Why Strategic Plan Template Is More Important For Growing Businesses
As your business becomes larger and more complex, strategy formulation will become more complex, both to support growth and to help you build the leadership and resources you need to keep your business growing. develop.
To do this, you will also need to start collecting and analyzing a wider range of information about your business, both on how it operates internally and on how conditions develop within your current and potential markets.
Start strategic plan template
As with any business activity, the strategic plan template process itself must be managed wisely. Responsibilities and resources must be assigned to the right people and you must remain in control of the process.
Who to include
Try to find people who demonstrate the analytical skills on which a successful strategic plan template depends. Try to find a combination of creative thinkers and people with a good understanding of operational details.
A good rule of thumb is that you should not try to do everything yourself. Take into account the views of other staff: key employees, accountants, department heads, board members, and those of external stakeholders, including consumers, customers, advisers and consultants.
How to structure the process
There is no right or wrong way to set up the strategic plan template process, but make it clear in advance how you intend to proceed. Everyone involved must know what is expected of them and when.
For example, you could decide to organize a series of weekly meetings with the strategic team before delegating the writing of a strategic document to one of its members. Or you may decide to block a day or two for brainstorming sessions, part of which may involve obtaining contributions from a wider range of employees and even key customers.
Write the planning document well
The priority in strategic planning is to properly establish the planning process. But don't overlook the result. It is also important to make sure you capture the results in a strategic planning document that clearly communicates your priority goals to everyone in your business.
What a written strategic plan should include
There is no rule on how to structure a strategic plan, but it is good practice to include the following:
- Analysis of internal catalysts - corresponding, for example, to the strengths and weaknesses of a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, possibilities and threats).
- Analysis of external catalysts - it should include factors such as market structure, demand levels and cost pressures, all corresponding to the elements of opportunity and threat of a SWOT analysis
- A vision statement - a concise summary of the vision you have for your business in five to ten years.
- The first level objectives - these are the major objectives that must be achieved in order for your vision of the business to become reality. This may involve attracting a new type of customer, developing new products and services, or obtaining new sources of funding.
- Implementation - this involves indicating the key measures (along with the desired results and target dates) that will need to be taken in order to achieve your first level goals.
- Resources - a summary of the impact your proposed strategy will have on the resources your business needs. This summary will reflect financial requirements, as well as factors such as staffing levels, accommodation and equipment.
- You can also consider adding a management summary . This can be useful for potential investors and other key external stakeholders.
Some questions to consider regarding strategic planning
Growing a business can pose significant personal challenges for the owner or manager, whose role can change considerably during the development of the business.
Effective strategic plan template requires considering choices that challenge the way the business has been run so far. This may be because decision-making in some areas is being passed on to others, or that processes that have worked well in the past will no longer match future plans.
It may be tempting for owners or managers to ignore alternatives that do not suit them personally, but ignoring your options for these reasons can seriously compromise your strategic plan and, ultimately , grow your business.
Examples of the kinds of problems that tend to be overlooked by growing companies include:
- The future role of the owner - for example, it may be in the best interests of the business for the owner to focus on a smaller number of responsibilities, or to transfer all of the daily control to someone with more 'experience.
- The location of the business - most small businesses are located near the owner's place of residence. But as part of growing a business, it may be wise to relocate the company, for example, in order to be closer to a larger number of customers or employees with certain skills.
- The structure of ownership - growing businesses in particular need to make sure this is understood. The more a business grows, the more it needs to be warned to meet its financial needs. In many cases, the best choice for the owner is to give up part of the business in exchange for equity financing, but this can be difficult from an emotional point of view.
- In the final analysis, it is the business owner who decides on the strategic plan template. Business development does not happen "at all costs".
However, an honest assessment of the choices makes it possible to make the most informed decisions possible.
Implementation of a strategic plan
The plan must be implemented and this implementation process requires planning.
The key to implementing the goals identified in the strategic plan is to assign goals and responsibilities with budgets and due dates to managers - key employees or department heads, for example.
Monitoring the progress of the implementation plan and reviewing the strategic plan in relation to implementation will be an ongoing process. The correspondence between the implementation and the strategy may not be perfect at the start and the implications of the implementation of the strategy may make it necessary to modify the strategic plan.
Monitoring implementation is essential. Using key performance indicators (KPIs) and setting targets and deadlines is a good way to control the process of bringing about strategic change.
Another important tool in the implementation process is your business plan. The business plan is usually a short-term, more concrete document than the strategic plan and tends to focus more closely on operational considerations such as sales and cash flow trends. If you can ensure that your strategic plan informs your business plan, this will play a big role in ensuring its implementation.
Remember that strategic planning can lead to both organizational and cultural changes to the way your business operates.