How to Structure an Action Plan for your Business

5 Year Action Plan

[Learn more about these MS Word and Excel templates here]

Want to create an action plan for your business? Looking sample guidelines?

You can use these guidelines to create a MS Word template to convert your business goals, plans, and ideas into an effective Action Plan.

Remember, the best way to write these documents is to make it simple and easy for others to use, especially for Marketing activities.

Action Plan: Definition

Let’s say you decide to start a new business, go to college, or setup a new marketing campaign. You know what you want do but you’re not sure how to get there. This is where you benefit from using an Action Plan.

Definition: A series of activities that must be performed for a plan to succeed.

In other words, you’re going to identify all the key tasks you need to perform to reach this goal, and then put a plan in place that lets you accomplish this as effectively as possible.

Next, let’s look at the structure.

Action Plan: Structure

Your Action Plan will have three parts:

  1. Tasks – this identifies what will be done and by whom.
  2. Time – this shows when these tasks will be done and in what sequence
  3. Resource – this identifies what people, funds and tools are needed for specific activities.

Next, let’s look at how to format the Microsoft Word template.

[Learn more about these MS Word and Excel templates here]

Action Plan: How to Format

If you’re using MS Word to create your Action Plan template, then use the following guidelines to format, style, and develop the content.

Create a Table of Contents that covers the following topics:

1 Introduction

1.1 Vision

1.2 Mission

1.3 Objectives

1.4 Strategies

1.5 Areas of Impact

1.6 Points of Contact

1.7 Assumptions

1.8 Constraints

1.9 Dependencies

2 Management Structure

2.1 Organization Chart

2.2 Roles & Responsibilities

2.3 Anticipated Change

3 Action Plan

3.1 Implications for staff involvement

3.2 Enhance practices

3.3 Evidence of success

4 Continuous Monitoring

5 Outcomes

5.1 Participant Outcomes

5.2 Organizational Outcomes

5.3 Community Outcomes

6 Project Budget

You may not need all these sections for your plan, so modify the sections that suit you best.

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Download Action Plan Template

[Learn more about these MS Word and Excel templates here]

Next Steps

Remember to add a Document History section to the cover sheet, so you can track all the changes made to the document. This makes sure there is one master copy in circulation and reduces any confusion that might exist otherwise.

Next week, we will look at a Sample Action Plan and the mistakes to avoid when getting started.

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