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One-page success plan

  • SIMA
- Posted: July 7, 2017

By Garrett Smith

With contracts closed and equipment put away, it’s time to look forward to next season. Start by creating a simple action plan. When you hear the words “business planning,” you may roll your eyes or harken back to past efforts to “get organized” that resulted in the same headaches and hurdles happening right on cue. As my old football coach used to preach, “Failure to plan is a plan to fail.” He also taught us to keep it simple. That’s where the One-Page Plan comes into play.

The One-Page Plan represents a concept introduced to me years ago by management consultant Verne Harnish. I’ve modified it for use with my clients at Pitch + Pivot as well as at WNY Snow Removal. The crux of the One-Page Plan is this: Fit actionable, easy-to-understand information about your organizational goals, performance, tactics personnel, timelines, budgets and rewards into a document that can be printed on one page.

Limiting the real estate to one page forces you to focus on the essentials and communicate them in a concise manner. Sounds simple, right? 

Building Your One-Page Plan
First, you’re not starting from scratch. An easy-to-follow template guides you through the process. Here are the basic components:

1. Set Goals
What is your goal for the upcoming season? We tend to emphasize financial goals, but you don’t have to stick simply to dollars and cents. Whatever your goal, make sure it’s SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable and Trackable.

2. Use Key Performance Metrics
Key performance metrics are three to five benchmarks that are used to ensure you’re on your way to hitting your goal. Most often these are numerical representations of progress: number of new leads, percentage of customers renewed, and so on.

3. Develop a Strategy
You may understand the grand vision and how it all comes together, but how does everyone else around you get to that point? Carve out a concise strategy statement that gives a high-level overview of how the goals will be achieved.

4. Create Goal Actions
Traditionally, the strategy statement is followed by tactics; but in the case of the One-Page Plan, we want to talk about action. Goal actions are specific initiatives and projects you will undertake to achieve your goals. They work hand-in-hand with your personnel plan.

5. Assign Tasks to Personnel
Often, the reason plans fail is that they’re never implemented. The Personnel section helps halt this by assigning each goal action to a particular staff member, with corresponding performance metrics and goals. This helps enforce accountability.

6. Initiate a Timeline
Now that your major framework is in place, you need to ensure that your Goal Actions are delivered on time. With your timeline, you can establish due dates for certain initiatives or projects, even including a “what will happen” every quarter (or month). This provides further clarity and understanding regarding when things must get done.

7. Determine Milestones
Once you understand your time frames, it’s time to lock in on the major moments in progress that signal you’re moving in the right direction. Your milestones highlight the major dates and progress check-in points to ensure you continue to improve and achieve your goals.

8. Set a Budget
Of course, none of this happens without concern for how much it’s going to cost. With everything figured out, sit down and accurately determine costs. You can always do this first if you are constrained by budget, or go back and adjust to make things more realistic.

9. Plan for Rewards
In closing, what’s the reward for doing all of this hard work? Your team may care very little about how much you’re putting in your back pocket. What’s in it for them? A reward provides incentive for team success and gives people more reason to rally and achieve the goals than just “keeping their job.”

Garrett Smith is co-owner of WNY Snow Removal and founder of Pitch + Pivot, LLC. 
Email him at
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