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Originally Posted November 2, 2022 by Noah Parsons at

Writing a business plan can be intimidating. You know that you need to put a plan together to start a successful business, but you find yourself staring at a blank Word or Google doc wondering what to do next.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re willing to give up your preconceptions that a plan has to be a lengthy document that you spend a lot of time and energy on once and then file away—you’ll discover that there are better (and faster) ways to plan.

Introducing the 30-minute plan

A traditional business plan can take hours, days, or even weeks to put together.

We recommend a simpler process that you can complete in under an hour. Sounds too good to be true? We successfully used this process ourselves to build LivePlan, and it’s a major reason why LivePlan is so successful. With a one-page business plan, we were able to quickly figure out our strategic goals and what it would take to grow the business.

You can do this, even if you’ve never written a business plan before. The key is to focus on creating a business plan that fits on one page. By focusing on a single page, you skip all the formatting, complete sentences, and paragraphs of text that most people skip anyways. Instead, you’ll prioritize outlining your actual business strategy, the business model you’ll use to make money, and the marketing and sales strategies you’ll use to grow.

How to write a business plan in just 11 steps

When putting together your one-page business plan, think in bullet points and short sentences. The goal is to keep each section as short as possible. Here is what you need to include, along with an example of a bike shop business plan I put together in just 27 minutes.

1. Value proposition

This section answers the question, “What does your business do?” Your goal is to communicate the value you are providing to your customers in a way that is as simple and direct as possible. Think of it like this—if you’re at a party and someone asks you what your business does, can you describe it in a single sentence?

Struggling to define your value? Check out this simple formula to create your unique value proposition.

2. Market need

What’s the problem you solve for your customers? Why would they go out shopping for a solution? Why does your business need to exist? Why would they choose you over other alternatives?

If you’re not sure, try talking to your potential customers and ask them what they might like about your products or services.

For your one-page business plan, one or two short sentences will do here. Keep things short and direct.

3. Your solution

Describe your product or service and why it’s better than the alternatives. Essentially, if someone asked you what you sell, what would your answer be? Your solution should be the answer to the market need that you described in the previous section that delivers the value you described in your value proposition.

4. Target market

Describe your ideal customer. Who are they? Be as specific as possible—age, gender, shopping habits, and so on. If you target different types of people, create market segments for each group. If you are targeting different market segments, list each segment and its approximate size.

For example, if you are targeting “young families” in addition to “older parents”, try and figure out how many people are in each group. For your initial plan, you don’t need to get too specific – you can always add more detail later as flesh out your plan.

5. Competition

Every business has competition. Who do your customers buy from if they aren’t going to buy from you? What makes your business and products better than the alternatives that are out there?

6. Funding needs

Nearly every business needs some money to get off the ground. Think about how much money you’ll need and how you plan on using it. Even if you’re starting your business with your own savings or using credit card debt, it’s a good idea to plan on how you will use the funds until you start making sales.

7. Sales channels

These are the places where you will sell your products. If you’re selling online, your online store is a sales channel. If you also have a physical store, that’s another sales channel.

8. Marketing activities

What will you do to market your business? If you plan on buying advertising, list the types of advertising you plan on doing here. Remember, different target markets might need different types of marketing activities to get your product in front of them.

9. Budget and sales goals

How much is it going to cost to run your business? What sales goals do you need to reach for your business to be a success? Don’t sweat the details to start and just think in broad strokes to get a rough idea of how your business will work financially.

You can start by just listing your primary revenue streams and your major expenses. As you learn more about the details, you can start to add estimates for how much sales you’ll bring in and what your actual expenses will be. Eventually, you’ll expand these broad estimates into a more detailed forecast, but initially just stick to high-level estimates.

10. Milestones

What are the major tasks you need to accomplish to get your business up and running? This will help you stay on track and meet your goals. For most businesses, you should focus on the near term and highlight what you want to accomplish in the next few months.

Shorter-term milestones might include signing a lease on an office or designing your first prototype. Other businesses may have very long research and development cycles and should map out key milestones for the next 12-24 months. These businesses might have milestones related to getting regulatory approval or entering clinical trials.

Regardless of the timeframe of your milestones, make sure to assign milestones to people on your team so you have real responsibility and accountability.

11. Team

Even if you’re starting out with just yourself as the only employee of your business, write a few quick bullets about why you’re the right person to run this business. If you need to hire key people in the future, list those positions as well, even if you don’t know who specifically will fill those positions right now.

This one-page plan looks pretty good—one of its strong points is that it’s built to help you visualize your plan and easily share it with others. While I used LivePlan to put this plan together, you can start by downloading this free Word doc template.

Need additional guidance? Check out this article for more detailed instructions to successfully build your one-page plan.

What to do after completing your simple business plan

Now that you’ve saved all that time writing your business plan, what should you do next?

With an initial plan in place, you’re primed to use a process known as growth planning that helps both startups and existing businesses grow more quickly and nimbly than their competitors.

Here are the initial steps you can take to put your new plan into action and start growth planning:

Test your idea and revise your plan

It’s rare to get a business idea right the first time. Almost every business makes changes to their initial idea to become a successful, growing company. That’s why it’s important to test your idea early and make adjustments before you sink too much money into your business.

There are plenty of ideas in the article linked above, but the core concept of validating your business idea is to go out and talk to potential customers and gather feedback. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a tech company or a cookie business. Get your app design or your cookie samples into potential customers’ hands and hear what they have to say.

Once you have feedback, revise your plan. Your marketing or sales strategy might change, or perhaps you decide to change your overall value proposition. Either way, revise your plan and test again until you have a business model that works.

Expand into a more detailed business plan

The one-page plan is simple and effective, but there may be a time when you need to expand your plan and create a more detailed business plan. Lenders and investors may want to see a more detailed business plan if only to prove that you’ve taken time to think through all the details of getting your business up and running.

Or, maybe you just want to add more details to your plan, and expanding beyond the single page makes sense for you. This may be more robust market research, expanded financial forecasts, or other details that make your plan more useful.

Luckily, by starting with a simple business plan format, you can easily expand on the necessary sections without having to start over. And, the real value in detailed planning is the process that you go through to create the plan.

You’ll be forced to answer questions about your business that you might have been tempted to gloss over or ignore completely if you skip the planning process. If a detailed business plan sounds like it will be a useful tool for you, check out this detailed step-by-step guide, as well as a free template you can download.

Review and revise

Revising your initial business plan isn’t just for new businesses that are just figuring out their path to success. Businesses that are up and running also benefit from regularly going back and revising their plan as things change. Your sales goals might need to be adjusted or you might need to adjust your expense budget. Perhaps you’ll decide to sell to a different kind of customer. Your one-page plan is a great place to document those changes and will help you track your progress toward your goals.

When you update your plan, you’re setting new goals to strive for. You’re also ensuring that your business strategy is documented and ready to share with new business partners, investors, and employees. I’ve found that sharing my company’s plan with employees improves transparency and gives everyone the big picture of what we’re trying to do. It ensures that everyone is moving the company in the same direction.

Download our one-page business plan template

Your simple one-page business plan is your guide to building the business you want and your key to finding success. And, thankfully, it’s so much easier and faster than traditional business planning.

If you want to get started on your plan right away, you can download our free one-page plan template. With that, you will be well on your way to a better business strategy, without all the time and hassle of drafting a lengthy business plan.

If you want to elevate your ability to build a healthy, growing business, you may want to explore the growth planning process and learn how it can help you build a sustainable, profitable business. You should also consider LivePlan.

It’s a product that makes growth planning easy and features step-by-step guidance that ensures you cover everything necessary while reducing the time spent on formatting and presenting. You’ll also gain access to financial forecasting tools that propel you through the process. Finally, it will transform your plan into a management tool that will help you easily compare your forecasts to your actual results.

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• Written by By Monique Thomas

• Updated on July 6, 2023

• 9 minute read

• Originally posted on Later Blog

There's so much great information about Threads in this article that I found on I decided that instead of reinventing the wheel and taking the time to rewrite this article on my blog, why not just send you directly to it instead! So, just click the picture and go straight to the article and learn all that you can about Threads, which seems to be quite robust and promises to be a great business tool that you can use to grow your business.

Happy learning! :)

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Starting a business can be a good option for women of any age, including women over 40. There are several reasons why this might be particularly important for women in this phase of life.

Firstly, many women in their middle years have gained valuable experience and skills from their careers and personal lives, which they can leverage to start successful businesses. Additionally, starting a business can provide financial independence and stability, which can be especially crucial for women who may face discrimination or wage gaps in the workforce. This also provides the opportunity to pursue new passions and interests and to have greater control over work-life balance.

Moreover, as the world moves increasingly into a digital and remote-working age, there are more opportunities than ever before for women of all ages to become entrepreneurs. There is no need to be restricted by location, background, or gender, and many women have found that starting businesses has allowed them to pursue their interests and passions while contributing to their financial well-being.

Of course, starting a business isn't easy for anyone, regardless of gender or age. However, many organizations exist to support women entrepreneurs, and there are plenty of resources and communities available to help overcome hurdles and challenges along the way – BusyGal is one such organization there to help you, the entrepreneurial woman over 40, launch a business that you love.

Let's analyze 5 things that entrepreneurial women over 40 can do to ensure that their new businesses launch successfully.

1. Leverage their experience

Most women over 40 have experience in various fields from their previous careers. They can leverage this experience to identify business opportunities in industries they are passionate about. Here are a few ways they can do so:

  • Capitalize on their professional networks: Women over 40 have had more time to build up professional relationships and networks, which they can tap into when starting their new ventures. They may also have more credibility with potential investors or partners due to their years of experience

  • Draw on past successes and failures: Experienced women entrepreneurs can use their past successes and missteps as valuable lessons to inform their approach when launching a new business. It's important to learn from past mistakes and build upon past successes.

  • Utilize their industry-specific knowledge: If a woman entrepreneur has spent years in a particular industry, she likely has a deep understanding of that industry's trends, challenges, and opportunities. This knowledge can help her identify gaps in the market and create a business that meets a pressing need.

  • Leverage their management and leadership skills: Women over 40 have had decades to develop and hone their management and leadership skills. That experience can prove invaluable when it comes to managing a team, making strategic decisions, and navigating the ups and downs of running a business.

Overall, entrepreneurial women over 40 have a lot to bring to the table when launching a new business. By leveraging their experience, skills, and networks, they can increase their chances of success in the startup world.

2. Conducting Market Research

Before starting a business, it's essential to understand the target audience, competition, and market trends. Researching and understanding these factors can help women over 40 make informed decisions about the viability of their business ideas. Conducting market research is an essential step before starting a new business. It can help them understand their target audience, market trends, and potential competition. Here are a few methods that you can use:

  • Online surveys: New entrepreneurs can create an online surveys using tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to collect data from potential customers. Online surveys are a quick and inexpensive way to gather information.

  • Focus groups: A focus group involves a small group of people who are asked to provide feedback on a product or service. This can be done in person or virtually and is a great way to get specific feedback.

  • Interviews: Conducting one-on-one interviews with potential customers can provide valuable insights into their needs and preferences.

  • Social media listening: Monitoring social media can help you understand what people are saying about your industry and competitors. You can use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to track social media conversations.

  • Industry reports: Industry reports can provide valuable data on market size, trends, and competitive landscape. You can find industry reports from sources like IBISWorld, Statista, and Mintel.

Remember, market research is an ongoing process. As your business evolves, it’s important to continue to gather feedback from your customers to ensure that you’re meeting their needs.

3. Building a Supportive Network

Starting a business can be challenging, but having a supportive network of friends, family, and mentors can help women stay motivated and inspired. They can also provide valuable feedback and advice. Building a supportive network can be key to the success of starting a new business. Here are some tips on how to build a network of friends, family, and mentors:

  • Start with the people you know: Look at your existing network of family and friends, and consider who might be able to offer you guidance and support as you start your business. Reach out to them and let them know what you're doing, and ask for any advice or connections they might have.

  • Join a business group or association: There are plenty of business groups and associations that can help connect you with other like-minded people who are also starting their own businesses. These groups can be a great source of advice, support, and networking opportunities.

  • Attend networking events: Attend networking events both in-person and online to meet other entrepreneurs and build relationships. These events can be great for making new connections and even finding potential mentors or collaborators.

  • Use social media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can be great tools for building a network of supportive individuals. Join relevant groups, follow influential people, and engage in conversation. This will not only help you gain visibility but also position you as an authority and attract like-minded people.

  • Be open to mentorship: Seek advice and mentorship from others who have been in your shoes before. Find experts in your field of business who can guide you on everything from marketing strategies to raising capital.

Remember, building a supportive network takes time and effort, so be sure to invest in relationships that are likely to benefit your business and be genuine in your approach.

4. How to Leverage Technology

Technology can be a game-changer for entrepreneurial women over 40. It can help streamline operations, market products or services, and stay connected with customers. There are a lot of ways to leverage technology to help a new business thrive. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a strong online presence: Nowadays, customers are more likely to research and buy products or services online. Create a professional website and social media accounts to introduce your brand and products/services. Make sure your website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile devices.

  • Use automation: Time is crucial for every business owner. Automation tools can make the workload lighter, such as incorporating accounting software to automate transactions, email auto-responses, or social media scheduling apps.

  • Use data analysis: Nowadays, data has emerged as a valuable asset for decision-making. Implement technology that allows you to collect data about your customers, prospects, suppliers, competitors, and market trends. Proper analysis of this data can help you identify trends, anticipate demand, and guide your future investments.

  • Offer a seamless buying experience: Make the buying experience easy, fast, and convenient for your customers, such as offering multiple payment options. Additionally, consider incorporating an e-commerce system or website that's secure and reliable.

  • Stay up-to-date: Technology evolves quickly, and it's essential to stay up-to-date with the latest innovations, software, and hardware. Consider attending technology conferences, and following relevant social groups, blogs, and online communities to keep up to date with the latest trends and best practices.

Overall, the key is to use technology to create an engaging experience for customers and employees, optimize productivity and efficiency in day-to-day business operations, and have the agility to go from concept to delivery of innovative products or services.

5. Stay Resilient

Starting a business is not easy, and there will be many obstacles along the way. Being resilient and learning from failures is key to ensuring success. Building a business can be a challenging and stressful journey, but there are several ways to stay resilient and keep pushing forward. Here are a few ideas:

  • Develop a growth mindset: Instead of viewing challenges as setbacks, embrace them as opportunities for learning and growth. Adopting a growth mindset can help you stay motivated and resilient in the face of obstacles.

  • Practice self-care: Running a business can be all-consuming, but it's important to take care of yourself so that you can perform at your best. That means taking breaks, getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and finding ways to unwind and relax.

  • Build a strong support network: Surround yourself with people who believe in you, support you, and can offer perspective and advice when you need it. This can include friends, family, mentors, and colleagues.

  • Stay organized and focused: Building a business can be overwhelming, but it's important to stay organized and focused on your goals. Make a plan, break it down into manageable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way.

  • Be adaptable: Change is inevitable in the business world, so it's important to be flexible and adaptable. Be willing to pivot when necessary and embrace new opportunities as they arise.

In conclusion, women over 40 may choose to start their own businesses for a variety of reasons. One common reason is to gain more independence and flexibility in their work-life balance while pursuing their passions and pursuing professional growth. Additionally, there is evidence that female-owned businesses generate income and create jobs, which can positively impact economic growth and community development. Lastly, starting a business can be an empowering experience that allows women to take control of their financial futures and create lasting legacies for themselves and their families.

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