Business plans do NOT need to be long, drawn out, complicated documents you never read. In fact, one of the most effective tools I’ve ever used with clients is a one-page business plan.

The one-pager consists of 5 sections completed with bullet points.

Section 1 graphically describes the vision you hold for your business. Make it bigger than you can possibly achieve alone.

Section 2 is the role you play and the passion you have for making it all happen. Make it short, powerful and memorable.

Section 3 outlines the specific, measurable and timeframed objectives that define what must be done to be successful. Example areas include financial, marketing, R&D and sales.

Section 4 describes the strategies needed to achieve the objectives over time. There are usually only 4 to 6 strategies, such as implementing a certain system or laying out a networking structure.

And Section 5 clearly bullets the actual steps needed each year to make the strategies happen. Only list important plans here – those that build a business – not just daily repetitive tasks.

And as you can see, each section builds the one above it.

Action – This one pager is something you can have sitting beside your keyboard, use as a screensaver or tucked into your paper Daytimer. Read it often and use it to guide your decisions and choices.

(Originally broadcast September 9, 2008)

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