No matter how much I recommend it, I get that for some, it feels like doing a business plan is just too much effort. If you fall into this category, the one-page business plan may be a stop-gap solution to consider.
Vision and Values
Whatever you do, don’t skim through your vision and values. These are the life force behind your business and is as important as the blood that runs through your veins! For a quick overview on vision and values, you may want to revisit these posts:
Once you’ve completed this exercise, you should be clear about why you have gone into business (or are in business), what you want to get out of it, and what drives you.
A word of warning!
The one-page business plan is a short-cut and as such has limitations that should be mentioned. It assumes that you have done the “behind-the-scenes” thinking about your business and strategy and that you want to get straight to the nitty gritty. If you haven’t thought about your SWOT, your target market, your competitors, you are likely to be going on a wild goose chase or have strategies that don’t make sense.
In the previous section, we had the why, now we have the how. List your objectives. I find it useful to divide the objectives into functional areas such as marketing, operational, staffing etc.
Once you have determined your objectives, list the actions that are required to achieve these objectives. This is your action plan.
Targets / Milestones
Each of your objectives or actions should have some tangible measurement. Given this caveat, I would be thinking through objectives such as “provide good customer service” which can end up being quite wishy washy. In this example, I would be defining what “good customer service” means before determining an appropriate measurement.
Many people get stuck when trying to determine a quantitative measurement for a qualitative objective. This isn’t insurmountable. It just takes some creative thinking! A useful question to ask is – how do we know we have achieved this objective?
All forms of measurements – targets, milestones, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) should have a timeframe attached to it. At the very least have a review date attached to your targets & milestones, preferably one that is shorter than a year.
Complete all these steps and you have your one-page business plan. Good luck, and I look forward to feedback and comments!
Download the – Business Plan Summary