The importance of a single-page business plan

The importance of a single-page business plan

Six months into 2024. Wow, where did that go?

Did you know that less than one in four small businesses have a formal written business plan, which I am sure is one of the reasons for the high failure rates amongst SMEs.

Of those that do have a business plan, they tend to be unwieldy documents that never get reviewed and updated as a result.  This leads to the business not hitting targets regularly because the strategies to tackle the challenges ahead are outdated and often no longer relevant.

In the fast-paced world of SMEs, agility and clarity are key to success.  A concise, single-page business plan is an invaluable tool for SMEs, providing a clear, focused roadmap (SatNav) that can be easily reviewed and updated on a monthly basis. This approach ensures that the business remains adaptable and responsive to changing market conditions, helping to drive sustained growth and success.

Simplicity and clarity

A single-page business plan distills the essence of the company’s long term goals, objectives, and action plans into a succinct format.  This simplicity fosters clarity, making it easier for all team members to understand and align with the company’s direction and goals. By focusing on the most critical elements, it avoids the common pitfall of over-complication, which can obscure priorities and dilute efforts.

Monthly reviews

Conducting monthly reviews of the strategy and its effectiveness is crucial.  These regular check-ins allow for timely adjustments based on recent performance data and market trends.  They provide an opportunity to celebrate achievements, address challenges, and recalibrate targets.  This proactive approach helps prevent minor issues from becoming major problems and keeps the business on track toward its goals.  The whole SLT should be involved in this process.

Adaptability and responsiveness

The dynamic nature of business environments (especially now) necessitates an adaptable strategy.  A single-page format is flexible, allowing for quick updates and modifications.  This responsiveness is particularly vital for SMEs, which often operate with limited resources and must be nimble to stay competitive. Monthly updates ensure the strategy remains relevant and aligned with the current business landscape.

Biannual resets

Every six months, a more comprehensive reset of the strategy should be conducted.  This deeper review involves reassessing the overall business direction, market position, and long-term objectives.  It’s an opportunity to reflect on the broader picture, considering any significant changes in the industry, economic conditions, or internal dynamics.  By resetting the strategy biannually, SMEs can pivot effectively, seizing new opportunities and mitigating emerging threats.

Strategic alignment and team cohesion

A regularly updated single-page business plan fosters strategic alignment across the organisation. When everyone understands and buys into the business’s objectives and how they can contribute, it enhances team cohesion and motivation.  It ensures that all efforts are synergistic, driving towards common goals.  The plan should belong to the the SLT, which the business owner then helps them with, rather than the other way around.


In summary, a single-page business plan, coupled with monthly reviews and biannual resets, is a powerful tool for SMEs.  It provides clarity, ensures adaptability, and fosters alignment within the team. By adopting this approach, SMEs can navigate the complexities of their environments more effectively, driving sustained growth and achieving long-term success.

You wouldn’t set off on a long journey without putting your SatNav on.  Don’t do the same in your business.

This is the very approach I use with all of my high growth clients to ensure they have the focus, clarity and direction needed to get the results they desire.

Not sure where to get started with a business plan (I have heard all of the excuses you can think of using) or have one that isn’t working for you, then access the Strategy On A Page that I use and get started today.

We are six months into 2024, it’s time to get back on track and ensure that this year is the success you want it to be.

Want to discuss? Book a free 30 minute Discovery Call.