As we saw in my last article, building a business plan helps you focus, prioritize and measure your business. Consider it your roadmap to success. You start at point A and get to the next point. If you miss a turn, you can always refer back to it and readjust.

Today, we’re going to talk about building the one page business plan for real estate investors. Most business plan templates are long – somewhere between 6 and 10 pages or more. And there is a time and a place for that, but the one-pager is manageable and you can actually get to it if its one page. Jim Horan writes a book that guides you through the process fittingly titled The One Page Business Plan. He has a few different versions of it – one for the creative entrepreneur and one for the professional consultant. As a real estate investor interested in acting as an authority on a particular deal type or as an investor seeking creative financing options, these books could be just what you need. Take a look at their table of contents before you select one for purchase.

But for today’s article, let’s hit the high points on what goes into a one-page business plan for real estate investors.

Start with your business vision. What is the end result for your business this year or at the end of your business plan period? Your vision statement is the plan you have for your business. It’s articulating what your business will look like after you make this plan work.

Write down your value/mission statement. This section serves two purposes – it gives you an answer to “what do you do?” and it helps you make decisions about who to work with. In other words, your vision statement acts as a gut check. If a deal or person isn’t in line with this mission, why would you work with them? Sure, we’re all in business to make money, but do you really want to compromise your values? This statement helps you determine what those business values are.

Set clear objectives. Your objectives are the three to seven things (these numbers are manageable) you want your business to do this year or over a set period of time. Maybe you want to set yours business plan up for the next three to five years. The key to objectives is to make sure they fit three criteria – realistic, measurable and they have a date attached.

Lay down your strategies. Your strategies are the tactics you will use to achieve your goals. These are the “how you will get there” statements. Some example REI strategies include:

  • “Attend weekly REIA meetings and make X number of contacts per week.”
  • “Build my list of people who I know that may be interested in real estate investments by X date.”
  • “Get my REI website up by X date.”
  • “Develop relationships with a bird dog Realtor, a wholesaler and a contractor by X date.”

The important part of your strategies section is that they line up with your vision and help you achieve your objectives. If they don’t pass this test, take them off the plan. This plan needs to be solid, so delete the fluff and be realistic about what you can do. Measure your time and be sure to challenge yourself.

Spell out your plans. Your plans are the less solid objectives. These are the things you want to achieve. The key word here is want. It would be nice if they happened, but they don’t have to happen to make your year.

See some sample one page business plans here.  We’re going to talk about other types of business plans this month, but this should serve as a guide if you’re looking for a quick start guide. Stay tuned for more business planning tips on The Investor Insights blog this month.