An “Accidental Entrepreneur’s” Business Idea

For nearly two decades, Jim Horan held senior-level financial positions with two major companies. When the 1990 recession resulted in the elimination of his job, he decided to search for a new gig.

He began picking up consulting jobs with clients who lacked business plans. That work led to The One Page Business Plan Company, a Berkeley, California-based firm he founded to help entrepreneurs and executives rethink their businesses and construct simple business plans on a single page.

Horan also is the author of The One Page Business Plan, a workbook that shows readers how to create their own blueprints. Although its intended audience was first-time entrepreneurs, large corporations liked its approach and asked for software – a product that Horan added and began marketing through independent contractors.

While he still consults every now and then, today Horan spends much of his time recruiting consultants, developing new products and speaking in front of national and international audiences.

In this Costco Connection article, Horan – who describes himself as “an accidental entrepreneur”– helps others get started on their business plan with these five ideas:

  • The key to small business success is simplicity. Keep your business and your      business plan simple.
  • Have a friend or associate interview you for an hour to help you clarify your      thoughts about your business; use the notes to draft your plan.
  • Share your plan with others. Invite feedback and listen for resistance.
  • Use your plan as a road map. It’s your promise to yourself as well as your customers, employees and investors.
  • Your business will never be static. Keep your plan current and use it as a container to hold your best thinking.

Back when Horan first introduced the concept of succinct business plans, his local entrepreneurial support group encouraged him to take his idea on the speaking circuit. When he replied that he wasn’t a speaker, a friend told him to “get over it.”

Looks like he’s done just that.

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About Lynne Strang

I'm a writer who blogs about 40-and-older business owners. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." Outside of work, I enjoy reading, cooking, vegetable gardening and exercise (especially cycling).
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, Careers, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement, Success and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to An “Accidental Entrepreneur’s” Business Idea

  1. antoinettehayes says:

    Wow! This is a great article. I’ve never heard of a One Page Business Plan. This is great for those who dread composing countless pages. I’ll rewrite mine because I’m a huge fan of “keeping it simple.”

  2. When you say to “listen” to resistance, what would be a good example? I am worried that everyone around me will give me resistance and if I don’t filter it out I will not go forward with my plans. Maybe you mean “listen to resistance” for ideas to change a product or service that is more customer friendly and not so much negative talk such as ” that will never work”.

    • lbstrang says:

      I like your interpretation of “listen to resistance.” When it’s your business idea, sometimes you can’t see the faults or deficiencies that keep it from reaching its full potential. That’s when a third-party perspective can be very valuable.

  3. lbstrang says:

    You’re welcome.

  4. Good blog post. I do not often read blogs like this, but I think this story is great

  5. This is a must follow for me. Exactly what I need to help me as I am pursuing a late blooming entrepreneur.

  6. Marcus says:

    I just discovered your blog as well as this great post that you have over here. I just turned 40 and am contemplating setting up a consultancy firm as one of the options of starting a new business. The one page business plan is very interesting and it is the first time I have heard of it, but I will certainly try this out and put some thought in it! Thanks for posting!

  7. Reblogged this on Legal Elite and commented:
    Business ideas can be from anywhere, anytime. This post is about “accidental” business idea.

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