When a startup has a new product or service, it needs a plan to grow the business to its full potential. A good plan will take all the information the founder has gathered and come up with a strategy they can take to the market and attract customers. The plan covers a variety of areas, from how the company is going to grow, how the cost structure will work, and how the company will make money. A professional business plan consultant can help you to gather all the right elements of a strategic business plan.

But it can be hard to know where to start the strategic planning process. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 12 elements that every startup needs to include in its strategic plan.

1. A Mission Statement

One of the most important elements of a strategic business plan is a mission statement. Every company needs a mission statement. The mission statement is the cornerstone of a business and what it stands for. It’s your reason for being, so it should be short and to the point.

2. Start with a vision statement

Every company needs a vision statement to help it stay focused and aligned. A clear vision statement gives your company direction and helps you understand what the business is about. This might include the services or products you offer, the customer base you’re targeting, or where you want to go in the future. Whatever your vision is, make sure it’s visible for everybody in your startup so they know what they’re working on. This is why a vision statement is one of the most key elements of a strategic business plan.

3. An overview of the industry

It may seem like a no-brainer, but the best way for a startup to figure out what its plan should be is by understanding the industry it’s in. An industry overview is one of the key elements of a strategic business plan. It’s important to know how competitive the industry is, how many businesses are competing in it, and who they’re competing with.

For example, if your idea is to create a new type of energy drink, you need to know who you’re up against. If it’s other energy drinks, then you need to come up with a unique selling point or different flavor that will make people switch from their usual drink. If it’s snack foods, then you need to find out what people are looking for in snacks and deliver that.

4. Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis is one of the important elements of a strategic business plan. You want to take a look at the market and see what other products there are that can be a good competition for your own. This will not only make you aware of what’s in the market now, but it will also help you figure out how to best market your product or service. You’ll also want to analyze your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to figure out where you have opportunities for improvement.

5. SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a great way to start the strategic planning process. It lists strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors while opportunities and threats are external factors that may have an impact on the company. A SWOT analysis identifies what is going well for the company, what could be improved upon, where there are growth opportunities, and where there may be threats from competitors or other things that could go wrong.

This helps startups identify what areas they should be paying more attention to develop their strategy for the future. By identifying their strengths and weaknesses, startups can come up with ways to improve upon them or work around them to improve their overall business performance. This is why SWOT analysis is one of the key elements of a strategic business plan.

For instance, if a startup has identified that they lack an experienced marketing team, then it will need to find creative ways of generating leads without having an experienced marketing team in place. A SWOT analysis gives you a blueprint of all your options so that you can put together a plan that works best for your business.

6. Identify your goals

To create a strategic business plan that can be accomplished, every company needs to have goals set for what they’re trying to achieve. Goals should be defined by metrics that are measurable and can be tied back to revenue streams and specific market-share numbers. These goals must be attainable or else they will act as an anchor holding down your business now and, in the future, if they are not met. Defining this goal is one of the integral elements of a strategic business plan.

7. Create deadlines

To meet your goals, you need deadlines for when things need to be done. Without deadlines, many companies won’t get anything done because there’s no sense of urgency in their work environment – which can lead to stagnation of the company as well as reduced productivity among employees. If a deadline is missed, it’s up to the founder of the company whether or not he/she wants to extend a grace period or change priorities accordingly at that point in time-based on how close they are to meeting their goals or if they need more time. Defining proper deadlines is one of the most important elements of a strategic business plan.

8. Sales Forecasts

Sales forecasts are a good way to help you keep track of the money coming in and going out. It’s important to take into account how much revenue you can reasonably expect from your products or services, to help you predict whether your company will be profitable. Sales forecasts are also essential for understanding where you need to focus your efforts and ensuring that your business is sustainable over time.

Sales forecasts can be one of the good starting elements of a strategic business plan for any self-starter looking to create a strategic plan. But it’s hard to do this without more information about revenue, expenses, profits, and other financial details. To accurately forecast sales numbers, the founder needs data on all these different areas to come up with more accurate calculations. If they don’t know these figures offhand, they may need to consult a startup consultant or hire someone who specializes in this field.

9. Profit Projections

One of the key elements of a strategic business plan is profit projection. This is a calculation of how much money the company will make in a certain period. This is also known as your company’s break-even point, or what it takes to cover expenses and turn a profit. Break-even point calculations are important because they can help you determine whether the business model you have chosen is profitable or not.

10. An Executive Summary

This is often the first set of elements of a strategic business plan that gets circulated, and it’s a summary of the document. The executive summary should be short and sweet, highlighting the key points that matter most to those reading it.

11. A list of Key Decisions

The list of decisions you need to make about your startup is dependent on the specific needs and wants of your company, but there are some commonalities that all startups need to consider. Here are the 10 most common decisions that every startup needs to include in its strategic business plan:

  • What your startup will sell–the product or the service
  • Who will buy the product or service?
  • The cost structures
  • The target audience
  • How and where you’ll market

These are some common decisions that constitute key elements of a strategic business plan.

12. A list of Key Personnel

Key personnel is vital elements of a strategic business plan. Key personnel is the people that will be working with you to make your company a success. You need to know who these people are and what their qualifications are–especially since you don’t want to hire someone who won’t work well with the rest of the team due to personality conflicts.

This section should also include how much each person’s salary will be. That way, when you’re designing your pitch deck, it will show that you understand how much money it takes to run the business while still turning a profit. This can help reassure investors that you’re making sound decisions about running your company.

In conclusion, the elements of a strategic business plan that I have mentioned are very important for every startup. They will help to make the startup successful in the long run. Though, in my opinion, the most important elements of a strategic business plan are the organization’s goals and objectives. If a startup has clearly defined goals, it can achieve success.

References:
Scaling your startup


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Author: BPlan Experts
BPlan Experts (www.bplanexperts.com) is one of the world’s top business planning and startup consulting firms. With over 1800 clients located across 80 countries, BPlan Experts is an authority in startups and entrepreneurship. BPlan Experts specializes in providing end to end support to entrepreneurs and startups to include ideation, feasibility. business planning, funding assistance, implementation support, and scaling up of operations.
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