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The One Page Business Strategy by Marc Van Eck and Ellen Leenhouts

The full title of this book by Marc Van Eck and Ellen Leenhouts is

The One Page Business Strategy: Streamline Your Business Plan in Four Simple Steps“.

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of Four Stars. This means I consider it to be in the good to very good category.

Here is my review.

A nice summary planning process

This book explains a useful planning process which helps to provide focus and coordination. The format summarises the plan nicely although I think the one page is a gimmick as it specifies a minimum font size of 6ppt. Personally I’d rather have two pages I can read without squinting.

It involves working through the main Objective, Goals, Strategies & both meanings of Measures – a KPI Dashboard and Actions.

My criticism is that the book catches the second half of the planning process. It presupposes that the business has produced a good quality SWOT Analysis. That is an assessment of the relative internal Strengths and Weaknesses and the external Opportunities and Threats.

This means much more strategic analysis has already been done, and isn’t covered by the book, like PESTER analysis (politics, economics, social, technologies, ecology and regulations) and Porter’s Five Forces for external issues. The internal assessment will come from reviewing customer needs and wants for the different market segments together with competitive analysis.

The book doesn’t present any strategic options either, beyond the four sample plans that have been produced.

There is a lot missing so you will need to find another strategy book to explain them in detail. This is important. Some of the big issues faced by your business will be obvious because the threats or opportunities are clear but to get ahead of your competitors and to create competitive advantage, you need to catch the developing trends as well.

The book explains the final planning process well in that it has a bias to action and emphasises effective implementation by cascading the plan down through the business.

I like the book but I see it as a follow-up to a more traditional book on strategic planning/thinking. At the moment, I can’t think of another book to recommend that’s suitable for business owners and senior managers of SMEs. Much of the literature has a bias towards very large companies.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


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