The innovative 1-page business plan

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We are in the early stages of the commercial UAV revolution.  By definition, everyone trying to form a business around their drone is in a startup phase.  Even if you are someone with an established business trying to incorporate drones into it.

Do you really need a business plan?  Hopefully because you are reading this article you have decided that you do need one.  But it's not necessarily for a bank or investor.

No, the most important reason to have one is so that YOU understand what YOUR plan is!  No plan survives first contact with reality, somebody once said.  But without a plan to start with, it's like getting in your car and driving without having any destination in mind.

There is an intriguing and powerful approach for startups called Lean Startup.  It is a marriage between Lean manufacturing principles (which reduce waste and increase the speed of value to the customer) and entrepreneurship.  I'll give you a link to one of my blog articles that talk more about this and give you two essential reference books on the topic if you want those. 

But let's cut to the chase.  We probably know we should have a business plan.  But how to cut the waste out of that process and effort?  Who wants to spend hours typing up a huge document that we are afraid to show anyone else anyway?

The answer is a Lean Canvas!  It is all of the essential elements of your business plan condensed into one page.  Don't try to start a drone business until you have thought about all of these factors and written down specific items in each cell.  I'm attaching a template here with explanations for you to use. 

In the book "Running Lean", the author then talks about how you identify the most critical elements to validate first.  You'll get a head start on that process with my blog post here.

Please find the attached file and study it. Then make a blank version for yourself on paper or a computer and fill out each portion of the canvas.  It is a brilliantly efficient tool to help you focus on the fastest path to paying customers, identify dangerous gaps in your business plan, and help you iterate faster into a profitable value proposition.  This Lean Canvas is a 1-page business plan that many startups and entrepreneurs are using to define their core business, their unique value proposition, and every other essential component of their business. 

If flying your drone for fun and recreation is your goal, don't bother with this.  But we have many opportunities to build a profitable and beneficial commercial drone industry.  Let's not waste any time, money, and effort getting there!  Here's my blog post with more info and links to my two favorite books on Lean Startup: What Is My Unique Value Proposition.

Upward and onward, Brett



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