Somebody asked me about a one-page business plan. That’s a fashionable idea, and can certainly be a useful exercise. I’ve written in this space how a one-minute elevator speech, for example, can be a useful exercise. And obviously a pitch deck and a pitch presentation can be useful too.
Summary is good. Everybody should be able to summarize their career in a single page, and everybody should be able to summarize their business plan in a single page too.
But that one-page summary isn’t a plan, it’s a summary. You might use it to communicate a plan on high level. It may be useful, but it doesn’t replace planning.
And for the record, that 10-page business plan, or the 20-page or 50-page business plan, those aren’t plans either: they’re output. They are a snapshot of what the plan was at one time. By the time you’ve printed them out, if there’s good planning going on, they are already out of date.
So what’s planning? it’s a process that starts with a plan and continues with regular review and revision. It’s a combination of strategy, review process, assumptions, dates, deadlines, responsibilities, metrics, accountability, and management. It helps you steer your company.
It’s not one page, or 10, 20, or 50. It’s what’s going to happen, when, why, who, and how much.