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7 Steps of Strategic Planning


  1. Decide on the business and or nonprofit overall strategic planning process and get buy-in from key stakeholders.
  2. Prepare a business assessment and analysis of factors related to future change. This step often includes data collection and analysis that describes the current reality; an identification of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (also known as a SWOT analysis); and a resource audit.
  3. Develop a shared, practical vision of business success an image of success for the business in 1,3 and 5 years.
  4. Determine priority issues; develop long-term goals (strategic directions); and form task forces/working groups.
  5. Formulate achievable objectives and strategies and identify the actions that will be effective in achieving those goals.
  6. Prepare an implementation plan identifying the concrete steps required to fulfill each objective, as well as the individuals responsible for the action, the timeframe, and the resources required. As part of an implementation plan, organize a major kick-off event to introduce the strategic plan and announce its initiatives.
  7. Determine how to measure and evaluate progress made under the plan. Elements that should be addressed include how to continue public involvement, report annual progress to stakeholders, review and modify the plan, and evaluate the process and results.