What Is a One-Page Strategic Plan? (And How to Create One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 6, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Strategic plans can help businesses organize and define their goals, with specific steps on how to achieve them. The length and depth of the plan can impact the plan's effectiveness. Understanding what a one-page strategic plan is can allow businesses to condense their findings and narrow their plan for success, making it more accessible to others in the business. In this article, we discuss what a one-page strategic plan is, explain how to create one, and share the benefits of implementing one.

What is a one-page strategic plan?

If you're wondering, "What is a one-page strategic plan?", a one page strategic plan contains the same information as an in-depth strategic plan, but condenses and summarizes key findings. A one-page strategic plan takes the key information of a more lengthy strategic plan and highlights it on one page for easy access and reference. Short strategic plans can be easier to reference and revisit as a business's key information can be simple to find. This can help businesses to stay accountable and track their goals more accurately, as they aren't required to search through long records of information.

A one-page strategic plan often includes items like:

  • A mission statement

  • Company values

  • A vision statement

  • Competitive advantages

  • Strategic objectives

  • Short-term goals

  • Long-term goals

  • Actions

  • KPIs

  • Implementation models

A strategic plan can help keep employees engaged with their work, promote overall company success and growth, and help an organization successfully leverage and capitalize on opportunities. These plans also may act as a company handbook, as they highlight important information, such as mission and vision statements, and provide goals for employees to focus on. Creating a document that's simple to read and contains all the important information is useful for businesses looking to keep their employees focused and informed.

Read more: Using a Strategic Plan Template (With Template and Example)

How to create a one-page strategic plan

Several sections comprise one-page strategic plans, including various statements and goals. Most organizations divide their plan into different columns. Each column focuses on a specific aspect of the plan. Follow these steps to help you develop a one-page strategic plan:

1. Start with the foundation

The beginning of a strategic plan can set the foundation for the rest of its goals and outcomes. Businesses can begin their one-page strategic plan by defining the foundation of their organization. The foundation may include:

Mission statement

The mission statement of a business explains its purpose and what problem it aims to solve. Its focus is on the present operations of a business and often relates to an emotional connection to why the business exists. It may highlight a large overarching goal that guides the company's operations or highlight what it aims to give back to its customers.

Read more: What Is Strategic planning? (With Benefits)

Vision statement

A vision statement focuses on the future of the business and highlights its key goals and aspirations. A vision statement defines where a company hopes to be or what it hopes to achieve in the future. A strategic business plan points all goals and benchmarks to the vision statement, as that's what the business operations are working toward.

Values

Company values highlight what's important to a business and what they choose to be conscious of in their operations. Values help determine the boundaries or parameters a company uses to make decisions and help businesses dictate what they can and can't do. They're unique to each business but are often publicly displayed because they relate to mission and vision statements.

Read more: Strategic Business Planning (Definition, Benefits, and How-To)

2. Define your competitive advantages

Defining what makes a business stand out from its competitors is key to succeeding in the market. A business can conduct a competitive analysis to establish what makes it different and use this to shape its strategic plan. Businesses can also use this analysis to define their target markets and to better understand the market where they operate.

3. Define business goals

Depending on the strategic plans, businesses can start by defining their long-term and short-term goals. This can help businesses to establish the direction in which their strategy can take them and how they plan to reach these goals. Short-term goals can help businesses stay accountable as they strive to reach long-term goals.

4. Develop a strategy

The strategy portion of a strategic plan lists the specific steps a business plans to take to meet its goals outlined in the first portion. The strategy operation can include strategic objectives, timelines for defined goals, and specific actions a business plans to take. This strategy can provide a guideline for employees and a direction for business executives to implement in their daily roles.

Read more: How to Develop a Strategic Business Development Plan

5. Define key performance indicators

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are the specific outcomes of goals that a business can aim for to ensure it's successfully working toward its goals. KPIs determine how a business may measure the effectiveness and define the success of its strategy.

For example, a company aiming to grow its following on social media may set a one-year KPI of 1,000 followers, a three-year KPI of 10,000 followers and a five-year KPI of 100,000 followers. This allows the business to check in each year to see how close it is to meeting its goals and make adjustments as necessary to get closer to reaching them.

6. Determine the implementation model

Once a business has established its goals and the strategy it plans to use to reach them, it can move on to the implementation strategy. This stage relates to how executives plan to implement the strategy across the business and in the specific roles of employees. Businesses may consider creating sub-plans for each business department that highlight which part of the goals each department is working toward. Alternatively, businesses may consider allocating responsibilities for different parts of their goals to each department individually. Ensuring each department is aware of its role in reaching the goals is essential for success.

For example, a business that sets a goal of becoming more sustainable can allocate different responsibilities to different departments. It may allocate designing more environmentally friendly packaging to its marketing teams and direct the operations team to developing a production process that produces less waste. Finance teams can balance the costs these changes may have while the human resource department may hire a specialist in sustainability to oversee the project.

Read more: 4 Strategy Types (with Benefits and How to Create a Plan)

7. Add strengths, weaknesses, and trends

Every business has its own strengths and weaknesses that can affect how effectively it may reach its goals. By listing its strengths and weaknesses, a business can establish where it can focus its efforts and where it can allocate resources to meet its targets. Highlighting specific industry trends can also help a business forecast industry events and alter its strategic plan around them.

8. Communicate the plan

Communicating a strategic plan is essential for successful implementation. Businesses may want to ensure everyone within the organization has a shared understanding of the strategic plan. Businesses may consider distributing copies of the plan during the initial roll-out. Businesses can use the simple one-page document as an executive summary of what they hope to achieve, and review and explain each aspect.

9. Revisit the plan

Businesses can revisit their plans many times to ensure they're on track to meet their targets and goals. As time goes on, businesses may wish to adjust their strategy of implementation as they learn what works and what doesn't. As they reach certain KPIs and don't reach others, they may adjust their goals or alter the specific steps they take. Strategic one-page plans are not final, and businesses can adjust them as many times as needed. Their purpose is to act as a guideline and framework for a business to reach its goals.

Benefits of a one-page strategic plan

Here are some benefits of developing and using a one-page strategic plan:

Provides employees with a common goal

A one-page strategic plan outlines what an organization hopes to achieve. This provides employees with clear shared goals and an understanding of the organization's vision. This may help individuals stay focused on the company's goals and ensure each person's work aligns with the organization's goals, mission, and values.

Simplifies complex business plans

One-page strategic plans are often straightforward. They include simple statements and instructions, which are often free of complex statements or business jargon. This promotes shared understanding among all employees throughout the company.

Promotes accountability

A one-page strategic plan helps ensure accountability throughout the organization. Each action belongs to a specific person. This helps ensure everyone understands their role and prevents miscommunication.

Increases employee engagement

One-page strategic plans assign responsibilities to specific individuals. Each employee has a unique role and a strong understanding of their goals and duties. This may help a person feel more responsible for the success of the company, improving their connection with the organization and helping them be more engaged in the workplace.

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