A strategic plan is the roadmap to a company’s success. It spells out the business’s vision, draws up targets and sets out how to follow through. A strategy document should establish a company’s focus and be clearly understood and accessible for all relevant parties, and its application clear for both the short and long-term outlook.
There are many online resources of easy-to-adapt templates. But here are a few key elements common across the board:
This should be done last but is the complete, succinct outline and overview of the plan ahead. It’s the touchstone for employees, investors and other stakeholders to understand what the core mission is.
This is the business’s manifesto. It’s a summary of the values, purpose and goals of the organisation and it serves as an essential guide and reference point on future decision-making. In other words, it’s a succinct account of what the business is all about which is easy to reference by employees and bear in mind when it comes to taking action.
An analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing operations provides the foundation for strategy. It assesses what to focus on in terms of existing power and also any hurdles ahead that need to be tackled.
Measurable objectives for short and long-term with a clear outline of who would be responsible for meeting goals and how they would be assessed. Into this mix comes key performance indicators or other reporting elements to ensure tracking of progress and success.
How the company’s strengths and goals will be presented to the marketplace. Here it’s important to get an idea of where the company sits in the market, what will be the key elements that will connect with customers and how to communicate that message.
Industry Analysis and Financial Projections
A general outline of industry growth and opportunities. Following this, there should be an overview of financial goals, including what drivers are needed to meet the projections, in other words, a specific definition of sales or new customers.
A positive statement affirming the potential path ahead
It’s important to remember that none of this is set in stone. It’s a fluid plan that should be regularly reviewed and tweaked. It may be that 100 per cent of targets will not be met from the outset, but starting off with clarity of vision means a clear, collective focus on the finish line.