The most powerful weapon is an entrepreneur with a blank piece of paper

There are a couple of 1-Page Business Plans that I like to start with.

1. 1-Page Plan from the $100 Startup

I generally start with the 1-page business plan from the book $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau.  The 1-page plan forces you to ask the essential questions about your business.

Here’s a Video that explains the 1-page plan

2. Lean Canvas Business Plan

The Lean Canvas was introduced in the book,  The Lean Startup by Eric Reis.

Watch this video to learn more about the Lean Canvas

When do you need a full business plan?

NOTE: If you need a to borrow money or get investors to launch your business, you’ll definitely need a business plan with your proforma (financial projections).  However, if this is the first time you’ve launched a business and you have no track record, nobody is going to believe your numbers anyway.  If you’re trying to borrow money, they’ll want a personal guarantee that you’ll repay the loan.

Finally, if you’re persuaded to get business cards, create a fancy website, and do all of the other stuff you think you need to start a business, stop.  All the successful entrepreneurs will tell you that you that the #1 thing you need to focus on is getting customers.  Then, getting those customers to give you money.

Here’s a list of good books that will all tell you the same thing.

Next Step: Build Your 1-Page Marketing Plan


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