Is a one page business plan (OPBP) a business plan? Ok, the results are in, and it’s close: 51% of my blog readers believe the answer is NO, and 49% said YES. But SCORE Chicago counselors still vote NO.
“The OPBP makes a nice beginning (mission) and a nice ending ( measurable goals and action plans) to the planning process.” So says counselor Bob Paul, who has already weighed in on this topic earlier.
“It just leaves out the 80% in the middle that is the analysis (thinking part). I suspect that many potential business owners will end up with unrealistic or faulty goals if they don’t first think through the entire planning process. This includes their thoughtful research/analysis on many topics, including such items as:
- External environment (economic, political, environmental)
- Competitive environment
- Features and benefits and how their products/services bring a distinctive value-added proposition, compared to the competition
- Distribution channels they will use
- Internal strengths and weakness of themselves, their staff, their company facilities
- Operational factors such as inventory management, risk management, access to suppliers, training, supervisory competencies
- Loan requirements and cash flow analysis”
In Paul’s mind, a good planning process does the following:
1. Sets the mission, objectives and values of the company
2. Assesses all the factors that contribute to (or threaten) the organizations success
3. Identifies the critical issues
4. Creates measurable goals and action plans to address those critical issues.
The OPBP sets the mission and creates the goals. Yet it is not clear to Paul how such a “plan” guides the prospective business owner through the planning research and analysis. Without the evaluation, he believes, the goals are suspect.
What do you think? Leave a comment with your opinion.
— Peg Corwin
Related Business Plan Posts
SCORE Chicago is a nonprofit organization and resource partner of the Small Business Administration. Volunteer experts offer free email counseling on business plans, loans, marketing etc., for startups and small businesses. Click here to submit your email counseling request.