The One-Page Strategic Plan for Family Businesses

Strategic planning is a key factor in family business longevity and prosperity.

But that doesn’t mean that strategics plans have to be long and complicated.

We see far too many strategic plans in fancy binders, gathering dust on shelves – never seeing the light of day once they’re completed and filed away.

That kind of strategic plan is essentially useless.

Instead, a more effective approach is to distill your strategic plan into a one-page document that everyone on your team can keep handy. This will make it easier to achieve alignment when it comes to implementing the plan.

What should you include in your one-page strategic plan?

Here are the elements your one-page strategic plan should feature:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Core business values/beliefs
  • Business purpose
  • Business targets
  • One-year goals
  • Quarterly targets
  • Themes for the year or quarter
  • Historical baseline

Here’s a closer look at how to tackle each of these elements.

SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis should introduce and ground your strategic plan.

What are the internal forces – strengths and weaknesses – that can determine your success?

And what are the external forces – opportunities and threats – that you can either avoid or capitalize on?

Develop this analysis in collaboration with your team.

Core business values/beliefs

Leading with your core business values reminds your team of what you stand for.

Think of this portion of your plan as establishing the commandments on which you build your organization’s future.

These values guide how you recruit, hire, evaluate, and promote team members, along with informing essential business operations.

These values should answer questions like, “what defines our unique culture?” and “how do we conduct our business?”

When you – and your team – know the answers to these questions, day-to-day decisions become much easier.

Business purpose

Purpose acts as a north star - guiding every decision you make and action you take as a company." ROB FERGUSON Lead Advisor & Founder of Ferguson AllianceYour business purpose answers the essential questions:

  • Why are we doing what we’re doing?
  • Why are we in the business we’re in?
  • Why are we so passionate about it?
  • What is our higher purpose?

This section of your plan can incorporate your company mission, vision, and unique value proposition. You can also use this section to incorporate your Big Hairy Audacious Goal – or your BHAG.

This is an important way to remind your team that they belong to something bigger than themselves, and keeping purpose front and center as part of your one-page strategic plan underscores its value to your organization.

Business targets (long term)

This is where you start to define specific operational goals that are informed by the values and purpose you’ve already listed.

Over the next three to five years, what kind of revenue, profit and market value goals do you want to – and believe you can – achieve?

State them clearly and boldly so that your team knows where to aim their efforts.

This section of your strategic plan should also outline your geographic markets – and how you distribute to them – your strategic, five-year intents and your overarching strategic goals.

One-year goals

Within your larger business targets lie the yearly objectives that get you there.

Use the same metrics here that you used to set your three-to-five-year business targets.

What kind of yearly progress do you need to make on each of your Key Performance Indicators to get to your stated targets at the end of those three to five years?

You can also focus this section of your plan on the specific actions your team will need to take to reach those yearly goals.

What talents will you need to apply, what activities will you need to start, etc.

It’s good to focus on a list of top five priorities for the year instead of dispersing efforts among all your goals.

Make sure to define one or two critical numbers you want to hit – and this section of your plan makes a good home for your standard elevator pitch.

Quarterly targets

Quarterly targets break down your goals even further.

To achieve your yearly goals, what does your team need to achieve each quarter?

Still consider all the same KPIs used to determine your long-term strategy, along with your yearly goals.

These shorter-term targets represent important lead indicators that let your team know whether it needs to course-correct along the way.

Quarterly targets include your Rocks – the quarterly action items that are of highest priority.

Your team should have no more than five Rocks, and any individual team member should carry no more than three.

Themes for the year or quarter

You – and your team – might find it helpful and motivating to settle on a theme for the year, or to change themes by quarter.

Some teams find that working with a theme increases motivation and brings the team together, so choose something that resonates with your group. This might sound like one of these: Back to Basics. Pedal to the Metal. Good to Great.

You also may want to incorporate a creative visual dashboard of team progress and/or include shout-outs/celebrations for team members who are exceeding their goals.

Historical baseline

Your historical baseline section should remind your team of its accomplishments for previous years or quarters. This helps ground future targets in the context of what the team has previously achieved.

And there’s your one-page strategic plan. No binders required!

Instead, your one-page strategic plan contains all the important, high-level information your team needs – condensed into a simple, concise document that provides a north star for you and your team.

Would your strategic planning benefit from having an outside facilitator?

It can be challenging to both participate in the development of your strategic plan AND facilitate the process at the same time.

Our clients hire us to provide guidance and facilitate the planning process so that they can devote their energy to the deep thinking and decision making that strategic planning requires.

If you’d like to explore how we can assist in developing a one-page strategic plan for your business, schedule a consultation with one of our strategic advisors today. We’re here to help.

Click here to: Book a Call.

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