Strategic Planning Guide For Small Businesses

Every entrepreneur should find time to be thoughtful about the future of their company. That is where strategic planning comes into play. Strategic planning defines where a business wants to be and how it will get there. It can have a dramatic impact on the profitability and morale of the company because it provides a blueprint to help you stay on track in a changing marketplace. If you are ready to set in motion a strategic plan to help grow your small business, consider these five tips to make your planning more successful.

Know Who You Are

The first step in strategic planning is to know who you are. What is your company’s mission, vision, and values? When you clearly articulate why your business exists, what you want to be known for and your core beliefs, you set the direction for your plan to grow your business. Knowing who you are also helps you to avoid losing your way while in the process of growth.

Assess Where You Are

In order to go forward, you must assess where you are today. A great way to accomplish this is using the SWOT analysis. You and your team will address the Strengths, and Weaknesses that you observe in your business, as well as Opportunities and Threats that may emerge in the future.

Create A Future Forward Plan

You will need to create long and short term goals that include the strategies and tactics that you will implement in order to achieve those goals. You should identify the resources you will need such as staff, facilities, equipment, vendors and inventory and also include the cost involved and it’s impact on your revenue.


A strategic plan must include an action plan with specific tasks, timelines, and responsibilities. A strategic plan is useless without execution. Knowing where you want to go and knowing how your going to get there is of no use, unless you put your plan into action and stick with it.

Entrepreneurs are faced with market conditions changing at a rapid pace. Be flexible and learn how to adjust your strategies, and pursue new opportunities that will be a good fit for your long and short term goals.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

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