or service.
This section asks you to name your over all product or service eg nutritional supplements, or dog grooming, or website development, etc. If you have multiple products or services, list them separately on another sheet, but again, keep it simple at this stage and focus on the most important ones. If you like, you can even complete a One-Page Plan on each of the key products or services to ensure you can see how a value story develops for each one.
Think about your product or service in terms of Features and Benefits. This will help you with your Marketing Plan later. Try to find 3 of each for your key product or service:
- A Feature is usually a factual descriptor for your product or service eg it’s made of top quality plastic, it’s 1 meter wide, each appointment is an hour long, etc.
- A Benefit is usually a positive outcome the customer will associate with that product or service eg you’ll have more energy, you’ll have more time, the item will last longer (as it’s top quality), etc.
Again, Google Features v Benefits for more if you need to.
At the end of the section about your product or service, there are two final items: Your pricing strategy and your roll-out plan.
Your pricing strategy is mostly about how you are going to approach your market. Is your strategy to significantly undercut your competition with cheaper products? Do you prefer the idea of providing premium services with a price tag to match? You may not be too clear on this initially, so you can always come back to this later once you’ve costed your offerings out a bit more.
Likewise, your roll-out plan may not be apparent, until you think more about your marketing and operations plan. Do you want to launch all your products or services at one (big bang rollout)? Do you want to test the water with an aspect of a single product first (limited or pilot rollout)? Do you want to launch in a geographically defined area to start – and then expand?
When thinking about your roll out plan, don’t just think financials, also consider your familiarity with your market, your capacity, and your confidence levels.
The final section in the Business Vision are the details around your overall market and industry.
The first two are relatively straight forward: your industry and your market segment within that industry.
- If you industry is Pet Care, your market segment may be Grooming, or Dog Walking, or Cat Boarding, etc.
- If you industry is Finance, your market segment may be Personal Financial Advise, Business Investment, Accountant, etc.
We’ll drill down a little more into your market segment in the next section of the One-Page Plan – Marketing.
Finally, we need to note down a little about our Competition.
There’s space on the plan to note down your 3 top competitors.
Think about what’s relevant to your business model and pick out the 3 that have a similar offering to you. But also think about those who may nab your customers but seemingly offer something a bit different:
- Geographical competitors
- Online competition
- Side-hustlers who are doing what you do well on the side of their other jobs – and doing it cheaper
- Business who sell a do-it-yourself model of what you do – this could range from flat pack items to online training
Here are some of the mistakes new business owners make when creating their Business Vision:
- Having an unclear view of your product or service.
- Not creating realistic goals – or no goals at all!
- Having an inadequate understanding of your market.
- Trying to do too much up front ie a complicated rollout plan, multiple products or services, multiple markets, etc.
- Not having enough expertise in your industry to understand the trends or legislative requirements.
- Not understanding your competition.
Finally, here’s the section of the template that relates to your Business Vision.
If you haven’t been completing each item as I’ve covered it, you may want to stop here and have a go at filling in what you know and are confident about – you can always returning to the missing information later.
In the next video we’re going to move on to the Marketing Plan section in our One-Page Business Plan.