Build a Three Year Vision Plan

While the Simplified One Page Strategic Plan is my favorite planning document for startups, it’s a worksheet for the core elements of the business and certain near-term projects and metrics. After revisiting it at least quarterly to align everyone in the company, there still exists a need to do long-term planning. That’s where a three year vision plan comes in. Too often, entrepreneurs work in the business more than they work on the business.

Here’s an example three year vision plan outline.

  • S.W.O.T. Analysis – Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as they exist three years from now (e.g. strengths will change over time — what will they look like in three years?)
  • Product – Core modules and functionality, much like a simple roadmap for the product
  • Team – Outline all the departments, job titles, reporting structure, etc. (e.g. going from 10 people to 100 people is a major undertaking, and this exercise of going through all 100 positions is well worth it — see What Your First 100 Hires Will Look Like)
  • Metrics – Include things like annual recurring revenue, customer count, renewal rates, cost of customer acquisition, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, etc.
  • Funding – Detail how many rounds of funding are required, dollar amounts, and any other pertinent information
  • Miscellaneous – Anything else that’s relevant to the three year vision of the business

A three year vision is a great way to get team members, investors, advisors, and other key constituents thinking about the long road ahead, and not just the next quarter. Spend time on the big vision at least once a year and make it part of the annual routine.

What else? What are some more thoughts on building a three year vision?

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