Creating a One-Page Business Plan:
Learn the Steps, Articulate the Passion
Learn how to write a business plan in just a couple of hours! That was
the promise of a presentation by Peter Hackbert, a visiting staff member
of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Hackbert's presentation was part of a four-day workshop entitled "Idea
to Enterprise" offered by the Academy in June. The workshop, with
the central theme of commercializing university-developed technologies,
offered attendees information on a variety of related topics, including
intellectual property, funding, market assessment, and legal issues.
Hackbert, who holds the Harold Walter Siebens Chair in Entrepreneurship
at Sierra Nevada College, uses The One Page Business Plan by Jim
Horan as the basis for his workshop. Horan's text teaches the elements
of a one-page business plan in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
Workshop participants didn't just sit back and listen; Hackbert's style
is hands-on. Participants actually drafted a business plan in less than
three hours. After talking over their ideas with people seated nearby,
they then made brief presentations to everyone at the workshop.
Hackbert noted that to become successful, budding entrepreneurs must
be able to convey their ideas with intelligence and passion. "It's
about having a passion for your ideas and the frame work to facilitate
those ideas," he said. The one-page plan provides the framework to
become comfortable with talking about and generating interest in an idea.
The first step in converting ideas into reality is to get them down on
paper in an organized fashion. Participants organize their ideas on a
worksheet with five parts: vision statement, mission statement, business
objectives, strategies to achieve the objectives, and actions - or specific
steps - that need to be taken to make the strategy work. Each part represents
an aspect of the business plan that the visionary should be able to discuss
with potential investors. At the end of the workshop, people who arrived
with little more than an idea walked out better prepared to create an
The workshop was intended for people who already had an idea for a business.
Those without such a vision, however, still found the information useful.
Curiosity about the process and thinking of the future were sufficient
motivation. As one participant said: "One day I'll need to know this
stuff, so I might as well learn it now."
The One Day Business Plan session was integral to the "Idea to Enterprise"
workshop. The main goals of the workshop were to provide information,
resources, and tools to UIUC faculty and students who are interested in
or already considering starting their own business.
The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership
offers entrepreneurial programs, services, and resources to faculty and
graduate students on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.
The Academy is funded by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation with matching
funds from the College of Business and other academic units, the University
of Illinois, and private donors.