Simple Strategic Plan: The Essential Guide to a Successful Business Plan
The roadmap to navigate your way through the essential components of your startup.
How to make a roadmap to success when building a business
As we start out 2023, it's important to look back on some important tools that entrepreneurs can use to get ahead.
One of these tools is the Simple Strategic Plan, and is a crucial step to keeping your business plan concrete, streamlined, and successful.
The Simple strategic plan is your roadmap to navigate your way through the essential components of your startup. Here’s a breakdown:
A name helps to organize multiple plans and multiple versions. We like to include the quarter and year, since we revisit each quarter (more on that later).
E.g. Atlanta Ventures Strategic Plan - Q1 2023
This is one sentence that describes why your company exists. Keeping this to one sentence helps you get to the real meat of WHY you exist.
E.g. Empowering entrepreneurs to start, grow, and learn
- CORE VALUES
Every company needs core values. These values are the fundamental beliefs of your company and help people understand the culture of the office. They serve as an additional roadmap to help companies determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their goals. It serves as a constant reminder for everyone on the team to embrace your company’s beliefs. So ask yourself: “What foundational beliefs must every team member embody to be a good culture fit?”
E.g. Positive, self-starting, supportive.
In one sentence, can you describe the people or companies you’re serving? Have you had a chance to define your market? Here’s a helpful read to get you started, with these high-level action items:
Look at your current customer base.
Check out your competition.
Analyze your product/service.
Choose specific demographics to target.
Consider the psychographics of your target.
Evaluate your decision.
E.g. Startups in Atlanta that are: Pre-idea (entrepreneur, no idea), Idea (no MVP, pre-revenue), Product/Market Fit (<$1M ARR), or Scaling (>$1M ARR).
- BRAND PROMISE
This is a one sentence statement that your company is committed to doing or providing. Start with “My brand will help…” or “We promise to…”.
E.g. We promise to always put the entrepreneur first.
- ELEVATOR PITCH
In three sentences or less, answer the who, what, where, when, and why of your company. A typical elevator ride lasts 60 seconds or less, so be direct and concise.
E.g. We empower founders to achieve success through creating companies, funding founders, and equipping entrepreneurs
- THREE YEAR TARGET
In one sentence, define what you want to achieve within the next three years.
E.g. Be the go-to company for entrepreneurs in the Southeast, with X successful studio startups, and X successful capital investments.
In your goal section, you can lay the groundwork for what you actually want to get done. We recommend keeping to a S.M.A.R.T. framework. Goals should be specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.
- QUARTERLY + ANNUAL GOALS
In your one-page plan, list three goals for the quarter and year. List the Start Value, Current Value, and Target Value. It’s important to list each value so when it comes time to revisit this document, you’ll have metrics to measure against.
E.g. Launch 2-4 companies by the end of 2023.
Making your Simple Strategic Plan as good as possible takes time and effort. Craft your plan in a creative environment- somewhere your team is comfortable in to have a fun and creative activity. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, draft a first round and then grab some trusted advisors to join you for a review over beers.
Once you’ve made a draft, sleep, then revisit it. After giving yourself some time to dwell on it, revisit with fresh insight and add in some edits that you may not have arrived at, had it been published right away. This Simple Strategic Plan that you now have is a living and breathing document. Each Quarter, look at the goals achieved and what needs improving.
Finally, Share it with your team and get their feedback. Internal communication can become increasingly difficult as a company grows, and a way to make sure that everyone is on the same page is to share your SSP with the entire team.
This is your guide to success, let it do the navigating for you!
You can copy and duplicate the template for your team here.