Everyone tells you, you need a plan and you do. BUT if you can’t write it on one page you’ll ignore!
A business plan tells you where you are going, why and how you’ll get there. But the key to making a plan that works is to keep it short. One page is all you need and if you can’t write it on one page you’ll never use it. Don’t write a plan the size of a doorstop, that you’ll only use as a doorstop? A doorstop plan is used for raising finance.
Have you spent days putting a plan together with your management team? Reams of paper, SWOT’s research and numbers only to see the beautifully written bound and presented plan to sit in a drawer until next year when you dust it off and start again?
Related Information: 3 Pieces of Paper
And when was the last time you reviewed your business plan? If it’s more than a few days since you checked the plan you’ve already ditched it, and here’s why…:
A plan is a plan at a single point in time. It’s a great starting point, but internal and/or external influences means the business plan must be dynamic, flexible but firm too.
So, was that planning time wasted? No, absolutely not.
The business goals & objectives you developed from your market, financial and sales review are valid; you just don’t need a 40-page business plan – one page is plenty. If you’re raising finance, you’ll need more than I’m suggesting here.
So, what do you need?
Everyone can concentrate long enough to read one page. They’ll understand how their actions help achieve the goal. Do the actions, on time and within budget, then you’ll achieve the business goals.
Once the business plan, cash flow and the action plans are done, it’ll be easier to manage the variables, react to change and assess alternatives.
Planning takes effort; make it worthwhile. Don’t write War and Peace!
Does your business plan work for you or does it need the one-page treatment?
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