If you are a first-time entrepreneur, you might have tried to plan your business before, and might have found it confusing and overwhelming.
You may have also wondered whether you actually need a written plan, how detailed your plan should be, and what to do about planning details that you simply don’t understand well enough. Many people wonder those same things too, get confused, frustrated and eventually quit.
This is why I came up with a new and streamlined approach to business planning. With my new approach, you start with just a simple 3-sentence business plan (yes that is possible and we will cover that shortly), then expand that into a 1-page business plan, and then expand that into a full business plan.
The 3-sentence business plan helps to streamline your entire planning process by focusing on the core aspects of any business: product, promotion and finances. Here is an example of a 3-sentence business plan for a mobile app.
Product: Mobile app that helps entrepreneurs get business ideas.
Promotion: I will promote this app through app store search, social sharing and YouTube videos.
Finances: The app will make money by selling education products for entrepreneurship and by upselling business coaching.
This is a 3-sentence business plan for a real app that I built. Having the benefit of hindsight, I can tell you that this 3-sentence business plan encompasses about 75% of all the business strategies in this app. It does that because it is designed to focus on the core aspects of your business strategy and leave out all the fluff. It forces you to have correct core strategies. The only caveat is that your core strategies have to be correct. If you are a first-time entrepreneur, it is often difficult to know whether your core strategies are correct since you might not have enough experience to be able to tell how the different strategies will play out. If you are not 100% sure whether the business strategies you chose are ideal, I offer business coaching services to help you plan your business.
After creating your 3-sentence business plan, the next step is to extrapolate that into a 1-page business plan. It isn’t a big jump from a few sentences to one page, especially since many of your core strategies have already been thought out. All you have to do is extrapolate a bit on your core three sentences and add additional small sections about your target market, product uniqueness and your team. After you have your 1-page business plan, it is easy to expand that to a full business plan because you are mostly done with finding correct business strategies, and the full business plan is just you extrapolating on your strategies. I cover this in much more detail in my business plan book in which I also give a few examples and a template for the full business plan.
If you create your business plan in this kind of a step by step ladder system starting with a 3-sentence one, moving up to a 1-page plan and then a full one, it will help you stay focused on the core strategies of your business, be less confused about the overall planning process, and not get frustrated and quit. Instead, you will not only have a higher chance of completing your business plan, but you will also have a better plan in the end.