Here is our collection of 18 Free Action Plan Templates to help you prepare your own Action Plan. You can also check out our Project Plan Templates as an alternative choice.
It is important that you know where you are going and where you want to see yourself after a while and it is always not enough just to have some goals or objectives but you also need to define a strategy or planning to achieve those goals. An action plan is the sum of all the steps that you need to take in order to achieve your goals and it is the plan that keeps you on track because on each point, you know where you are going and what will be the next step waiting for you.
On one hand, an action plan makes sure that you always stay on the right path and never lose your track where on the other hand, it also makes you foresee the incoming hurdles and problems that might be waiting for you in the way to the next step and by understanding the possible issues in the future, you have enough time to gather a solution for them or to enhance your performance in order to avoid the hurdles.
Here are the steps to write an Action Plan:
- Define a clear Objective or Goal:
Before creating an action plan, you need to have an objective that will define the whole action plan process. It can be anything from acquiring more customers for your company to achieving the highest level of sales in the past quarters. Once you have defined the goals and you have a clear vision about what you want to see behind the finish line, it is easy to create the action plan.
- Enlist the benefits you will get by Achieving the Goals:
Now it is time to enlist the benefits or advantages that you will get from each goal or objective. This way you can prioritize your goals and make an action plan that includes the more important goals first and then the rest of the objectives. This helps a lot when you have more than one objective and you need to accomplish all of them.
- Define where you are now and what you want to do:
This is also very important that before you make any action plan, you understand your position and where you stand right now or in other words, where you will start executing the action plan. This way you can analyze if the plan is going to work or not. For example, if you want to acquire 20 new customers, you need to know how many customers you have right now so that you can make sure that either it is possible or not.
- Enlist the steps that you will take:
Now that you have defined everything, it is time to enlist the steps that you will take in order to implement the action plan. For example, to acquire more customers, you need to prepare a list of potential customers, get to know their present supplier, make a list of elements that distinguish you and then meet with each of them and present your idea.
- Define the end point of each step:
This is also a very important step that when there are multiple steps in an action plan, it is important to define an end point for each step so that when it ends, you know that you have entered a new step.
Free Action Plan Templates
Here is preview of this Free Sample Action Plan Template created using MS Word,
Plan Writing Tips
Plan is a written description of steps you are going to take in future in order to achieve specific goals. It is necessary part of our lives because without proper planning you cannot successfully accomplish your goals. It is better way to cut down your expenses and complete your project in limited resources. It is necessary to write a plan before starting a business or project because without this you cannot successfully start a business. A plan will help you to understand market trends and scope of your business in market. Plan will be very helpful to determine what kind of work force you require, location of your business, fundamental requirements of business, finances of business etc. Although you can get services of a professional person to write a business plan but it is necessary for you to understand how to write a successful plan.
Today I will share some common steps that will help you to write your own plan for your business or project.
Do Some Research
Before writing a plan it is good to conduct some research in order to understand strengths and weaknesses of your rivals. It will help you to design your strategies for successful business and determine amount of finances you are required.
It is first and most important part of plan because it is the summary of whole plan and the first thing that is preferred by all readers to read. It places before the table of contents, but it should be written at last after designing whole plan. It contains mission statement that should be only three to four sentences long. These sentences are only to capture the interest of reader. Rest of the executive summary should contain necessary details such as short history of business, profile of founder and business commencement date, current snapshot, important locations, number of employees, products and services, summary of future plans and goals. You can use bullets to highlight important points for easy scanning. Avoid too many details in executive summary because one or two pages are sufficient.
Next part of business plan will be market analysis. This analysis will show your strengths and weaknesses over your competitors. This part of the plan will include size of market, growth rate and chances of success of your business.
Description of Company
This section will describe nature of your business and needs of market. In this section you will determine the ways through which you can satisfy needs of your target customers. Your will mention those factors that will set you apart from your competitors. In short, company description should describe your whole business and portray a beautiful and attractive picture of business.
After description of business, you are required to describe setup of staff. Provide complete management hierarchy, division of labor, profile of business owner, management personnel, board of directors and employee incentives. This section is necessary to create loyalty in potential employees.
Marketing and Sales Management
This section will describe:
- Marketing Methods
- Distribute Methods
- Types of sales force
- Sales incentive
- Growth Strategies
Products and Services
It is one of the important sections of plan and focuses on the products and services offered by business. You have to include specifications and important features of products as well as services and benefits of these products and services. Prominent points of your products over your competitor, copy right, trade secrets, patent information all should be part of this section.
Funding Requirements and Sources
After describing your whole business, you are required to provide details about your funding requirements. This section contains information about bank or investor in order to understand the funding needs. You can include all possible sources of finances to persuade other investors as well.
It is the final section of business plan. It contains information that does not fit in all above sections. You can provide information about letter of references, license and patents of organization, copies of contract, leases and other legal documents.
Here are some useful plan templates that can help you get started,
- Weekly Planner Template
- Daily Planner Template