Six steps for creating an effective strategic plan

Six steps for creating an effective strategic plan


Published in :
Business strategies
Published on 04 December 2018
Reading: 3 minutes

Six steps for creating an effective strategic plan

Is your SME the envy of your industry? If so, congratulations, but don’t take your position for granted. Sooner or later a recession or the arrival of a new competitor could knock you for a loop. To avoid defeat, be sure to arm yourself with a strategic plan. Just follow the steps in this guide!

  1. Create a team dedicated to strategic planning

You can’t do everything yourself. Locate your best people from different areas of the company and turn them into a team dedicated to strategic planning. The team’s mission will be to develop an overview of the company’s current situation and determine what goals it needs to attain in order to progress further. This committee will then create an action plan for attaining these goals. Don’t hesitate to include an executive from the board of directors on the team.

  1. Perform an in-depth examination of the company

Once your strategic team has been created, it’s time to get down to business. Committee members should first ask themselves a few basic questions to ensure they correctly understand the company’s present and future situation. “Where is the company currently headed?” is one such question. Remember that it’s only by leaving point A that you can dream about arriving at point B. So what do you need to do to achieve that goal?

Several strategic models are available to help you structure your study. A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) is probably the most well-known model. The five forces analysis is another example of a widely used framework. But no matter what model your choose, the goal remains the same: to identify the keys to your success.



  1. Draw up and internally promote the company’s mission

Every strategic plan worthy of the name involves the creation of a company mission statement. This text should aim to be a kind of concise statement of the vision you have for the business over the next five, 10 or 15 years. It is therefore necessary to set aside your everyday concerns in order to envision more ambitious, long-term projects. These major objectives for the future—developing a new market, obtaining major financing or constructing a new plant, for example—should also be specified. Entrepreneurs should choose the lines of development that are the most pertinent and include them in a list of priorities. Once you’ve refined your mission statement, you need to promote it internally—it’s an excellent way to encourage your teams’ advancement in the desired direction. Invite your employees to get involved!

  1. Evaluate the cost of achieving your targeted goals

First and foremost, a good plan needs to be achievable. Deploying several strategies simultaneously is one thing, but having the means to pull them off is something else altogether. What financial and human resources will you need in order to achieve each of your identified objectives? And what will be the effect of these decisions on the profitability of your SME in the short term?

  1. Create a schedule for deploying your activities

You should now draw up a calendar for deploying your activities in an organized and progressive manner. The secret to success still often resides in assigning clear and specific responsibilities for every selected team member. Who will be in charge of what? Allotted budgets and due dates must also be included.

  1. Put your plan into action and be prepared to change it if necessary

Now all that remains is to execute your action plan by following the established schedule. But watch out! Strategic planning is a dynamic process that is not necessarily set in stone. It evolves in response to changes that arise both inside and outside of the company. The committee dedicated to strategic planning should also decide how the company’s progress will be measured. Since this is an evolving process, it would be wise to track it using a dashboard.