9 Steps To Build A Strategic Plan For Small Businesses

Eliminate distractions

A strategic plan template for small businesses is often overlooked due to the day-to-day pressures of the business. To ensure that the planning process gets the attention it deserves, leaves the office.

If you are unable to spend days out, try to book periods of the day, such as morning or afternoon to create your strategic plan template.

 Involve your team members

Your strategic plan template will be stronger If you have multiple perspectives and involve team members early on. This will result in greater support for the most important phase: execution.

Encourage open and free discussion during the planning process and make sure that all key people are involved with the result.

Hold some meetings, during the plan’s creation period, dedicated to this topic, with the people you think are strategic plan template. Don’t forget that whoever deals directly with the customer is an important member of that team.

 Know who you are

Your company’s mission, vision, and values will define the direction of your strategic plan template. If you have not already done so, you will need to articulate clearly:

  • why your company exists as an organization;
  • what you want to be known for;
  • their main beliefs and guiding principles

 Understand your current situation

To know how to get where you want, you need to understand your starting point.

A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) is a good exercise to help you clarify your current situation and the internal and external factors that are likely to help or hinder you as you pursue your goals.

Set long and short term goals

You will want to identify long-term strategic goals (three or five years is a typical time frame), as well as short-term goals (what you intend to achieve in the next year or more).

These goals can be related to:

  • launch new products or services;
  • acquire new customers;
  • expand into new markets;
  • increase profitability;
  • increase the visibility of your company or anything else important to your company.

Your goals must be ambitious enough to be challenging and inspiring, but not unattainable. One of the simplest ways to create and list your goals, within a strategic plan for small businesses, is using the SMART Objectives technique.

Within this methodology, you must define objectives that are, at the same time:

  • specific;
  • measurable;
  • attainable;
  • relevant;
  • temporal.

The following infographic shows the concept of each of the characteristics that your objective should present:

Create a plan to achieve your goals

Once you have defined your goals, describe the strategies and tactics you will use to achieve them.

You will also need to identify the resources needed to implement the strategies, such as:

  • team;
  • Providers;
  • installations;
  • equipment;
  • stock and so on.

It is also necessary to carry out a survey of the costs involved and the impact on revenues. If you need additional funding, also identify sources of credit.

Focus on execution

A well-designed plan that ends up being filed somewhere is bad for your company. To avoid problems with the execution of strategic planning in small companies, your strategic plan template should include an action plan with:

  • tasks;
  • responsibilities;
  • specific timelines.
  • Your team members will need to be mutually responsible for getting results.

Keep your plan flexible

Do not become so involved with the details of your plan that you are unable to respond to changing market conditions.

Agility is one of the main advantages that a small company has in competing with larger companies, so be ready to adjust your strategy and look for new opportunities, as long as they fit well with your long-term goals.

Include and track performance indicators

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable values. An organization uses KPIs to measure the output against the targets set.

A performance indicator must have verified information. They must be able to put the company’s goals in context.

Periodically monitor the results that your business has achieved and, through these results, analyze whether your planning and the actions taken are being effective.

Measuring and analyzing results is critical to your strategy.

Whatever the size and sector of your company, a strategic plan template can guide you to assist your decisions, keeping you on track to achieve your long-term goals and ensuring that your company always works in a manner consistent with the mission, vision and company values.