Success Imperative: The 1-Page Business Plan

Top-performing companies and people share a common secret to success: strict adherence to a business plan. Busy mortgage loan officers (MLOs) and Realtors who want to make quantum leaps in production and income will be happy to know there’s a powerful tool to help increase success without the time and effort it takes to create a full-blown, traditional business plan.  

MLOs and agents can tighten their focus and elevate their performance with a single sheet of paper that can help define their most important goals and create concrete action steps that will propel them further, faster: The 1-Page Business Plan. This document serves as both a reminder of the most important things you’re hoping to accomplish in your business and a roadmap to achieve them.  

The premise, execution and tracking of the 1-Page Business Plan is effective at different organizational levels from individual producers to company management, and it can be easily implemented as a best practice.  

Download the 1-Page Business Plan kit with instruction guide, formatted plan page and tracking sheet. This compact system combines the most important things you need to keep in the forefront of your focus and actions every day.  

Crafting a 1-Page Business Plan is a simple, five-part process:   

  1. Know your numbers. Document your production and income goals on your plan page. Successful MLOs and Realtors always know how much money they want to make in the next twelve months. You must know where you want to go if you ever hope to get there.  
  2. What’s your driving force? It’s important to stay in touch with why you do what you do, so start by answering this question: “What’s your big WHY?” You may choose to list personal or global reasons that motivate you to succeed. Whether it’s supporting your family, church or charitable pursuits, or you desire to build stronger communities through homeownership, your “big why” is important to note on your 1-Page Business Plan. Add your unique selling proposition (USP) to this section of your plan so that the reason people should do business with you is listed next to the reason you’re in the business.   
  3. Define your targets. The next space on your 1-Page Business Plan is reserved for your ideal customers and partners. List your customer targets according to how you plan to pursue them – as a market segment like first-time home buyers or empty nesters, a geographic area such as a specific tract or a common interest group like a church. It’s tempting to list “any and everyone” as customer targets, but the most successful people in our industry specialize.    
  4. Expand your brand. It’s important to be absolutely clear about your brand and message to effectively get the word out. Write a brief description of your brand and use your “big why” and USP to craft your core message. Next, consider and document the business channels you plan to work such as print, internet, social media and community. Growing brand awareness – and your business – requires clarity and commitment.   
  5. List your action steps. What are the top three things you must do each week to reach your income goals? These might include scheduling at least three face-to-face meetings with new referral partners, joining a networking group and attending regularly, making a certain number of business-related social media posts yourself and engaging with posts made by current and potential referral partners.    

Writing a 1-Page Business Plan is one thing, but nothing happens until you execute: Use the companion form to track weekly actions, monthly initiatives, lead generation and results.   

In addition to boosting productivity for individuals and managers, the 1-Page Business Plan also makes an excellent marketing tool for current and potential referral partners because it’s yet another way MLOs can add value to brokerages, Realtors and teams. The topic and instruction can be covered in 15-20 minutes at a gathering like a Lunch & Learn – find out more about scheduling and presenting effective, education-based marketing here

Companies and MLOs should still review, adjust and overhaul their standard business plans on a regular basis. The 1-Page Business Plan isn’t meant to replace a full-length business plan, but to serve as an extension and guide to the practical application of the fundamentals that will help you reach your goals. When the distractions of daily operations and the industry arise, the 1-Page Business Plan keeps you on track and focused on what’s most important.