Key Terms of Strategic Planning

Key Terms of Strategic Planning

Jen Lawrence
Jen Lawrence

Business Process Consultant focusing on streamlining workflows, optimizing tools, and aligning teams for operational efficiency and effectiveness.

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of planning for the future and making informed decisions to drive your business forward. Strategic planning is a crucial process that helps align your company’s goals with its actions, but it often comes with a host of complex terminology that can be overwhelming. Fear not! In this blog post, we’ll break down the most common strategic planning terms, including OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), goals, and objectives, to empower you with the knowledge needed to navigate this vital aspect of your business.

1. Mission Statement

Your mission statement is the foundation of your business. It succinctly defines your purpose, core values, and the reason your company exists. Crafting a clear and compelling mission statement is crucial as it serves as a guiding light for all your strategic decisions.

2. Vision Statement

While the mission statement defines “why” your business exists, the vision statement outlines “what” your business aims to become in the future. It paints a vivid picture of your long-term aspirations and helps inspire and motivate your team towards a shared goal.

3. SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis helps you assess your business’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats in the market. Identifying these factors will enable you to make informed decisions and develop effective strategies.

4. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)

OKRs are a goal-setting framework used to define and track objectives and their outcomes. Objectives are specific, ambitious, and time-bound goals that align with your mission and vision. Key Results are measurable milestones that indicate progress toward achieving the objectives. OKRs help you focus on what matters most and provide a clear way to measure your business’s performance.

5. Goals

Goals are the broad, overarching aims you want your business to achieve. They should be aligned with your mission and vision and serve as a roadmap for your strategic planning efforts. Goals are generally long-term and provide a sense of direction for your business’s growth and development.

6. Objectives

Objectives are specific and quantifiable targets that support your overall goals. These are the stepping stones that will lead you towards goal attainment. Objectives should be challenging yet achievable, providing motivation for your team to strive for excellence.

7. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs are quantifiable metrics that measure the performance and success of specific aspects of your business. By tracking KPIs regularly, you can assess your progress towards your goals and objectives and identify areas that need improvement.

8. Core Competencies

These are the unique strengths and capabilities that set your business apart from competitors. Identifying your core competencies allows you to focus on what you do best and create a competitive advantage in the market.

9. Competitive Analysis

A competitive analysis involves evaluating your direct and indirect competitors, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and identifying opportunities to differentiate your products or services in the marketplace.

10. Strategic Implementation

This term refers to the process of putting your strategic plans into action. It involves allocating resources, assigning responsibilities, and executing initiatives to achieve your defined objectives and key results.


Strategic planning might seem intimidating with all the jargon, but understanding these common terms, including OKRs, goals, and objectives, is essential for your business’s success. By crafting a clear mission and vision, conducting a SWOT analysis, setting ambitious yet achievable OKRs and goals, and tracking KPIs, you’ll be well-equipped to make strategic decisions that drive your small business forward. Remember, strategic planning is an ongoing process, and it’s okay to adjust and refine your strategies as your business evolves. Embrace the power of planning and watch your business thrive!

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