May 29, 2020 is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

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Book Review: The One Page Business Plan

Written by Celeste Heiter for Gaebler Ventures

Within the pages of this ingenious book, author and entrepreneur Jim Horan reduces the chore of formulating a business plan to the elegant simplicity of a single page.

Every business starts with a plan, a vision, a purpose.

Whether that plan exists only in the mind of the entrepreneur, or takes the form of a well-crafted document, it all starts with a plan. Unfortunately, in many cases, whether because of procrastination, lack of writing skills, or failure to recognize the importance of committing a vision to paper, many small business owners skip this all-important step. The good news is that there's hope and help for the business-plan challenged: The One Page Business Plan. Sound too good to be true? Not according to its author, Jim Horan.

Within the pages of this ingenious book, author and entrepreneur Jim Horan reduces the chore of formulating a business plan to the elegant simplicity of a single page. Although entire college courses with mind-numbing textbooks have been devoted to the art of writing a business plan, Horan manages to get the job done in fewer than 100 pages. With the whimsy of a children's activity book, and the organization of a scientific textbook, Horan masterfully guides entrepreneurs through the process of crafting a concise plan for any business.

The early pages of the book are devoted to Horan's business plan philosophy, along with a detailed explanation of how and why to use The One Page Business Plan. This section also includes a inspiring essay titled The Power and Magic of Writing, and another titled Building a Business is a Journey, which uses maps as a metaphor for a business plan. About 30 pages in, the book approaches the process of crafting the business plan itself.

Horan's One Page Business Plan is divided into five distinct elements: vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and plans. The chapter on each element of the business plan is further divided into five developmental phases: brainstorming, research, focusing, summarizing, and feedback. The book concludes with nine sample pages of business plans to serve as models for various types of companies.

Although The One Page Business Plan is designed and illustrated to resemble a child's workbook, there's nothing simplistic about it. At first glance, it may look as if the workbook could be completed in a single session. But this is definitely not the case. While the process may appear simple, an enormous amount of thought, research, and articulation goes into the process of reducing a business plan to a single page. But as intimidating as the task may be, Horan makes it all seem like good fun.

Since its publication in 1998, Horan has updated his original text and gone on to expand his publishing line to include specialized versions of The One Page Business Plan for non-profit organizations, creative entrepreneurs, women in business, professional consultants, and financial services. The One Page Business is also available in Spanish.

Celeste Heiter is an entrepreneur and professional writer. She has owned several businesses, is a graphic designer and an expert on Japan and its culture. Today Celeste devotes her time to writing about a variety of business topics.

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