A strategic plan is a roadmap to grow your business.
The Executive Summary is important since it will help other key constituents, such as employees, advisors, and investors, quickly understand and support your plan.
An elevator pitch is a brief description of your business. Your elevator pitch is included in your strategic plan since it’s key to your business’ success, and often times should be updated annually.
Company Mission Statement
Your company mission statement explains what your business is trying to achieve.
They key is to first identify your 5 year or long-term goals. Next, identify your one-year goals; that is, what you must achieve in the next year for it to be successful and to put your company on the right trajectory to achieving your 5-year goals.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Great businesses understand their metrics and KPIs. By tracking your KPIs, you know exactly how your business is performing and can adjust as needed.
In this section of your strategic plan, you will identify the wants and needs of each of your target customer groups. This is important in focusing your marketing efforts and getting a higher return on investment on your advertising expenditures. This is because the more you can “speak” directly to your target customer wants and needs in your marketing, the better you will attract them.
Your industry analysis doesn’t have to be a comprehensive report on what’s going on in your market. However, you should conduct an analysis to ensure the market size is growing (if not, you might want to diversify), and to help identify new opportunities for growth.
Competitive Analysis & Advantage
Similarly, to your industry analysis, your competitive analysis doesn’t have to be a thorough report listing every detail about every competitor. Rather, in addition to defining who your key competitors are, you should list their strengths & weaknesses.
Most importantly, use this analysis to determine your current competitive advantages and ways to develop additional advantages.
In addition to your strategic plan, I recommend you develop a comprehensive marketing plan describing how you will attract prospects, convert them to paying customers and maximize your lifetime customer value.
Include a summary of your marketing plan in your strategic plan.
Your operations plan helps you transform your goals and opportunities into reality. In this section of your plan, you will identify each of the individual projects that comprise your larger goals and how these projects will be completed.
The final section of your strategic plan is your financial projections. Your financial projections help in multiple ways. First, you can use a financial model to assess the potential results for each opportunity you consider pursuing.
You should develop your complete strategic plan each year, and then update it monthly as actual results come in and you gain more clarity and intelligence. While you will rarely achieve the precise goals established in your strategic plan, scores of research show that you’ll come much closer to them versus if you didn’t plan at all. So, develop your strategic plan today, and achieve the goals you desire.