The One Page Business Plan is a simple but effective way to focus your business and ensure clarity in your vision. I've used this simple framework with hundreds of entrepreneurs and when done right, it simply works.
The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur
The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur is a template that can be used by any solopreneur to help create focus in their business and execute with clarity. Whether you're just starting out or have been in business for a while, it's critical to understand what your current state looks like, where you want your business to go, and how you can get there.
In this article I'll walk through each section of this one-page plan through some questions, so that it becomes intuitive for you. By following along and using our sample worksheet as reference, we'll make sure that you get clear and know how to proceed.
1. Mission: broad purpose of what you are doing
What makes you different? What is your highest vision for yourself/your company/brand?
"I will accomplish_________________ by_______because (of)________________________"
Who are the 5 next clients you're going to approach? What (job/lead) platforms can be used for reaching them, where, when & how will it be done?
It's not enough to say what you do (e.g., "We sell widgets"), or why you do it ("to make money"), but who benefits from the product or service (e.g., "the customer").
What is your mission? Is it to grow a business, transform an industry or make the world a better place?
Why do you think this mission is important and unique compared to other businesses in your market space?
Who are your target customers and why will they buy from you instead of a competitor? Remember that people are not just buying products and services, but also buying into an experience.
What is your unique value proposition? In other words, what makes you different from the competition? How will this make people's lives better? The more specific and compelling you can be in answering these questions, the easier it will be to develop effective content and solutions that resonates with your audience.
2. The Hero of your story: Who is your ideal target customer/client?
Who do you serve? What problems do you serve? What are their stories/journeys?
Where can you find/interact with them? When can you help/guide them & how?
Who is your ideal target customer/client? Think about a specific problem you can solve that answers the needs of a particular group of people. Put yourself in their shoes, understand them and make them feel understood.
What does he/she look like?
What is his/her age range?
What are their interests, hobbies, and fears?
How much money do they earn in a year and what is their annual growth goal for the next 3 years (or more)?
It is important to remember that your customer is the real hero, and you are the guide that helps the hero in their journey.
3. Solutions: What are the 5 key things your business does to help your hero?
What are your services? What tools do you have? How will you apply your strengths? What is the competitive advantage/USP of your offering? What is your pricing and rates?
What is the problem you solve for your hero? What makes their life easier or better?
How do you help them? How do you make that happen?
How do you differentiate from other businesses (competition)? What makes you different?
Think about the value you provide to your hero and how you help them succeed. What do they get back from working with you? What are they struggling with or working on? What makes their life difficult (or better)? How do you help them? How is that different from your competitors?
Then you can dive deeper in your own way and style, depending on your resources, skills and expertise.
4. Financial projections: your in's & out's
How much do you want to earn every day/month/ year? How much do you need to
charge? How are you going to charge: hour/day/project/retainer/..? What are your
current and future income streams and costs?
The difference between your income and expenses is your profit. You need to have clear what your expenses are, and what you need to make to cover these.
If you are starting a business, it’s important to consider how much money will be left over after covering all of your living expenses, including food and shelter.
Will you have enough to cover all of your expenses? If not, consider reducing some expenses or increasing income. Make a list of everything that costs money and the amount it costs.
5. Finding clients: easier than you might think
Who are the 5 next clients you're going to approach? What (job/lead) platforms can you use? Where, when & how will you reach them?
Finding clients: who are the 5 next clients you're going to approach? What (job/lead) platforms can you use? Where, when & how will you reach them?
What are the 5 most important skills or qualifications you need from your first clients?
How can you best demonstrate these skills/qualifications?
What (job/lead) platforms can you use to find clients that have these skills/qualifications?
What are 5 reasons why this is the perfect time for you to offer your services?
I recommend starting with a small group of prospects that are already within your network or connections. These could be clients and vendors from previous work, colleagues in other industries or even family and friends. If there's someone who's been recommended by another client I've worked with before then they’re more likely to trust their judgment and give you a call rather than a stranger.
You can also create a specific sales mission . ex. "I'm going to reach out to 1 CEO every day for 30 days. I'll reach out via LinkedIn first because that's where most CEOs hangout online."
6. Personal growth:
What day-to-day actions can you take to promote your business? Who do you need to be to make your mission happen?
Your personal growth is important because it’s the only way you can achieve anything. If you don’t believe in yourself enough, then no one else will. You have to believe that what you’re doing is worth doing and that it matters. Continuously investing in yourself and in experience will sooner or later prove invaluable to your career and business.
By spending just a short amount of time on this one-pager, the creative entrepreneur can create focus in their business and execute with clarity.
This One Pager is a quick way to get started and to focus your energies on your business.
It helps you focus on who you serve (your hero). And it helps you focus on what solutions are available to you that can help them solve those problems.
We hope this One Page Business Plan has been helpful for you. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and if it helps you get started then that is great! You can always keep adding to it later on when your business grows or changes direction. If you’d like more support with your business models, marketing & sales get in touch!