Last week I sat down with someone pondering whether they needed a business plan. At the risk of being lambasted, I don’t recommend business plans. At least, not the kind of long, detailed business plan affectionately known as shelf-ware. Rather, I recommend taking a page from Nike – Just Do It.
If you go out and get customers, and start generating revenue, you’ll learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Eric Reis has popularized the term Lean Startup to describe this general approach in his recent book of the same name.
What you do need is a clear picture of where you’re headed and how you’ll benchmark your progress, and you can do that effectively with a one-page plan. Both Rockefeller Habits and the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) offer versions of the one-page plan. I’ve used both and personally found the EOS version most helpful. You can download a free copy of the EOS one page plan template on the EOS site – they call it the V/TO or Vision Traction Organizer.