To Write a One Page Business Plan, You Must Answer these Five Basic Questions:
Vision: What are you building?
Everybody is building something… a company, an organization, a department, professional practice, or a non-profit. Well-written Vision Statements answer this question: What is being built… in three sentences or less! The question for you is what are you building? What do you want your business to look like in 1, 3 or 5 years? An effective Vision Statement need not be long, but it must clearly describe what you are building. A few key words will go a long way in creating this first element of a One Page Business Plan.
Mission: Who are you in service of?
Every business exists for a reason. Can you describe why your business exists in 8 – 12 words? Can your managers describe why their departments, projects and programs exist… in a compelling way? The best Mission Statements are short, memorable, frequently have an emotional element and are always catalytic. They attract customers who want to buy what you have to sell. They attract employees who want to work for your company because they understand who you are, what you do, your values and they know they will fit in.
Objectives: What will you measure?
Objectives are short statements that define business success. Good Objectives are easy to write and are instantly recognizable. They answer the question “What business results will we measure?”
One Page Business Plan Objectives clarify the business results you want or need to accomplish in specific, measurable terms. For an Objective to be effective, it needs to be a well-defined target, outcome or result that can be charted or graphed over time. It is important to include different types of Objectives that cover the entire scope of your business.
Strategies: How will you accomplish your objectives?
Success is rarely an accident. It is usually the result of executing a carefully crafted set of strategies. Strategies provide a blueprint or road map for building and managing a professional practice or a company. They also provide a comprehensive overview of the company’s business model and frequently say as much about what the company will not do, as what it will do.
Strategies set the direction, philosophy, values, and methodology for building and managing your company. They establish guidelines and boundaries for evaluating business decisions. Following a predefined set of strategies is critical to keeping your professional practice on track.
Action Plans: What is the work to be done?
Action Plans are business-building projects, programs and initiatives that implement your Strategies and define the critical initiatives necessary to achieve your Objectives. This is the work that must be done to build your business!
All business owners and managers struggle with the balance between daily fire-fighting and business-building projects. The Action Plans you formulate should be significant business-building projects, not a list of your normal, ongoing tasks and routines. Your business plan is not your job description.