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    An Action Item Example

    For Business Action Plans

    This action item example shows small business owners how to effectively translate strategic goals into business action plans and items to be implemented. Build measurements into your plan by using action item tracking software and following a structured action plan format.

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    This action item example continues on where the strategic plan leaves off.

    Once you have a plan, you need to execute it (with one of your business action plans).

    As early as when you are developing your small business plan, you need to consider how to build action items for your strategic goals.

    You also need to consider - specifically if you have numerous business action plans and/or if you have numerous action items - action item tracking software.

    Action item tracking software will enable you to track progress against the action plan format.


    An Action Item Example:

    1. Action Item (what): Increase small business sales and grow market share by 10% a year over the next 3 years.

      (The strategic goal was to become a leader in the industry - growing market share is one action this company might take to get to their goal.)

    2. Who's responsible: A team; or the owner; or sales and operational staff (it is not sales' responsibility alone to achieve growth; this must be done in conjunction with the operations group (if a manufacturing company) or with buyers (if a retail store e.g. what's hot, what's not; sales staff can't increase sales if the stock is wrong or outdated); or consider the advantages of outsourcing and identify outside resources who could help and include a budget in this part of the process.

    3. How: This would depend on whether you are growing the market (by adding new products) or whether you are taking away someone else's share.

      If you add new products, you need to conduct solid market research to make sure that the products are viable, that you understand the product's life-cycle, that you have strong product differentiation and uniqueness, and that you have positioned the product well.

      If you plan to take away someone else's share of the market you need to have something of higher value than whatever your competitor offers: e.g. significantly better customer service or delivery or product or price or brand or ?

    4. When: Put in place time measures. For example, a market research study to be completed in one month; a new product or service to be launched in 6 months; how long for sales to achieve a good number; etc.


    The most important part of your plan is .... (you must define this aspect of the action plan format - for example, increase market share by 10% of the overall market is a significant goal, therefore the most important part might be assessing how your competition will react, how will you solidify your position in the market (are you a market challenger, leader or follower), and more.)

    Action plans must include your business financial budgets (including costs), targets, deadlines, business performance measures, and who's responsible for each action. Make sure that you break down your plan into small, do-able chunks of time and resources. Review continuously and either update or improve the plan as you go along.

    Use this action item example to help you create your own action items and use action item tracking software to manage your activities. Build business actions plans on a regular basis to address strategic initiatives and directions.

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    Read More:

    Use a Strategic Plan Checklist to stay focused on your planning process.

    A Value Chain Analysis will help you to understand how to better focus your business.

    Build an effective Small Business Plan to help your operations grow.

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    The Importance of Strategy

    Why is strategizing important to your business?

    Because it enables you to more clearly understand what you need to do to more your operation in the direction you need, and want, to go.

    Doing a thorough analysis and review will enable you to implement more effective strategies, tactics and techniques.

    Results and Strategy

    strategic results

    Definition of Business Model: It's Different

    The type of tactical planning you complete as you strategize is important because it forces you to make difficult choices and difficult decisions.

    (Make sure you understand the definition business model - the practices, and focus, of the business on delivering the value proposition - to engage in a strong and successful strategic planning process).

    Also write down your choices and decisions to plan the actions necessary to move forward (use samples to provide you with a model for your own action plan).

    The action plan is your road map. You must ensure that you are managing the direction you take.

    Once you begin this planning process you will need to ensure that the plan you develop is do-able; make sure you include effectiveness measures in your plan.

    And remember that your plan for strategy in business needs to be reviewed on a regular basis and be adapted as market and economic conditions change.

    The end goal is not the plan but rather the results therefore make sure you have measurements in place to track results.

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    Tools for Strategy Planning

    Start with your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.

    Add aspirations and results to the SWOT (some do SOAR (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results) as a separate activity) to ensure that your vision for your business is incorporated in your goals and objectives.

    Conduct a market opportunity analysis and look for unmet needs that align with your objectives.

    Doing a thorough analysis and review will enable you to implement more effective strategies, tactics and techniques.

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