Take a look at the above image and you will see an example of a business strategy. This one-page business strategy layout is an example of a strategic plan that is simplified yet fully functional. It suits both large and small companies. Why this sample of strategic planning is more than sufficient for a business needs a bit more explaining, however.
First I’ll explain to you what is included in this one-page strategy and then I’ll dive deeper into the reasoning behind it. We have used the one-page strategy model hundreds of times. This strategy model and how the best answers are reached have been refined over a very long time. In this one-page strategy model, you find all the critical elements of a winning strategy.
The strategic targets can be found in the upper right corner of the one-page strategy. You lay out your strategy based on how you will reach these targets.
Purpose is where you write your purpose statement. In only a few words you describe what is the purpose with your company. You write this purpose statement from the customer’s point of view. This allows you to orient your company in a way that makes you business central to your customer’s needs. It ensures a high level of relevancy. We represent the purpose with the symbol of a sun. Purpose is the guiding start to your company.
Under the purpose statement, you write your strategy statement, where you describe your strategy in a few sentences. This strategy statement helps you turn your purpose statement into something more tangible. It’s something short and sweet that you can fit into two to four sentences. It’s like an elevator pitch that you can use to clearly explain what your business is about.
You don’t have enough resources to do everything that comes to mind, so you have to prioritize. That’s why in the strategy you focus only on a few things. They are your goals. Through these, you achieve the change you are looking for. We recommend that you don’t choose more than three focus areas. Otherwise, you will split your attention on too many things.
You have to make your goals concrete by writing them under each focus area. Your goals will help you complete your focus area. It can be implemented. Usually, these are projects. It’s important that you don’t have too many goals. Otherwise, you dilute the strategy. Start by identifying six to nine goals, two or three goals for each focus area. These goals are so important that we usually call them Breakthrough Goals. Others may know them as strategic planning objectives, but for us they are Breakthrough Goals.
Instead of creating your own one-page strategy from scratch, we can send you a copy of our pre-designed template for free together with six one-page strategy examples. When you submit the form you will also be sent our Strategic Management Acid Test. The Acid Test is a self-evaluation tool that allows you to see see how well your organization is currently holding up. Many people who have done the acid test have experienced an eye-opening moment when they see the results!
Now that we have covered the basic parts of a one-page strategy, it’s time for us to look at one-page business strategy plan examples. You can study these strategic planning samples in order to get a better understanding of what a filled-out one-page strategy can look like. To an outsider, who hasn’t taken part in the creation process, a one-page strategy statement can look underwhelming (“Is that really it?”).
For the company’s staff, however, it is the highly distilled results of a long challenging process. Input has been gathered. It has been analyzed. The materials have been evaluated. Options have been proposed. And the final answer has been crystallized onto a single page. Over this entire process, people’s thinking has developed and a clear understanding has formed why the strategic plan looks the way it does.
Is it a good idea to copy some or all of these statement sentences directly into your own business strategy? I’d say it is not because each sentence is tailored to a specific business, its current situation, and its needs. You have your own business, with your own situation. Your strategy needs to match your needs to be of any real help.
Take this strategic choice for consideration as an example: “We expand our fishing fleet in Reykjavík”. It can make sense for businesses in the fishing industry to have this type of statement in their strategy. But is it relevant for you? Possible, of course, but not likely.
What Does A Business Strategy Statement Look Like?
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Purpose Statement – Why?
Leadership From Trust And Courage
Strategy Statement – How?
We increase scalability in our coaching offer
We increase the efficiency of our marketing
We specialize by focusing on a small set of coaching areas
We close only leads who are committed to change
Focus Area 1: Scalable Business
Focus Area 2: Develop Offering
Focus Area 3: Customer Selection
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Purpose Statement – Why?
Distribute Food To Citizens In Need
Strategy Statement – How?
We secure sustainable partnerships with suppliers
We work to recruit new volunteers
We seek recurring financial support
Focus Area 1: Partnerships
Focus Area 2: New Volunteers
Focus Area 3: Recurring Support
As far as the one-page business strategy model is concerned the presentation is always the same. You distill your decisions and strategic choices down to a single page. As you can see from the four examples above there are some commonalities and some differences. Naturally, one may wonder what each one-page strategy means in practice. That is a fair question and one which the staff have to answer during their weekly meetings. The plan is just that, a plan. After the plan is set comes strategy implementation.
Documentation for the strategy implementation can be created, of course, as required. If it’s necessary and to what extent it should be done can be debated. In my professional opinion as a strategy consultant, the most suitable overall business strategy example is the one-page strategy, as it gives the reader the best overview. The central decisions are quickly communicated, and they are clearly summarized. From that, it is easy to start implementing.
If any person feels like more documentation is needed beyond that, then that’s something that can be considered, if appropriate. It is naturally possible to write more text and documentation, but if you can make do with less, why spend the time and effort to write more? Each hour spent planning means costs that need to be recuperated from other activities. Unless you have very deep pockets and lots of sales to warrant such an expense, you are probably better with a quicker process than a long, complex one.
Before I end this article, which has included both strategic planning explanations and strategic planning examples, I want to share with you a few links to business strategy case interviews. These case studies on business strategy have been done with our clients. In them, you can hear about the Strategic Planning Process and how it was to create a one-page strategy through a facilitated process.
Each case study in business strategy is unique and can give you new sources of inspiration and insights to take with you into your own process.
Would you believe that fast game development and business strategy have things in common? In this business case interview, you hear about how game development, business, and strategy intersect.
Honesty is a cornerstone when you involve people in strategy creation. Improvements don’t always need to always come from purely new things. They can also be found by reminding ourselves of the basics.
In this business case interview, you hear how a 20-person company is steered with the Strategy 1Pager. When a company reaches the size where it employs around 20 people, the management usually needs to upgrade its leadership model. This may mean that a new strategy needs to be created. A new strategy for systematic leadership appears.
A common belief in business needs a focus to achieve success. Yet being hyper-focused on one single thing can make you blind to other things. You need a strategy for choosing the proper focus in the current moment.
Do small retail brick-and-mortar stores benefit from writing a one-page strategy? That was the question we hoped to answer. How does it feel to create a strategy for the first time, and can it lead to some concrete benefits? Watch this interview to find out!
Even one-person companies can benefit from one-page strategies. Strategy for a one-person business differs only in scale. The key, as always, comes with asking the right question, and the thinking that takes place prior to making strategic decisions.
Traditionally business strategies have been done in board rooms behind closed doors. But there is another way that we explore together with Bo Harald.
If you want to sell your business to another company, then it can be helpful to create a new strategy. In this business case, we hear how the creation of a one-page strategy was the start of a process that concluded in a successful business exit.
How well strategy implementation succeeds depends on staff involvement. It’s critical to unite people with a shared big dream. From this business strategy case, you’ll hear Lars Albäck’s story and how he succeeded with this.
A few founders gathered around a table in some garage in silicon valley. It’s the iconic start-up scene. Everyone is on-board because everybody sits around the same table. Eventually, the startup grows to include tens of people. One day people no longer have a shared understanding of what the company is all about. That’s when a written strategy is needed. In this case we learn how it’s created and who is involved.
Every now and then management has a choice. Do they do things by themselves or will they seek external help? Management wants to find the right strategy for a faster way to money. In this business case you hear about what role humility plays in making the best choice for the company.
Businesses management can encounter situations where they have too many great ideas to choose from. The management may need a strategy for prioritizing ideas. One solution can be to do a strategy update, because an update allows for prioritization to take place.
When a company grows past 20 employees, the management discovers a need to steer with a clear strategy. DeLaval Finland, a 30-person company at the time, chose to create a Strategy 1Pager for itself. A process began that concluded with the company winning the Best Marketing Company Award inside the larger enterprise.
Differentiation is a basic cornerstone of competitive advantage. A company can differentiate in several different ways. One of these ways is customer experience.
Customer segmentation can help out a company during the strategy process. Petri Karjalainen explains why his company chose to build a strategy for customer segmentation and how the process could be completed with geographically dispersed teams.
Even small- and medium-sized businesses need to have a strategy for questioning and making a change that allows them to challenge business assumptions. But the traditional process is usually too heavy for SME needs. Something else is needed. In this business case we look at these differences in needs.
If you hope to find a strategy for pursuing crazy ambitious big ideas, then this business case will get you familiarized with some of the basic fundamentals. You hear how a simplified strategy can set your ambition on the right track.
Stradigo is a brand owned by Rdigo Oy (Business-ID: 2120844-1).
Rdigo Oy is registered in Finland as a Limited company. We are a strategy consultancy located in the Helsinki capital region.
We’ve been in business since 2007. The company name comes from the latin word Redigo, meaning both ‘I shape’ & ‘I renew’.
Stradigo combines the word strategy with Rdigo.