Tips to Write a 5-year Strategic Plan for your New Business

For any business to thrive, there ought to be a strategic plan that keeps it on track. This is a well thought out plan, usually made before you start your business.  Without this, your business will be running without any goals or direction. Creating a strategic plan, however, depends on a number of factors. The type and composition of your plan will be dependent on factors such as the type of business and projected period of the said plan. For instance, if you are planning to draft a five-year plan, you ought to look at the current position of the business and what you hope to achieve within the five-year period. Having said this, the following are notable tips that will help you draft a five-year strategic plan for your business.

Planning

1.     Executive summary

Creating a strategic plan requires that you come up with an executive summary that details each of the various sections of your plan. In most cases, this will be drafted last. An executive plan comes in handy to help offer a quick layout for the key constituents of your business like financiers, employees, and advisors. With this, it becomes much easier for these constituents to understand and support your plan. While at it, you may consider including an elevator pitch in this section. This gives a brief introduction and description of your business. An elevator pitch should, however, be updated yearly to ensure it remains relevant based on the dynamic business environment.

2.     Perform a SWOT analysis

The success of any business depends on the ability to take advantage of the opportunities available within the business realm. It is with this realization that a business owner worth his salt will see the need to perform an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the business in question. Performing a SWOT analysis not only helps you understand the business environment from a professional point of view but also helps you pursue your growth goals.  It also helps a business identify its strengths and the need to reinforce the same even more. Talking of business strengths, finance is one of the key factors. Apart from your savings, you may sometimes see the need to go for external financial help. If you are currently in employment, then payday loans will come in handy to salvage the situation.  This may be done through OpenCashAdvance or other such short term loan sources.

3.     Draft a mission statement

Any business worth its salt has to have a goal or target.  This explains the importance of coming up with a mission statement that will drive and guide the business through the five-year period. With a clear mission statement for your business, it becomes much easier for your employees to understand the direction of the business. This becomes the driving factor that will help in internal decision making and general day to day operations of the business. On the other hand, a mission statement helps inspires external parties to like, partners, investors and customers to take action and in turn push the business towards achieving its goals.

4.     Understand the key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

 A great business will not thrive if the drivers do not understand the basic indicators and metrics of their growth. As such, it is important for a business owner to track their KPIs to understand how the business is performing periodically and work to adjust the areas lagging behind as needed. For instance, a business owner may see the need to focus on a given KPI like Total Sales as this is one of the basic tenets of a business’s growth. Take your time to fully understand the various operations of the business and how these affect your business growth.  In this case, you may be prompted to ask the following questions:

Are your sales affected by the traffic to your website?

How does the number of people who complete a contact form compare with those that finally close a deal?

What is the success rate f your proposals?

 By tracking and correcting any loopholes on the go, it becomes much easier to manage the business and thus, rescue a business before the sales plummet.

5.     A look at the target customers

Your strategic plan will not be complete without an analysis of your target customers. This is the section where you identify the needs and wants of your target audience depending on the type of business you hope to start. This will come in handy when you finally commission your marketing campaign. This will mean better budgeting in your advertising expenditures and subsequently a higher return on investment (ROI). In line with this, you will also need to understand that through the five-year period, so much can change in terms of the needs and preferences of your target audience. As such, take your time to create room for adjustment and realignment to fit into the dynamic business environment.

6.     Come up with a realistic marketing plan

Having identified and analyzed your target audience, the focus shifts to the marketing part of it. A five-year strategic plan requires that you develop a comprehensive marketing plan that fully describes how you hope to attract your prospects. This is a critical aspect of helping maximize your lifetime customer value.  This will, however, not be possible without the right marketing team by your side.  This human resource will come in handy to help you execute the most important tenet of your business and thus help achieve your goals.

Potentially, there is no specific set period for a strategic plan. However, five years is usually a feasible and practical period that offers a better timeframe to execute the plan. However, it may also be important to sneak in some yearly projections to help act as checkpoints along the way.  This will help you track your progress intermittently even as you hope to meet your five-year goals. By taking your time to identify, analyze and execute all the basic sections of your strategic plan, your business operations become much smoother. Create a solid strategic plan today and take your business projection to a whole new level.

Author’s Bio

Jim Hughes is a content marketer who has significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business topics for about 3 years. He likes to share all the insight and knowledge he has. Currently, he works as content writer at OpenCashAdvance.com.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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