You’ll want to create a Business Plan when you are looking to:
- Start a new company
- Organize their thoughts
- Judge the viability of your business idea
- Identify your general business strategy
- Understand potential financial results
- Present to bank or investor for financing
And you’ll want to create a Strategic Plan in order to:
- Grow an existing business
- Identify the best opportunities for growth
- Determine and prioritize your financial and HR needs
- Effectively communicate your plan to your team
- Provide a detailed and focused game plan
As you can imagine, strategic plans are reserved for entrepreneurs who are serious about growing their companies.
And strategic plans are the single biggest factor that separates average entrepreneurs from super-successful entrepreneurs.
A great strategic plan, the kind that works big time, is one that eliminates all “strategy execution gaps” so that achieving the desired results is straightforward. It usually 13 sections:
- Executive Summary
- Elevator Pitch
- Company Mission Statement
- SWOT Analysis
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Target Customers
- Industry Analysis
- Competitive Analysis & Advantage
- Marketing Plan
- Operations Plan
- Financial Projections
5 Key Sections
As you may know, an elevator pitch is a brief description of your company that you could tell to a stranger in the time that it takes for you to ride an elevator from the ground to the top floor of a building. This is an important part of a strategic plan because if both your employees and your customers can’t concisely explain your business to others, then you’ll lose out on tons of new customers. If you think about it, for all great companies, like Fedex, or eBay, or Google, pretty much anyone can quickly and easily explain what they do to someone else.
As you may know, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is a critical exercise in growing your company. Clearly, you want to make sure you identify the best opportunities available to grow your company, and choose to go after the ones that best leverage your company’s strengths. Doing so, dramatically increases your success. Likewise you need to make sure you identify weaknesses you need to improve, and minimize the impact of or remove potential threats.
Key Performance Indicators or KPIs.
Setting KPIs and viewing them frequently in what we call a “financial dashboard” is one of the hallmarks of successful companies. So what are KPIs? KPIs are the metrics that judge your business’ performance based on the success you would like to achieve. While setting KPIs allows you to identify and measure the performance metrics that your company needs to achieve, which puts you in a much better position to achieve them.
This is another area where most entrepreneurs and companies break down. Because even if you come up with good ideas and opportunities for growth, if you don’t have an action plan for executing on them, they’ll never materialize. Your operations plan should transform your opportunities into reality by mapping out the timeline and game plan for completing all projects. Among other things, the operations plan identifies the smaller projects that comprise the big opportunities, and details how these projects will be completed.
Your Financial Projections show the revenues, profits and expenses that will result from executing on your strategic plan. They show what the results of going after different opportunities will be, to make sure you choose the right ones. They show you the financial resources that are required to execute on your strategic plan. And they allow you to judge and improve your performance as you embark on your plan.
So there you have it.those are key tips about some of the strategic plan sections that allow companies like yours to dramatically grow.