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.