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1 A strategic plan is the road map to growing your business. There are three (3) key components to a long-term strategic plan. Your strategic plan should describe: (1) where your business is at currently, (2) where your business would like to be in the next 5 years, and (3) how your business will get there. Use this guide to help create a strategic plan for your company. First, analyze your business in the present day. In other words, what is the state of your business currently? This includes current sales, marketing efforts, operations, financial performance, etc. For strategic planning purposes you ll want to focus specifically on: You must be able to communicate your business model and concept quickly and succinctly to others. This is called your elevator pitch. Use the chart below to analyze your current pitch:

2 Once you ve created your pitch, hone in on your mission. Your mission statement is a short sentence that explicitly states the purpose of your business and what it s trying to achieve. Use the worksheet below to analyze your company s mission: Your vision explains where you want to be as a result of achieving your mission. It is a short, carefully constructed statement explaining what you envision your business to be in the future. Use the worksheet below to analyze your company s vision:

3 A SWOT analysis is a 360 scan of the internal and external factors impacting your business. Identifying your internal Strengths and Weaknesses and your external Opportunities and Threats helps determine which competitive advantages to leverage to achieve your long-term goals. It also helps you stay up-to-date on market, industry, and economic conditions. Use the chart below to conduct your SWOT analysis: After analyzing where you re at now, decide where you want to be in 5 years. Develop major goals for your company. For example, decide how big you want to grow, how to expand your product line, when to tap into new markets, when to add additional staff, at what point to go global, etc. If you have a difficult time envisioning your business s future, think about where you want to be in 5 years instead. For example, do you envision yourself working fewer hours? Directly managing a staff of 50 employees? Overseeing the big picture instead of the day-to-day? Directly involved with business operations? Use the worksheet below to help determine your growth goals:

4 After identifying your major goals, set specific objectives that outline exactly how you ll get there. These objectives should be: Work backward from your major goals to identify exactly what needs to happen to get you there. Break your objectives and action plan down from 5 years 1 year Quarterly Monthly. The closer you get to today, the more specific and detailed your plan can (and should!) be. For example, if your goal is to grow your business enough to sell it in 3 years, you ll need to establish a timetable, action plan, resource list, and budget for:

5 If your goal is to become an international chain in the next 5 years, you ll need to identify specific steps for: To help determine specific objectives for meeting your long-term goals, use the four (4) worksheets below. Be sure to regularly track and evaluate your progress on each objective and revise as needed:

6

7 Your long-term strategic plan a roadmap for growing your business. cover all aspects of the business (marketing, sales, operations, finances, etc.). be revised over time, as your external and internal environments change. be clear, focused, and balanced. Do not have too many goals or objectives, and focus only on what s important to achieving your long-term strategy. If you need assistance developing a long-term strategic plan for your small business, our SBDC office can help. Call us at (712) or contact Jennifer Kalstrup at The Iowa Western Small Business Development Center is a free resource for small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in Southwest Iowa. We serve seven counties including Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby and provide consulting services to help businesses start, grow, and prosper Jennifer Kalstrup. Iowa Western Small Business Development Center. All Rights Reserved.

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