OGSM: your marketing plan or business plan on one A4

OGSM Business plan: hand on paper makes a drawing

OGSM: your marketing plan or business plan on one A4

When creating a business or marketing plan, it's good to remember that a bigger, sturdier, and thicker plan isn't always better. In fact, a concise business plan is more likely to be accepted and better executed. But how do you ensure that all quality is summarized in a plan of just one A4?

What is OGSM?

OGSM is the abbreviation for 'Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures'. These are the four factors that make it immediately clear what the end goal is and how it will be achieved. It forces you to focus on substantiating objectives and not get bogged down in side paths and management terms. In other words, KISS, another abbreviation: Keep It Stupid Simple.


You fill in the 'O' of 'Objectives' with a concrete goal. Let's say you have a travel website about traveling to Africa. You want to become the market leader in the Dutch travel market for travel to Africa. An excellent, global goal that indicates what you want. It is the starting point for your marketing or business plan. How you are going to achieve this goal is explained in the following letters.


At OGSM it is important that you can quantify your goals. In other words: there must be hard numbers about how you are going to achieve your goals. This is best formulated SMART: specific, measurable, achievable (“attainable”), relevant and time-bound. An example of such a goal: 'Within the next five months, the visitor will spend about ten percent more time on our website than in the past five months'. Another example could be: 'Within the next six months we will ensure that two percent of visitors book a trip to Africa.'


What you enter in 'Strategies' is the approach. You describe how you are going to achieve your goals. They connect directly to the Objectives and Goals of OGSM. The intention is that you describe a number of ways and methods with which you will achieve your goal. For example, you could describe here that you are going to tackle the SEO and conversion of the website and how exactly you are going to do this.

You can also describe here how to use the user experience of your website and how you ensure that visitors really stick around. Here you can even describe the usefulness of A/B testing. But, remember: keep it simple!

OGSM Business plan: drawn charts

Make your plans measurable. Only in this way will you know whether your goal has been achieved.


How will you measure your success? How quickly are you satisfied? When is a goal achieved? It is preferable to enter hard numbers here. In principle, for example, you can say that you are satisfied if you have had a million visitors in the first year. Or 20,000 bookings. It is not always possible to put a fixed label on the measurability, but quality measurements, time periods and deadlines can help you to at least get something on paper.

Formulate clearly

As you can see, the OGSM model is all about formulating clearly. Try to avoid explaining everything too much and turning it into a whole book. This method is not only useful to get yourself on paper what you want to achieve, but it also makes clear to others what the goals are. If you have a company with employees, you could even print it large, schematically, and hang it in the office. It would be nice if your entire plan could fit on one sheet of A4. Then you really get to the essence of your plan.

Does OGMS have any drawbacks?

OGSM does have a drawback: it is not always possible to capture a long-term vision in this model. Markets change quickly and the plan may need to be rewritten several times. This is especially the case with successful start-ups. Fortunately, this model lends itself to being flexible and to update the plan quickly. And that's exactly where companies

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