Strategic planning for business growth

How do you develop a strategic plan?

Guide

A strategic plan document is typically the result of the strategic planning process. It is a stepping-stone towards strategy implementation and offers a roadmap for accomplishing your business' strategic goals.

What to include in a strategic plan document?

There is no set way to structure a strategic plan document, but it is good practice to include the following:

  • Introduction statement - briefly describe why you developed the strategic plan, its scope and duration.
  • Business statement - briefly describe your business and its history. This can serve as an 'elevator pitch' when explaining your business to others.
  • Vision statement - describe what you want to achieve or where you want your business to be.
  • Core values - outline the principles that underpin your business culture.
  • Mission statement - describe the long-term purpose of your business.
  • Problem statement - explain key issues that you wish to address.
  • SWOT analysis - examine your business' internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. See a SWOT analysis example.
  • Objectives and goals - outline your top-level objectives as measurable and actionable steps. These might include attracting a new type of customer, developing new products and services, or securing new sources of finance.
  • Implementation plan - set out key actions (with desired outcomes and deadlines) needed to fulfil your top-level objectives.
  • Monitoring and evaluation - determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) you will track, and how you will monitor the progress against actions on an ongoing basis.
  • Resourcing - summarise the impact of the proposed strategy on resources, including budget, staffing, premises and equipment.

You may also want to consider adding an executive summary. This can be useful for prospective investors and other key external stakeholders.

Rather than being fixed in stone, your strategic plan should be a dynamic document. You may need to revisit and adjust periodically to fit the changing needs of your business.

Once you finalise this document, you should take steps to implement your strategic plan.

Help with developing your plan

Small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow can access training and mentoring support through the Help to Grow: Management Scheme. The scheme is 90 per cent funded by the government and provides access to 12-weeks of learning, 1:1 support from a business mentor and a chance to develop a bespoke business growth plan to help your business reach its full potential.