Introduction to this document

Strategic goal setting

Strategic business planning involves more than simply preparing a budget or one-year plan. You will need a set of business goals, say, covering the next three years to form part of the budgeting process. Your managing director (MD) will no doubt have ambitions for the business, so how can you easily get these down on paper?

Brainstorming excercise

The first step is to understand your MD’s ambitions for the business so that you can convert these into a three-year plan.

List the ambitions and sort them by headings. These could be financial, such as sales or profit targets; non-financial, such as products or services, customers or clients, staff or organisation; or geography, such as offices or territories.

Once the list is complete, you can map out the timings with your MD. The best way to do this is to list the items per heading year by year over the next three years. Doing this will help you to identify inter-relationships and dependencies between the different ambitions.

Having analysed the ambitions into a structure of headings and a timeline, you’ll need to convert this from a wish list to a sketch plan for presentation to the board using our Strategic Goal Setting document. To give perspective, add an extra column to your analysis for current status against each of the items planned.