Small Business Glossary

Strategic Plan

A Strategic Plan is a document detailing an organisation's high-level mission, vision, objectives and tactics for execution over a specified period.

In the world of small business, a strategic plan is a crucial tool that guides the direction, objectives, and decision-making of an organisation. It is a comprehensive document that outlines the goals of a business and the strategies to achieve these goals. The strategic plan serves as a roadmap that provides clarity and focus, enabling the business to move forward with purpose and confidence.

Creating a strategic plan requires a deep understanding of the business, its environment, and the factors that can influence its success. It is a process that involves careful analysis, thoughtful planning, and meticulous execution. The strategic plan is not a static document, but a living guide that should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in the business environment and the evolving needs of the business.

Components of a Strategic Plan

The strategic plan is composed of several key components, each of which plays a vital role in defining the direction and objectives of the business. These components provide a comprehensive view of the business, its goals, and the strategies to achieve these goals.

While the specific components can vary depending on the nature and needs of the business, a typical strategic plan includes the following elements: vision, mission, values, strategic objectives, strategies, action plans, and performance measures.


The vision statement is a forward-looking declaration of what the business aspires to become in the future. It serves as a beacon that guides the direction of the business, inspiring and motivating the team to strive for excellence. The vision statement should be ambitious yet achievable, and it should resonate with the values and aspirations of the business and its stakeholders.

For example, a small business in the sustainable fashion industry might have a vision statement like: "To be the leading provider of sustainable and ethically produced fashion in Australia, transforming the industry through innovation and commitment to environmental and social responsibility."


The mission statement defines the purpose of the business, explaining why it exists and what it aims to achieve. It provides a clear and concise description of the business's core activities, target market, and unique value proposition. The mission statement should be compelling and meaningful, reflecting the essence of the business and its commitment to its customers and stakeholders.

For instance, a small business in the organic food industry might have a mission statement like: "To provide high-quality, organic food products to Australian consumers, promoting health and wellbeing while supporting local farmers and protecting the environment."

Strategic Objectives

Strategic objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that the business aims to achieve within a specified timeframe. They provide a clear direction for the business, guiding its activities and decisions towards the achievement of its vision and mission. Strategic objectives should be aligned with the business's strengths, opportunities, and market trends, and they should be challenging yet realistic.

For example, a small business in the digital marketing industry might have strategic objectives like: "To increase our client base by 20% in the next two years" or "To improve our client satisfaction rate to 90% by the end of the year."


Strategies are the broad approaches that the business will use to achieve its strategic objectives. They provide a framework for the business's activities, guiding how it will allocate its resources, engage with its customers, compete in the market, and create value. Strategies should be based on a thorough analysis of the business's internal capabilities and external environment, and they should be flexible and adaptable to changes in these factors.

For instance, a small business in the fitness industry might have strategies like: "To differentiate our services through personalised training programs" or "To expand our market reach through online fitness classes."

Action Plans

Action plans are detailed plans that outline the specific actions that the business will take to implement its strategies and achieve its strategic objectives. They include the tasks to be performed, the resources required, the timelines, and the responsible persons. Action plans provide a clear roadmap for the business, ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities and what needs to be done to achieve the business's goals.

For example, a small business in the event planning industry might have an action plan like: "To launch a new wedding planning service by the end of the quarter, involving tasks such as market research, service development, marketing campaign, and customer feedback."

Performance Measures

Performance measures are indicators that the business uses to track its progress towards its strategic objectives. They provide a quantifiable means to evaluate the effectiveness of the business's strategies and actions, enabling the business to identify areas of success and areas for improvement. Performance measures should be relevant, reliable, and easy to understand, and they should be linked to the business's strategic objectives.

For instance, a small business in the retail industry might have performance measures like: "Sales growth rate", "Customer satisfaction score", or "Inventory turnover rate".

Benefits of a Strategic Plan

A strategic plan offers numerous benefits to a small business. It provides a clear direction for the business, guiding its activities and decisions towards the achievement of its goals. It helps the business to focus its resources on what matters most, enabling it to maximise its performance and competitiveness. It also promotes alignment and collaboration within the business, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same objectives.

Moreover, a strategic plan enhances the business's ability to anticipate and respond to changes in the business environment. It enables the business to identify opportunities and threats, and to develop proactive strategies to exploit these opportunities and mitigate these threats. It also facilitates the business's learning and improvement, enabling it to continuously adapt and evolve in a dynamic business environment.


In conclusion, a strategic plan is a vital tool that enables a small business to navigate its journey towards success. It provides a comprehensive and coherent framework for the business's direction, objectives, and strategies, ensuring that the business is well-prepared and well-positioned to thrive in a competitive and ever-changing business environment. With a well-crafted strategic plan, a small business can turn its vision into reality, its mission into action, and its potential into performance.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So, take that step today, create your strategic plan, and embark on your journey towards success. The future of your small business is in your hands. Make it bright, make it successful, make it extraordinary!

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