Do you wants to know how to start developing a strategic business plan? First we must differentiate between business plan and strategic plan. A business plan is usually done for different reasons, such as investment research, and covers general concepts about the company such as business model, sales model, financing required and others, however, a strategic plan reflects the Strategy and operations to achieve specific objectives.
Structure of a Strategic Plan
To begin, I must say that the usual structure of a strategic plan is organized as follows:
- Strategic plan
- Operational Plans
- Operational Action
- Tactical Action
Let’s look at each of the parts of the strategic plan as a concept and then structure it into files.
This phase is the most conceptual and tries to analyze the context in which our company will move during the period of the strategic plan.
My advice in this part is that you use tools such as SWOT analysis , PESTEL or Porter also described in my ebook ” The final technical 25.5 business strategy .”
Formulation of Strategies
At this stage, and according to the results that you obtained from strategic analysis, you must identify all possible strategies to be implemented to achieve the objectives. Some tools that can help you at this stage are , for example, the strategies defined by Porter niche focus, cost and differentiation , or strategies defining Ansoff in its matrix are product development, market development, penetration market or differentiation.
There are many more tools, but really the important thing is to select one or two that perfectly fit your goals to achieve.
Keep in mind that if you try to implement several of them at the same time you run the risk of losing focus and effectiveness in the use of resources.
If for all the previous phases there are tools of help and guide, for the development of the operational plans, by its specific character, there is not much about it, and what there is, will not be valid.
Operational plans can come out several, it is logical. In fact, each strategic objective identified in the phase of Strategic Analysis can leave an operating plan. In my professional career the normal thing has been to develop between 2 and 5 operational plans.
Operational plans must include a set of operational actions, and if they are sufficiently broad, as is usually the case, should be divided into tactical actions, the minimum unit of action.
How to Physically Structure your Strategic Plan?
Strategic plans that work are those in which the staff has been actively involved in its conception, therefore, my advice in this regard is to use any system or Cloud Storage Cloud storage as Google Drive. This tool allows you to collaborate and not have to work with versions since it is Drive who stores all the changes, two advantages of high value.
A good directory structure and files would be:
- A text document called “Strategic Plan” setting out the strategic analysis, strategy formulation, selecting them and identifying operational plans, but not its development, only identification.
- A spreadsheet called “Balanced Scorecard” organized by tabs, containing a summary of all operational actions plans with their percentages of achievement. In addition, it will contain a tab by operating plan that will collect the objectives by tactical actions.
- A text document called “Operational Plan …” for each of the identified operational plans . These plans have to include the detailed explanation of the operational actions, their objectives, their managers and the smaller tactical actions, with their description.
- We will have to create a directory or folder operating plan with the same name, in which we collect the control documents , i.e documents that will support tactical actions. For example, if a tactical action consists of identifying collaborators, in the corresponding operational plan we will explain this action and its necessity, and we will put a link to your control document where we will insert each of the detected collaborators and their status.
Drive allows us to link files in an easy way, which makes us very agile moving between the file structure of the Strategic Plan.
Remember the importance of the risk of paralysis by analysis. Given this, design the strategic plan while you execute this part of it in parallel.
I hope I have transmitted these ideas in a clear way for your understanding, because if it were not so, I would not have fulfilled my goal of communication with you.