1-Page. It’s All You Need. Planners Win This Game.
Keeping you and your team accountable is the most important reason to write a straightforward plan consisting of three things:
- your revenue targets for 2-3 years max
- your 1-line competitive strategy
- your 4P playbook (the executional mix)
Most founders I meet are skating by month-to-month tweaking #3 without really doing their homework on #2. This makes chasing #1 pretty much a roulette wheel exercise better done for much less money in Vegas. At least you get cheap liquor and a nice room, and it’s all over quickly.
Initially, in the first $500,000 of annual sales, you test a hypothesis, your competitive strategy. It’s a draft, though, and one built on intuition in the beginning. There’s nothing wrong with that. I prefer brilliant intuition from category geeks over white-board, over-analyzed, forecast-driven BigCo innovation any day.
The challenge is that you need to have a strategic plan that assumes that you will learn from the market and from the consumer as you move forward.
You need to collect data early on that helps you iterate your offering in the market. You can’t assume it’s ‘done.’
The plans I urge founders to write are structured market experiments. They are not Rosetta stones by which you ‘predict’ results.
Plans are NOT predictions, as some anti-planning folks like to put it. They are documents that force an accountable market experiment with your company’s name on it.
UPCOMING EVENT: 2021 the year you stop avoiding planning and embrace it. On Feb. 5, I’ll be taking my first 2021 cohort through my two-hour Riding the Ramp training webinar, which includes 30 minutes of live Q&A. This is a founders-only forum. No one else is allowed in.