17+ Business Action Plan Examples – PDF, Word, Pages


Starting a business can be an exciting venture for any entrepreneur. But while the idea of becoming successful in the given field can be an exciting and appealing concept to ponder on, there will always be moments of doubt and uncertainty that will consume you. Thus, having a well-constructed action plan in place is a great way to surpass these obstacles that threaten to slow you down. As you meet one goal at a time, you’ll soon gain the necessary foundation to keep your business on track.

Business Action Plan Template

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Small business Action Plan

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Business Action Plan Example

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Action Plan Template

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Business Action Plan Template Example

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Sample Business Action Plan Example

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Spa Business Action Plan Example

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What Are Action Plans?

For a business to prosper in a competitive industry, goal setting plays a critical role toward success. You need to get to higher ground if you don’t want to get sucked in by the horrific downfalls of the fast-changing market. But most importantly, you need to know how you could get there without losing too much in the process. You may also see quality plan examples & samples.

1. Definition

A business without an action plan is almost like going on an adventure to the great outdoors without a map.

Why?

Because in order to obtain success, a business must follow a plan to lead itself toward a long-term goal.

An action plan is a document that contains a list of sequential tasks or activities that outline significant priorities that a business must focus on. It’s a step-by-step guide that can help a team achieve their desired goals. The secret to creating a successful business action plan is to be ambitious enough to attain profit and growth, but also realistic enough that your business doesn’t overestimate its capacity. You may also like company plan examples & samples.

A business action plan can come in handy, especially in terms of project management. Here, the action plan serves as a blueprint that allows the project manager to break down large, difficult tasks into manageable parts. This way, it would be easier for members of the team to deliver their assigned tasks efficiently and effectively. A good plan will then help put your strategy into action, which is why it’s important for a business to spend a sufficient amount of time and effort into creating an effective business action plan.

2. Benefits

Given how an action plan functions as a road map to guide you every step of the way, constructing a well-formed plan of action will certainly keep your start-up on course for many days into your first fiscal year. Starting a new business, especially without much experience to your name, can be a nerve-wracking experience for any entrepreneur. But despite the challenges you’re set to face, it’s always important to clear your mind and think ahead of time to prepare yourself for any hurdles that may come.

A business action plan provides you with clarity to help you prioritize your responsibilities and allocate your time and resources on what’s important. The action plan will serve as your guidebook, which sets you back on track on those days that you might feel overwhelmed by all the workload and priorities that might stall you from seeing the bigger picture. You may also check out sales plan examples.

As a business owner, the amount of responsibilities, hurdles, and shortcomings you’re likely to face are all part of the journey. With an action plan in place, you can prepare yourself for all the challenges that may come through the obstacles that have been identified, along with the items that you might be interested to delegate or outsource. You might be interested in advertising plan examples & samples.

Furthermore, a comprehensive plan also ensures that all the critical bases have been covered. Through the process of creating the action plan, managers and the rest of their team members may identify the important aspects of the business that must be attended to, such as potential problems that must be addressed and priorities that must be acted upon immediately. You may also see annual plan examples and samples.

3. Activities

When producing an action plan, making a list of outcomes you hope to achieve by the end of each project is crucial to its development.

Say for example, if you’re about to enter the landscaping business, then your list of to-dos might involve buying new tools and equipment, acquiring a business telephone, staying on top of accounting duties, and generating a good number of paying customers. In the long run, you might even want to have your own storage or office space, purchase a trailer or a truck to transport goods, and participate in local trade shows and conventions. You may also see event plan examples & samples.

Once you have formulated your dream list, you can then set your priorities straight according to what are legally necessary, along with those that could offer you the quickest payback.

Other frivolous plans and suggestions can make an appearance at a later time. In the case of the landscaping scenario, shopping for a brand new truck and trailer might sound like an exciting idea, but then again, opting for a used truck and a rented trailer will ensure a better payback, therefore making it a greater alternative. Before you even consider taking the leap, you need to be practical and mindful about your actions first. You may also like daily plan examples & samples.

As soon as your priorities have been set, you can then insert several attainable action steps into the mix to turn your supposed “wish list” into a reality. This way, you get a better chance of bringing your other ambitions to life. Remember, it’s always important to choose and prioritize items that provide you with a competitive advantage, a financial gain, and a cost-efficient outcome. You may also check out management plan examples.

One Page Business Action Plan

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Blank Business Action Plan Example

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Monthly Business Sales Action Plan Example

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Business Exit Action Plan Example

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The Importance of Action Plans in Business

Having a business action plan in place can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Since the success of a business relies on its quest to stay committed toward a long-term goal, having a plan that you can follow is essential for the business and its members to perform effectively.

1. Studying the business

If you think about it, the process of formulating an action plan is just as important as the document itself.

To many business owners and entrepreneurs, the process of writing an action plan allows them to further grasp the goals possessed by the company as well as where it’s going. This creates a profound understanding of what’s ahead, instead of simply reading what the entity has planned. So rather than just knowing what the end goal is, you can learn how you could get there through the entire development process. You may also see work plan examples & samples.

2. Avoiding waste

Imagine going about with your business without a good action plan in place. Though you might have a business plan ready, would you know exactly how to act upon it?

One of the greatest hazards of continuing on without an action plan is the amount of resources that you’re putting at risk.

Think about the amount of time, energy, and money that could be wasted if you constantly pursue avenues or projects that would not be profitable or productive for the business to rely on. If you believe solely on chance, then at best, you could cut into significant profit margins, but at worst, you may face serious consequences that the business might have a difficult time recovering from. You may also like audit plan examples & samples.

A concise and effective action plan builds a clear path for the business to follow, enabling staff members to work hand in hand toward achieving specific business goals. This way, your business would not have to suffer from the lack of resources left that has been caused by poor business decisions.

3. Understanding the field

Only a sensible entrepreneur would venture on a field that they possess a fair amount of knowledge about. But even with your impressive background and years of experience, you can only know so much about the field you are in.

Think about it. Professors and instructors often provide their students with homework and assignments to work on despite holding classes for about three to five hours per week. Their reason for doing so is that it serves as an in-depth learning process that an individual can only learn from if they work on it themselves. You may also check out research plan examples & samples.

By writing an action plan, not only do you learn more about your own business, but you can also gain knowledge about your competitors and the market you serve. Other aspects of the field may be tackled as well, leaving you with a thorough understanding of your own field.

4. Learning from mistakes

It takes a lot less effort (and money) to envision a mistake and its probable effects than it is to wait for it to happen and then recover from it before it leads to another downward spiral. Working through various hypothetical problems might seem like a heavy task to undergo, but it can actually be advantageous in a number of ways. This can prepare your business for potential drawbacks along the way, and to steer around any loopholes that may come. You might be interested in job plan examples & samples.

Keep in mind that anything is possible. Though the likelihood of something truly unfortunate happening is relatively low, there’s no guarantee that it won’t happen despite your efforts to avoid them. Writing a comprehensive action plan will help the business work through these mistakes in order to generate a better outcome. You may also see project plan examples.

5. Defining the business

One of the key components of a successful business is its purpose and goals. Many up and coming businesses struggle to make ends meet due to the lack of resources available for them to work with. But instead of seeing this as a limitation, a business can use this to their best advantage.

An effective action plan identifies particular areas where a business should pay attention to in order to formulate a winning strategy. If the business has successfully defined its objectives and goals, then members of the organization are provided with a clear picture of what they must aim to achieve. This builds solidarity among employees, creating a sense of identity for staff members to live up to.

Once the business solidifies its image and identity to employees, prospects, and other stakeholders, its chances for success increases.

Business Development Action Plan Example

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Personal Business Action Plan Example

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Business Project Action Plan Example

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Guidelines for Writing a Business Action Plan

Business owners all share a common dream. This includes where they want to take their business, and how they see themselves in the next decade or so. But until then, turning these dreams into a reality involves an extensive process of creating a strategic plan with the help of a few objectives and goals.

Since every business requires a sales plan, a marketing plan, a financial plan, and a process plan (just to name a few), it’s only right for the business to create a strong foundation to reach their desired objectives and goals in the form of a well-made business action plan.

To help you through this process, here are a few guidelines that you could follow:

1. Make it S.M.A.R.T.

Goal setting is the first and foremost step in building an effective business action plan. Once you have identified your goals, you then need an action plan to reach them.

Using a defined set of goals using a SMART framework is the perfect way to form something that is both practical and doable. To establish a S.M.A.R.T goal, take note of its characteristics below:

  • Specific – Let’s say you’re running a toy store at a popular mall right across town. Setting a goal that involves “increasing revenues” sounds a bit too vague and unspecific for one to work with. Not only can this cause confusion and misunderstanding, but it can also make your end goal appear unclear to managers and employees. Instead, you can set a definite goal of “increasing sales of action figures and dolls by 5% by the end of the first quarter.” Having a distinct goal in place will make it easier for workers to come up with decisions and strategies that center on the said outcome. You may also see weekly plan examples & samples.
  • Measurable – In order to achieve success, you must be able to track your progress so far. This enables you to determine which actions have garnered positive outcomes, as well as those that have contributed little to no productivity to your work. For instance, goals that center on increasing sales may be monitored through weekly sales reports. This, along with other key factors, may serve as a basis to measure your level of progress. You may also like implementation plan examples & samples.
  • Attainable – While setting our goals, we’re often blinded by ambitious dreams and wishes that may be too much for our own capacity. Though there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, sometimes these goals are way out of our reach that they lead us to nothing but a black hole filled with crushed dreams and wasted resources. If employees feel as if a goal is too hard to reach, then they might just give up all their efforts to even try to make it happen. You may also check out transition plan examples & samples.
  • Relevant – If you’re running a business that sells wedding ornaments and decorations, then it wouldn’t make sense to set a goal to sell school supplies and other items out of the said particular spectrum. You must create goals that conform with the nature of your business, the demographics of your target consumers, and the industry that you are a part of. While there’s no harm in exploring other markets, when running a start-up business, you still need to learn how to take things one step at a time. You might be interested in risk plan examples & samples.
  • Time-Bound – There’s no point in setting a goal without a specified deadline. Otherwise, you may end up procrastinating and disregarding your priorities. When implementing timely goals, remember to be reasonable with the set deadlines. Impractical goals and objectives can often be disheartening to most employees, which will then prompt them to work slower and inefficiently as opposed to what has been expected from them. You may also see evaluation plan examples & samples.

Simply put, state clearly what you hope to achieve. It must be something that is both concrete and doable enough to attain within a specified period of time. And whatever you do, try to avoid audacious goals that are vast, long-term, and unrealistic. These goals usually take a lot longer to achieve, and as an emerging business in the market, this can cause a lot of problems for your current manpower and financial state to endure. You may also like financial plan examples & samples.

So while you’re entering a fresh beginning for the company, it would be best to focus on a couple of short-term goals that you can possibly accomplish within the course of a year or so.

2. How to obtain your goal

It’s not enough to just have a goal that you wish to achieve one day, as creating an outline as to how you can obtain this goal is also necessary.

Let’s say that your first objective is to drive the foot traffic to your shopping outlets. One strategy could involve creating more print advertisements that will draw customers toward your stores, another would be to send out newsletters to customers who have subscribed to your email list. You may also check out assessment plan examples & samples.

You need to consider various steps that may benefit your end goal from different aspects. You can’t expect prospects to respond positively to the same campaigns all over again, which is why you need to learn how to keep up with the latest trends and competitive actions in order to keep your business afloat. You might be interested in risk management examples & samples.

It won’t be an easy ride, and the bumps along the way will put a dent in your parade, so you also have to make sure that your plans are flexible enough to adjust to any shortcomings that could affect your actions in the near future.

3. The necessary resources

If your company would want to invest on digital marketing to promote your offered goods and services to the general public, then how much do you think it would cost? How much funds do you need to gather in order to conduct the campaign? Effective advertising involves consistency and familiarity, which requires you to repeat an ad multiple times before it leaves a desired impact to prospective clients and customers. But advertising doesn’t come cheap, which means that this strategy would cost you a significant amount of financial resources.

The action plan must define the amount needed to carry out these tasks and activities. This should also cover the number of people required to execute the given plan and any physical assets that might be necessary in the procedure.

4. Who are accountable

To achieve a goal, you need to make a list of people who shall be held accountable for certain assignments.

For medium- to large-scaled companies, this may be comprised of more than just a single person or department. In any case, you can form an entire team of employees possessing a significant set of skills and expertise in specific fields. Each member of your team must know what their goal is, what they could do to reach it, and when it should be attained. You may also see development plan examples.

On the other hand, you may also gather a small team of staff members to manage different areas of your organization. These members must possess their own set of individual goals as a form of contribution to the company’s success. Like for instance, a sales staff should undergo a sufficient amount of training in various sales techniques, along with an exceptional amount of product knowledge in order to perform their duties effectively. You may also like communication plan examples & samples.

For this reason, employers must see to it that anyone that enters their workforce is fully capable of performing their jobs with little to no room for mistakes. In case a member of the team fails to perform as desired, then you can still consider various training sessions before you even think about letting anyone go. You may also check out simple business plan examples.

5. Monitoring progress

No matter how hard you try, there will always be a few inevitable changes and external factors that would affect the outcome of your proposed plans.

Hence, monitoring these activities and their results must be done on a regular basis. You must set up a procedure to generate reports regarding these matters to see whether or not the company is on the required pace to meet its goal. To make up for any losses, the assigned team must arrange the necessary adjustments to help put them back on track. You may also see strategic plan examples & samples.

As mentioned before, you need to be flexible with your goals and plans to ensure that things can run as smoothly despite the unforeseen bumps along the road.

Business Performance Action Plan Example

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Corrective Business Action Plan Example

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Qualified Business Action Plan Example

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Formal Business Action Plan Example

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Free Business Action Plan Example

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Remember…

To complete your action plan, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. For one, the participants of your plan need to possess two character traits: the ability to work effectively under pressure and the ability to stick to a designated deadline. You may also see marketing plan examples & samples.

Once you have gathered a team of dedicated workers, it’s important to create a business action plan that meets the following criteria:

  • It should contain a complete list of steps to be taken.
  • It should clearly state who is responsible for doing what and when such act must be carried out.
  • It should stay up to date in terms of market trends and company goals.

Additionally, having a contingency plan ready in case of an emergency is vital to your success. This allows you to foresee unfortunate events that are likely to happen during the implementation of the action plan, along with the possible solutions that could address these concerns. This enables participants of the said project to react proactively to probable changes, and deal with them accordingly with only minimal disruptions to the end goal. You may also like service plan examples & samples.

Amidst the thrill and spontaneity of starting a new business, it always seems tempting to begin hashing out cash on non-necessities that can take a toll in your existing funds. This is why many successful business owners have emphasized the importance of staying committed to a solid plan that will help the company or organization stay on course in order to remain viable. You may also check out free business plan examples.

Now that you have your strategies and the elements of your action plan in place, it’s time to put everything into operation. With a well-defined business action plan, you can transform your dreams into a reality with a simple blink of an eye.

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