Doing strategic planning for your business or nonprofit organization can seem like an overwhelming task. The key to successful strategic planning is to break the information you need down into manageable chunks. The free templates provided here will help you do just that. Each one is an editable PDF that you can download, save, and customize as needed.
SWOT Analysis Template
Doing a SWOT analysis is the best starting point for strategic planning. SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This is a special type of environmental scan in which your goal is to identify your company's internal strengths and weaknesses, along with any opportunities and threats that exist in the external environment. The best way to write a SWOT analysis is to involve stakeholders in a brainstorming process using a four-square template like the one below.
It's also a good idea to do a PESTLE analysis as part of the strategic planning process. This type of analysis requires considering the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors that are likely to impact your business over both the short term and long-term future. The information that goes into a PESTLE analysis should be based on industry research, current events, business performance, and stakeholder input.
SMART Goal Template
Use the information gained from the SWOT and PESTLE analysis, along with other key business data, to establish SMART goals for the business. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. Using this approach to goal setting will help to ensure that the goals you set will help the business fulfill its mission. Use a separate sheet for each business goal. Fill in the four boxes by each letter (SMART) first, then use the information you compile to create the actual goal statement.
Strategic Goals and Objectives Template
The template below is designed to help you establish strategically aligned objectives for each business goal that is identified. Use a separate sheet for each goal. Decide on the specific objectives that will be used to accomplish the goal, placing each one in its own box. Then, below each goal, list the tactics that will be implemented in order to accomplish it. To boost accountability, specify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used to determine if the objective was accomplished.
Who to Include in Strategic Planning
The strategic planning process should involve company leaders and other stakeholders. For example, the officers and directors of a business should be involved, as well as the executive and management team. Some companies also involve employees in the strategic planning process. For a nonprofit organization, the board of directors and executive director usually spearhead strategic planning efforts, but often seek input from an advisory board that includes community leaders and individuals in the group(s) the organization serves.