How to Create a Simple, Effective One-Page Business Plan (Use This Free Template)

How to Create a Simple, Effective One-Page Business Plan (Use This Free Template)

It’s been said that goals without plans are little more than daydreams. While it’s great to have dreams, my guess is that you’d like your business to be built on something more substantial than some hopes and wishes.

You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, and a pilot wouldn’t fly an airplane without a flight map. So why doesn’t every single entrepreneur have a written strategy to serve as a guide through the ups and downs of business building?

You need a plan for your business

Conventional wisdom would have us believe that a business plan needs to consist of 30 pages complete with bar graphs and pivot tables. Therefore many entrepreneurs, eager to get started and afraid of spending too much time immersed in hypotheticals, give their ideas the once over and say, “I think I’ve got this.”

It’s tempting to dive right in with your topic and ideal customer avatar, assuring yourself that you’ll see what happens. If you aren’t in any kind of hurry to bring revenue in the door, then perhaps this approach can work.

But as many entrepreneurs juggle full time day jobs and family commitments alongside their side projects, getting to revenue as quickly as possible might be the difference between staying the course and giving up.

There’s a way to bypass some of this early trial and error without getting buried under pages of research, and it comes down to having an organized, brief and simple plan to keep you focused.

We have a simple, free, focused 1-page business template for you. Look for the download box at the end of this article.

Your business plan on just one page

At the end of the day your business is built upon your very best guess. Your business will change and evolve as you learn, so the plan you create needs to be dynamic. If you cast your plan in stone you risk clinging too tightly to that strategy you worked so hard on, rendering your business less nimble when a pivot becomes necessary.

It might seem surprising or impossible to imagine that all of the most crucial pieces of your business can fit onto one page. At Fizzle, we call this plan a sketch: it’s meant to be completed quickly, if not a bit roughly, but the objective is still to put pencil to paper.

What your business plan should cover

This one page game plan summarizes your high level strategy in one page, so naturally there are a lot of questions to answer. These questions can be grouped into a few critical components:

The problem – Who will you serve? What problem are you solving for them?

The solution – How will you solve that problem? How will you turn that value into something people will actually pay for?

Bridging problem & solution – How will you explain your business in a compelling, concise way? How will you measure whether your idea is working?

Business reality – What will this business require? What advantages do you have in the marketplace? Is this business the right fit for you?

Fizzle’s Business Sketch Template serves as a guide through these aspects and beyond, breaking all the essential elements into straightforward questions. These are the building blocks of your business fitting together on just one page.

A few words on revenue

If you’ve made the decision to dive into entrepreneurship and all of the sacrifices that come with it, it’s likely that you’re building a business around a problem or cause that you actually care about. If this is the case, you might find yourself genuinely jazzed up about your problem and solution.

However, when the word “revenue” enters the picture perhaps you scratch your head in confusion or conclude that if you hustle hard enough on the front end, the money will follow.

While you might stumble into cash if you simply serve hard, devising a strategy for making money is made infinitely easier with the implementation of a framework. In Fizzle we frequently talk about business archetypes in an effort to profile the most common methods for making money.

For the revenue portion of the Business Sketch Template, the key questions to ask are simply,

  • “What will you sell?”
  • And, “How much will it cost?”

For the maker – Makers are characterized by having some type of physical good for sale. As a maker you will need to decide what product you will sell and for how much, while also factoring in what it costs you to procure it. Makers also have plenty of options when it comes to sales platforms. For example, artistic pieces may sell best on Etsy, while the e-commerce guru might use Amazon to find buyers. As you create your business plan, let your target audience be your guide in determining the best marketplace for your goods.

For the freelancer – Freelancers typically possess valuable skills they are able to sell as services to others. Businesses with this archetype will need to decide how they will charge, whether that’s an hourly rate for graphic work or a package of sessions for a health coach. Anticipate scenarios in which a client wants to add services on after the work has begun, thinking through how you will charge accordingly in order to avoid feeling short-changed at the end of a project.

For the teacher – Teachers provide expertise to their audiences by creating products intended to pass along skills or information. These businesses should consider how they want to purvey their educational content, whether that’s creating an online course, offering an ebook, organizing a conference or launching a membership site like Fizzle. It’s easy for teachers to bite off too much at once here, so aim to choose one avenue to start with, releasing it and iterating on it as you receive customer feedback.

Note: This is just 3 of the archetypes explained. Click here to learn more about the 10 business archetypes.

That’s great, but how much do I charge?

As you settle into your archetype, an inevitable question pops up: “Now I know how I’ll make money, but how much do I charge?”

The answer to this question is highly individual as it depends completely on how much value your potential customers see in your particular solution. As you build your one page plan, remember that your business is an ongoing experiment. You will almost certainly have to hypothesize, test, talk to customers often and early, draw conclusions, and repeat that process in order to increase your revenue.

Without a doubt this business plan will grow and change to reflect your successes and failures, and it should. Fizzle’s Business Sketch Template distills the questions you need to ask around problem, solution and revenue with a simple layout that won’t require you spend your precious time crafting a 45-slide PowerPoint presentation.

So grab our template, get started, and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. This is your rough plan, and when you inevitably get lost on the journey, you’ll have this map to guide you.

Download the Free 1-Page Business Sketch Template:


“I just downloaded this great free one-page business plan template”



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  • Larry

    I avidly read articles on Fizzle (I still hate the name, but love the product) and look forward to each email I get from you guys.
    I’m not able to download the business plan template. After filling in my email address, I get “Sorry, there was an error. Please try again.”

    Also, since I clicked on this link from YOUR email, why would you require me to fill it out again to download something. I know from a programming standpoint it might be easier to do it this way, but not from a customer service point of view it is not..
    Thank you for all you guys do!

    • Steph Crowder

      Hey Larry, sorry for the trouble! If you shoot me a note at support@fizzle.co I’ll hook you up with the free download link.

    • Nicolaj

      Me too – just without the error, just . Perhaps it is being fixed and I stumbled into it in a half-way state of being fixed?

    • Hey @LarryK1964:disqus and @ame89lia:disqus – thanks so much for the feedback and for helping us diagnose the download error.

      We have two things to share: 1) we have fixed the email form error and 2) existing subscribers will no longer have to enter an email address to download this template. You’ll see a download button instead which is a direct link to the business sketch template.

      Thanks again! We really appreciate the feedback and idea.

      • Larry

        Thanks Corbett.

      • Thank you Corbett! It means a lot!

      • I appreciate that you are fast in fixing the issues. I think adding a link to download on the emails would be a nice touch as well.

        On another note, I noticed that I signed up since 18/08 and received a notification that day but I haven’t receive any emails from you since. I saw @LarryK1964:disqus mentioned he was redirected to this post from email so that was weird.

        I hope you can look into that soon. Would love to hear more from you, thanks.

      • I’m a subscriber, and I still get the form requesting an email address. Even after entering that, there’s no download option, just a thanks for signing up notice and watch for our email. No email yet. Way too much work for a value-add that could have just been included in the initial email itself.

  • Jena Castro-Casbon

    Help! I keep getting an error and can’t download!

    • Same here.

    • Josh Kalsbeek

      Me too.

    • Steph Crowder

      Hey Jena, sorry about this! Please email me: support@fizzle.co. I’ll send you the link to download the template & will make sure you also make it onto our email list.

  • My business fits into the “The Teacher” archetype. It has been a struggle to get a full grasp of my business and explain it to others. Creating a one-page business plan helped a lot.

    I created this a while ago using the Fizzle Course as my guide. But, did make a few adjustments.

    I also posted it on my website ( http://www.compulsivecreative.com/our-one-page-business-plan/ ) and sent it to my mailing list. The feedback I got from my list was extremely helpful and gave me an outside perspective of my business.

    I spent a lot more time on mine than I should have, but I turned it into an art project as a way to keep my attention. Damn you ADD!

    I would love to see others post there’s as well. It would be cool to see what everyone comes up with and see a snapshot of everyone’s business.

    • Catherine Thiry

      Hi , thanks for providing this BST , very helpful for newbies who plan to launch a business , I appreciate all your smart , relevant , insightful blog posts

  • Jacki

    I’m receiving a “Sorry, there was an error. Please try again.” message when entering my email.

    • Steph Crowder

      Hey Jacki! Email me: support@fizzle.co. I’ll get the template to you!

  • Keep getting an error when I try to download the template. Any link I can go to for the download?

    • Steph Crowder

      Hey Kyle – shoot me a note, support@fizzle.co, and I’ll get this to you right away. :)

  • Steph Crowder

    Sorry! Drop me a line & I’ll hook you up! support@fizzle.co – thanks for reading!

  • Josh Gauthier

    Cant download says I need an email address, but I put that in?

    solution?

    Thanks,

  • Error now says “Sorry, there was an error. Please try again. The email parameter should include an email, euid, or leid key” if that helps.

    Still, its annoying that readers already on your subscriber list have to reenter their email’s for the download.

  • I’ve been struggling a bit with focus and developing a practical business plan. This is a great tool and guide. Thank you, Steph!

  • joogifts

    I really loved this article i want to know that waht should i done when my site SERP is really down @corbettbarr:disqus my site is http://www.joogifts.com/raksha-bandhan-131/

  • KISS baby!

  • Myptofvu

    i did not get the download whats up with that?

    • chasereeves

      Hi @Myptofvu — send us an email at support at Fizzle.co and we’ll fix you up! Sorry you weren’t able to download!

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