How to Create Strategic Plan for Your Small Business

Short tips to create a Strategic Plan for your Startup or Small Business. What is the important of creating strategic plan? Many small business and startup coaches and consultants regularly espouse the benefits of a strong strategic plan and implore entrepreneurs to spend the time necessary to create a great one, to guide the growth of the business. But what is a strategic plan exactly on what are the elements of a good one.

The first step in creating a solid strategic plan as having a clear vision of where you want to go. Strategies are developed in order to help you achieve certain goals. So you need to set those goals before you can develop the strategy. If you want to have a strategic plan that’s actionable and helpful, you need to be clear and specific about the goals that you’re trying to achieve. Don’t say that you want your business to be more profitable by the end of the year, say that you want to achieve a profit of one million dollars.Don’t say you want to increase your number of customers. Say that you want to increase your number of customers by 70%. You need to lay out a vision of what success means for your company over a given period of time, early over the next twelve months. And then you will use that vision of success as the goal towards which all of your strategic initiatives should move you. As a guide all of the things that you identify in your vision should be “SMART” goals. That is they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.

The next step in building a business strategic plan is evaluating what your core competencies are, and identifying the market opportunities that align with those core competencies. Core competencies are the things that your company does exceptionally well. Now this is not a goal like in the first step, this is what your company excels at right now. Be honest about where your company really distinguishes itself from the pack and then identify opportunities in the market thet can take advantage of given these core competencies.

Finally take a look at where you want to go, what your startup or small business core competencies are now, and what market opportunities you can take advantage of. Now using those as the basis of this next step, you break all of your calls from the vision section down into smaller goals and then break those goes down into even smaller goals and so on. By the end you should have a clear path to achieving your vision by accomplishing a set of smaller goals all along the way. These action plans should include a bunch of “SMART” again, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound goals, that add up to the larger smart goals that you included in your vision. Once you’re done you have your strategic plan which is a clear vision of where you want to go and how you’ll get there so simple as that.