How to fill out the one page plan template

one page plan template

Building your one-page strategic plan is key to getting the whole team on board and headed in the same direction.  Here’s how you fill out each category of the one page plan template.

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Let’s begin with the Basics Column:

Our Purpose:

This category expresses in just a few words why your organization exists.  It answers the question, “What would be missing in the world if your organization disappeared?”  Purpose gives everyone a reason to get up in the morning.

Our Brand Promise:

Brand promises make clear what you are holding out to your customer.  Each brand promise is something that the customer values, that makes your organization unique, and that you are committed to delivering on a consistent basis to them.  It is what your customer can count on to give them every time.

Core Values:

These are the handful of rules that everyone in the company lives by.  They are used in hiring, onboarding, training, praise, correction, and firing.  Since you can’t make rules for everything, choose no more than five.

Playing Field:

What is the scope of your business?  Where are you going to operate, geographically and demographically?  Which products will you focus on?  The playing field makes clear to everyone exactly what the scope of the organization is (and isn’t.)


This simply stands for, “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.”  The BHAG states where the business will be in the longer term; 10-20 years from today.  A good BHAG rallies the troops, gets everyone excited and focused, and forces you to make choices today so that you can accomplish the BHAG in the future.

Next we move to the Long Term column.

5 Year Numerical Targets

What are the key numbers that matter to you, and where would you like to see them in five years’ time?  Of course you don’t know, but this forces you to dream a little.  Some numbers you might consider for this column include:

  • gross revenue
  • margin
  • store count
  • same store sales
  • net profit

Choose the numbers that work for you, make your estimates, and fill in the blanks.

Opportunities Threats and Trends

Decide which key opportunities the organization should strive to achieve in the next 12 months.  Make at least one of them an external, not an internal opportunity.  These might include hiring a new person, entering a new market, developing a new product, or finding a new customer.  You want to capitalize on your opportunities.

When looking at threats, ask yourself what could hurt the organization in the next 12 months.  Make a list and prioritize it.  You want to minimize your threats and make sure they don’t cause you serious harm.  Talk candidly about what they could be, and think of how you’ll counter each one.

5 Year Goals

Now it’s time to decide what you want to achieve in 5 years’ time.  Imagine you’re in a time machine and you’ve been transported 5 years in the future.  Use your imagination to look back and think of the big things you’ve accomplished in that time.  Once you’ve made a list, ask if they’re moving you towards your BHAG which is 10-20 years out.

Your 5 year goals are milestones telling you you’re getting to where you need to go.

Now we move to the Right Now column.

1 Year Numerical Targets

This is an easy category.  Look at the numerical targets you’ve set for 5 years, and break them down into smaller segments.  In order for you to reach your 5 year goals, where do you need to be in 1 year?  Use the same categories of numbers that you used in your 5 year numerical targets, and adjust the numbers to what needs to be achieved in the next 12 months.

1 Year Goals

Simple.  Just look at your 5 year goals, and ask what needs to be done this year in order to achieve them.  Write down your 1 year goals in this category.

Top Company Goal

Look at your 1 year goals, and choose the most important one.  This becomes your top company goal for the year.  What must be achieved?  What do you want everyone in the organization focused on?  Write it down in this category.

Quarterly Accountabilities

Now we’re talking about what needs to be done in the next 90 days, and by whom.  Write down each person’s name, and the task(s) they are responsible to complete.  Update the quarterly accountabilities every 90 days, and score your one year goals at the same time.  Are you getting where you need to go?  Are you reaching your numerical targets?  Are you on the way to fulfilling your BHAG?

Using the one page plan is the way to turn your dreams into plans, which in turn become your reality.

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