Last Updated on 29 April 2022 by Gertrude
What’s a Lean Business Plan?
I love a lean business plan because it helps you to move quickly as an entrepreneur.
I wrote a lean business plan after closing my profitable pillow shop.
Before starting my pillow shop, I read and wrote, copied and pasted business plans online without understanding why it’s important to have a plan.
The traditional business plans are tedious; you spend time writing (copying and pasting) on the internet – without putting thought into why you need a business plan.
A business plan is a direction even though directions change; you need a plan that helps you take calculated steps without a headache.
So, don’t be afraid to check monthly where you are, what you have done and what needs to be done.
Adjust as you go.
This lean business plan is to help you FOCUS – keep moving your business forward.
It’s the best plan for a solopreneur or for any kind of startup.
If you need funding, from venture capitalists, then, you need the traditional business plan.
I simplified the traditional business plan for you.
I turned each component into questions and tips for you.
It has never been this easy to write a business plan for your business.
I outlined everything, I mean everything you need in each component.
Each component is available for download for 230 shillings – pay via my phone number (0721616366) and soon, I will revive my Mpesa Till Number.
How to Use the Lean Business Plan
Instead of providing spaces or boxes or tables, I simplified this plan into a language you understand.
I turned the lean plan into a series of questions.
Sit down with a pen and notebook and answer the questions I provide.
You will find sections like the vision statement which ask you, what do you plan for the future?
Where and how do you envision your business?
I added this part so that you think about your business in the future and not just now.
Adding a vision to this lean plan will help you on the days you feel tired or like taking a step or waking up is overwhelming for you.
Remember, I haven’t included any headlines here like an executive summary or that confusing stuff that makes you wonder – why MUST I write a business plan.
I made this easy to understand, in a language you know.
You can purchase the simplified traditional business plan for $35/3550, pay, download, print or choose not to print.
Don’t copy or share these business plans with anyone – they’re for personal use ONLY.
If you want additional services like printing and binding your plan, and shipping ask me or email me at Gertrude dot Akinyi at Gmail dot com
If you have any concerns or questions – feel free to email me.
Comment on my YouTube channel – WorkFromHomeKenya
To see all the kinds of businesses I talk about and how to use this plan and the traditional one.
The Lean Business Plan is for any kind of business you have in mind.
Use this lean plan for any startup – I haven’t left any questions out.
TAKE NOTE: The Lean Business Plan is available for $10/ Kenya shillings 1,027
The Lean Business Plan – One Page Business Plan
- What does your business do?
- What do you plan to do?
- Who are your customers?
- Who are your competitors?
What are your competitors doing?
Why are your competitors preferred by customers?
What’s the marketing message your competitors use?
How and what’s the response on social media or Google about the marketing message or the reception towards the product or service your competitors use?
Are customers getting converted into buyers?
What’s the call-to-action the competitors use?
A CALL-TO-ACTION = subscribe to get more info, check out the website page, read the blog, and click here to get the deal.
Are the customers clicking on the call to action?
These days it’s easier to understand your competitors because of social media and Google searches.
You can check your competitors’ websites to get more information about them.
For example, the about us and homepage reveals to you about your competition.
Checking your competition doesn’t mean copying them; it means understanding your business, what competitors do and don’t and how to fill the room.
For example, when researching for a property to buy in Nairobi and you see the highlight is in Karen, Lavington and other high-net-worth areas, who does the marketing for the other areas?.
Your competition cannot focus on the whole market; there’s always a gap.
- Who are you?
As a person and as a business.
Revealing or understanding yourself helps you uncover values within you.
These values help you stand out from the competition.
So, on sticking to who you are – ask questions like: why did I start this business?
What motivates me to begin this business?
What are my strengths?
Your strengths are what come to you naturally?
Are your strengths that you are good with people?
Do you love marketing?
Do you love video production?
How can you use your strength to market your business?
What motivates you on a daily basis?
For example, I get inspired when I have to make a difference in someone’s life and that keeps me awake or makes me move.
What are your weaknesses?
I hated making videos; started my YouTube channel in 2013 and uploaded the first-ever video in 2017 – became serious in 2019!.
Then I ended up loving video marketing.
Sometimes, the things you call your weakness are your strengths or you may end up loving them.
I’d urge you to try things before saying you cannot do them. And don’t get scared of hiring or outsourcing.
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean doing everything.
- What problem do you want to solve?
What’s the solution to the problem? What are other potential solutions?
NOTE: Businesses can have more than one problem or solution.
Ask further questions – what other things can we do to improve our services/products?
What can we invent as a solution here?
The backbone – the reason you are starting your business is to answer questions for your customers, right?
A business = problem + solutions.
- Who are your target customers?
Where do your target customers live?
What do your target customers do?
How much can they afford to pay you?
Where does your target market do?
What is the disposable income of this market?
Are they women, men, teens, kids?
What’s your product? And how does your product appeal to your market?
Are there enough customers to fit your criteria?
Will these target customers see a need for your product/service?
Will they benefit after buying your product?
Do you understand what makes your target make a buying decision?
Can you reach the target market with your marketing message?
NOTE: The users of your products grow over time due to marketing, advertising and word of mouth.
Don’t be surprised when your target market isn’t who you wrote in your plan.
- What’s your sales strategy?
Will you sell online or physical or both?
Will you sell to companies?
A sales strategy means communicating a value message.
What differentiates you from competitors in terms of positioning your product?
Why should the target market buy from you?
Why should customers change from where/who they buy from?
NOTE: Help your customers realise why they MUST change from buying from your competitors. Convince customers to choose you.
How will you connect with customers?
Tell stories instead of reciting facts and data about your products and services.
Focus on the [problems your products and services solve for customers.
What motivates your target market? Customers buy because they’re motivated to change, get more money.
What are those things/needs you never considered your product/service to meet?
- What’s your marketing strategy?
A strategy describes HOW you will accomplish a particular mission or goal within a business.
What campaigns, content, and market software will you use?
A marketing strategy helps you improve your advertising.
Who buys your products/services? ( Who are your customers?)
Do you understand how to motivate the target customers to buy/continue to buy your products/services?
Do you know who your competitors are and what they’re doing to achieve their objectives?
Do you know how to measure the success of your marketing campaigns and efforts?
The marketing strategies to consider ( SEO, public relations, internal marketing, digital marketing, communications, editorial, content, inbound marketing, email and social media)
Do your customers know about these marketing strategies?
What marketing strategy converts potential customers into buyers/paying customers?
Why? What more can you do to help you reach more customers using this marketing strategy?
Why did customers choose to interact with you over one marketing strategy over another?
What are customers saying when you diversify your marketing strategies?
10. If you are thinking of having a team, who are they?
Why did you choose this team/person?
What are the qualifications you checked to know you preferred one person over another?
Do you know the tasks your team has to complete?
TIP: DON’T hire people because they’re the cheapest or because of their educational qualifications only.
Hire people that believe in your company values.
During the hiring process, ask potential employees, if they love what your mission and vision and business goals are?.
If you have them on the website, test to see if they know what they are.
The best employees don’t necessarily have degrees; the best employees carry passion, enthusiasm and belief in what you do and want to be a part of the change.
Are you prepared to train your team?
Do you have the resources to help train your team?
How much will you pay your team while they’re in training?
Do you know the means you have to use to retain a staff member?
What happens when an employee quits?
Do your employees understand what values you hold close to you?
Where will you get these employees?
NOTE: You will hire, train, and lose employees.
Some employees will become your competitors. Plan on how to deal with such eventualities.
MY MANTRA: I don’t hold onto anyone no matter what; I’m happy when an employee leaves. It’s a loss you plan for but cannot be prevented.
Train the next person or best yet train members of staff.
11. Who are the key partners, resources, distributors or key suppliers?
Are your partners reliable?
Do they deliver products on time?
Do they deliver quality products?
Do customers fault these products?
When do your partners pay?
If collaborating with a supermarket/retail store, what’s their payment policy?
Do you agree with this policy?
What do you want to change within the policy?
Have you tested the products for quality?
Do /will you hire someone to deal with quality?
12. How is your company organised? What’s the structure of your business?
Is your company a solopreneur business?
Do you maintain the books, marketing and filing for taxes by yourself?
Will you need extra help in the future?
What and how will you hire people to work with you?
NOTE: Relinquishing your authority over a company turns some entrepreneurs crazy; they turn into micromanagers.
What’s your managing style?
If you consider having partners, what MUST each partner contribute?
What are the qualities of the partners you want and why?
Where will you get your partners?
Do your partners understand what their contribution is?
PARTNERS bring in advantages like funding and insight but can be a headache if their roles aren’t outlined.
Do your partner’s values match yours?
What’s the clash in personality and how do you resolve this?
13. What’s your location?
Do customers know of your existence in this location?
If customers disagree with your location, how do you intend on reaching them?
Will you use door-to-door delivery?
If customers love the chosen location, is the parking sufficient?
Do they love this location?
14. What’s the budget?
Does your budget cover all the expenses?
Do you need external funding?
How will you get the funding?
Do you know the terms and conditions for the funding?
How will you get the money to pay back the money?
How will you advertise your business to get more customers and grow your business?
How will you encourage investors and venture capitalists in the future?
15. What are the financial projections?
The most confusing part of the traditional business plan is answering financial forecasts.
Why? If you don’t understand your target market and your pricing then, it’s hard to project.
Remember your projections will never be true. Remain realistic.
How will you price your products?
Will your customers afford the prices you set?
Have you done enough market research to know your customers are willing to pay this money?
Are customers asking for a price adjustment?
Do you offer quality unique products to pay what you ask them to?
Are the customers enough to help your business turn a profit?
Do you need more customers?
Are customers asking for additional services?
Do you need funding?
Do you know your numbers?
Do you know why you need the funding?
What will you do to appeal to investors or venture capitalists or banks?
NOTE: Asking for additional services is a cue for expansion. Customers need more.
16. What’s your value proposition?
Why should others work with you?
KNOW: Make the benefits of your products/services clear
What do you want your customers to experience?
17. What are you planning for the future?
What, how, where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
What were your plans for getting started?
18. Review your plan monthly
Understand the milestones you achieved.
Are you where you wanted to be?
Have you achieved the number of customers on the date you set?
What will you do differently if you haven’t achieved your milestones?
Do you need to add your target customer?
Do you have the funding to get more customers?
Is the source of funding from your pocket/profit or from investors?
Do you have a plan to repay them?
Are your sales growing according to plan?
Do you need to change your plan?
What marketing and sales strategies must you test?
Where do your customers come from? Website traffic, landing pages, foot traffic, tweets, subscribers, contacts made?
19. What will happen when you decide to close shop or start other ventures?
Plan an exit strategy always.
Train others and let your business run while you’re away.
Understanding your lean business plan helps you when writing the traditional business plan.
I simplified this plan to answer as many questions as possible.
If you want a detailed plan, don’t forget to buy the simplified traditional plan – which I made simpler like this one.
Instead of prose/long stories, I made the plan into questions and tips.
Use this plan with a notebook and pen – this way you find yourself all the questions for your startup.
Love and Success to you.
Thank you for your purchase.
And if you want other specific products like
A Business Planner Book = a Planner for your business
Sales Strategy or any business products you need, email me at Gertrude dot Akinyi at Gmail dot com.
Are you starting a business in 2022 online or offline?
Do you want to start lean?
Get yourself this lean startup template and begin your business without a headache.