How to write a strategic plan for your business

If you’re running a business then you’re no stranger to planning as you’ve likely had to do a lot of it to get where you are now. However, when you want to tackle specific business goals you’ll need a strategic business plan in order to maximise your chances of achieving them.

A business plan or strategy is simply a document that gives an overview of your current status, the results you are seeking and the detailed steps that need to be taken to generate said results. A business plan can be used to achieve a wide range of different goals from attracting investors to launching a new marketing campaign, it all depends on you.

Let’s take a look at some of the basic steps for creating a strategic plan for your business.

Figure out what your goal is

The first step of creating any plan is to identify what the purpose of the plan is. In terms of your business, you need to have realistic and achievable goals that can be built upon later on as you grow.

Some common aims of a strategic business plan are:

  • Launching a new advertising campaign
  • Rebranding a product
  • Adapting to a change in the market or legislation
  • Briefing new investors or managers on the state of the business

Construct the strategy document

Now that you’ve identified what your goal is, you can start the construction of your business strategy document. The document is split into different sections and you may not choose to follow this format exactly, but the following will go into the most important areas.

Executive summary

Although the executive summary appears first, it should be completed last as it will summarise the rest of the information found in the document. This should be a well-written overview of the current status of where the business is as well as identify goals and disclaim how to achieve them.

Business analysis

Here you will provide in-depth details about your business, there are several subsections that are commonly covered such as:

  • Elevator pitch
  • Mission statement
  • Values/principles
  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  • Service/product line
  • Goals
  • KPI’s (key performance indicators)

Market analysis

This is where you take a look at all of the outside factors that your business needs to operate with such as your customer base and your competitors. Every business plan needs to take these outside factors into consideration otherwise it’s functionally flying blind.

Like the business analysis, there are several subsections that need to be covered such as:

  • Industry analysis
  • Customer analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Routes to market
  • Regulatory restrictions

After this, you need to outline the actual steps you will take to achieve the goals and what your measure projections are. Following this basic framework you can create an informed and effective business plan.