How to Write a Business Strategic Plan
Every company should have a strategic strategy in place. Your company’s strategic plan explains where you and your team are headed and how to get there.
However, many companies spend a lot of time and money on strategic planning just to have it neglected or simply glanced at once a year. As a common cause, a plan that hasn’t been adequately written.
You and your team need a basic, straightforward blueprint to follow when developing a strategic strategy. At its core, a prioritized list of your greatest ideas and detailed measures to attain your company’s goals should be incorporated.
So that your staff can use it as a daily reference, a strategic plan needs to be actionable and easy to comprehend,” says Devesh Dwivedi, an advisor with BDC’s Advisory Services who specializes in strategic planning.
I don’t believe that the strategy should be scholarly or theoretical. It must be distilled to the essentials so that everyone understands exactly what the company’s goals are and what each employee is expected to accomplish to achieve them.”
Dwivedi offers the following guidelines on the content and format of a strategic plan. Dwivedi compiles a report at the end of each phase to summarize the conversation and the most important discoveries. Before beginning work on the next stage, this report is confirmed with the CEO and senior personnel.
What are the steps in strategic planning?
A typical strategic plan has four components. In Dwivedi’s order, they are:
Section 1: The Present Situation
First, Dwivedi prepares an answer to “Where are we?” by drafting a section on the present situation of the firm.
There are around 15 to 20 pages in the current status section, which includes:
- Overview of the company’s history, present goods or services, markets, main strengths and weaknesses, financial analysis, previous years’ sales performance, current key performance indicators, and more.
- It’s important to do a strategic analysis of both the internal and external settings.
- Structure, vision and purpose statements, and value chain of the current organization
- Departmental issues and concerns
- A PESTEL diagram depicting external or macro-level influences on the company (PESTEL is an acronym for political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal)
- Porter’s five forces (tool for analyzing the competition)
- a seven-step evaluation (review of your skills, style, strategy, staff, structure, systems and shared values)
- Growth-Share Matrix from BCG (chart devised by Boston Consulting Group to illustrate each strategic business area according to growth rate and market share)
- Analysis of the strengths and shortcomings of the situation (an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)
It’s possible to include an appendix at the end that contains additional information, such as:
- Implementation challenges and risks
Sections about the future and the present condition are summarized in one page.
Section 2 on upcoming states
The next part outlines the ideal future condition for the business. Workshops and interviews with important personnel are the basis for this portion, which is usually 10 to 15 pages long.
Here are a few things to consider for the sections on future states:
- The company’s vision statement sums up its goals for the future.
- any planned changes to the organization’s mission and basic principles
- Long-term objectives defined in broad, high-level aims
- A business model canvas can be used to describe a potential future company model.
- Future value propositions that are hoped for
- Statements that elaborate on the company’s vision
Subsections can be added to provide further information on certain aspects and the rationale for their adoption.
Section 3 of the strategic plan
A description of how your organization plans to close the gap between its present condition and the ideal future state is provided in this part.
He conducts a series of meetings and conversations with the company’s CEO and other key workers to generate new ideas for achieving the company’s objectives. These brainstorming sessions often result in a list of five to ten ideas for future investigation. Depending on the organization’s capabilities, they should be reduced to three to five projects that help the company achieve its goals in a long-term and profitable manner. The consultant works closely with the entrepreneur and their team at every stage of the process.
In strategic planning, Dwivedi argues that it is more about knowing when to say no than yes. There are a million ways to run a firm. Entrepreneurs often find themselves spinning their wheels because they don’t know what to focus on. They get sidetracked when they see something flashy, like a new logo or website, or the latest social media platform. The goal of strategic planning is to narrow down the list of initiatives that will have the greatest impact. The term “filter” describes what it is.
Elements that make up the 10 to 15-page segment are as follows:
- As a company, you need a strategy for achieving your objectives.
- Your most important initiatives arranged according to strategic priority
- Step-by-step instructions for implementing each method.
- Estimated profits by market, product, and any other possible segment
Each step in an action plan is listed on a single page, together with who is responsible for completing it and any other parties involved, as well as a timeframe for when it will be completed and a key performance indicator for tracking its progress over time.
Summary of findings and recommendations
Executive summaries of one to two pages in length are a standard part of Dwivedi’s strategic planning sessions with clients. The executive summary appears first in the final report, despite the fact that it was written last.
You can only write a good synopsis of a book if you’ve read the whole thing, adds Dwivedi.
The executive summary offers a concise overview of the company’s vision and purpose statements.
- Product or service offerings of the firm
- Aspirational goals
- Profound difficulties both within and beyond the organization.
- The financial picture
- In order to attain the goals, strategic priorities are initiatives that are essential.
- Specific actions for each project are laid out in an action plan.
Including a tiny section or box outlining significant facts about the organization and its objectives might also be helpful.
Techniques for Making a Business Plan
Dwivedi offers a few other recommendations on how to write a strategic plan:
In reverse chronological sequence, the final strategy plan is provided.
Strategic plans are sometimes presented in reverse order from the order in which each issue is reviewed in the strategic planning process.
The sections are arranged in this way in the final plan:
In a nutshell:
- The state’s vision for the future
- With an action plan attached, the strategic plan
- Situation prevailing at the time of writing
Executive summary and future state plan are placed first in the plan to stress the aim of the overall exercise, which is constructing a road map to attain your goals,” Dwivedi explains.
As long as the current condition isn’t correct, you don’t want to go ahead to the future.
Be concise and straightforward.
Planned communication is crucial. A PowerPoint presentation is a good way to make it easy for your audience to identify and understand the information you’re presenting. The ideal length for a paper is between 40 and 70 pages. In order to avoid omitting critical details, you should keep the plan as brief as possible, but not so small that it becomes difficult to implement.
For long-term success, it’s worth the effort to create a strategic plan that will help you achieve your goals.