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5-Year Plan Template

A 5-year plan is a long-term strategic roadmap for reaching specific goals. It describes where you are now, what your objectives are and how you plan to achieve them. Whether your goals for the next five years are to carry out a complex project or grow your business and start exciting new projects, a 5-year plan helps you gain insight, communicate your vision and effectively run your initiatives.

Why you should have a 5-year plan

Creating a 5-year business plan can be challenging because it requires a lot of research, forecasting, and strategic thinking. But does it pay off? Let’s figure it out while going through the things that a 5-year plan can improve:

1. Communicate vision and goals

Built as a clear and specific roadmap for the company's future, a 5-year plan helps you share your vision with your team and clients by describing your long-term objectives and the key elements of your strategy.

2. Monitor progress

You can use a 5-year plan to measure your company’s progress, which helps identify areas for improvement and opportunities for growth. It also promotes focusing on long-term objectives.

3. Enable strategic planning and policies

5-year plans help forecasting and improving strategy when making decisions. For instance, you can make strategic hiring decisions and adjust responsibilities among teams per forecast and estimated needs. Or redirect financial resources according to the assessed priorities.

4. Guide important decisions

A long-term plan clarifies business priorities and states the strategic objectives that will be the reference point during the decision-making process.

5. Build confidence and engagement among stakeholders

You’ve made a list of your business goals, but how do you think that your company can achieve them? What’s your plan to get there? Such questions are on the minds of your investors, your customers, and your employees. A long-term plan shows stakeholders why you exist, where you plan to go, how you intend to get there, and the impact of their voice on the decision-making process.

6. Attract potential investors (especially for start-up companies)

A 5-year plan is essential for both existing and potential investors. A well-written plan addresses investors’ top concerns and reassures them that your company is headed in the right direction to make a profit.

To help you set a clear direction to your plans and kickstart your business planning, this page offers you a free, downloadable 5-year plan timeline template and information on how to use this type of visual.

What should be included in a 5-year plan?

A well-thought-out 5-year plan used for business purposes is a well-rounded document or presentation that typically includes the following key sections:

  • Executive summary – summarizing all the sections of your plan;
  • Elevator pitch – a brief description of your business to clearly articulate it to important stakeholders;
  • Mission statement – at an internal level, it helps employees align their efforts with the company’s overall goal; externally, it inspires third parties (investors, customers, partners) to take the actions you want and support you;
  • SWOT analysis – helping you determine the best opportunities to pursue, and identify the areas which must be developed to improve your company;
  • List of specific short- and long-term strategic goals – clearly outlining the trajectory your company needs to follow;
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) – metrics that indicate how your business is performing and what needs to be adjusted;
  • Target customers – identifying the wants and needs of your target customer groups will guide your marketing efforts;
  • Industry analysis – helping you identify new opportunities for growth;
  • Competitive analysis and advantage – defining who your key competitors are, what their strengths and weaknesses are so you can determine your current competitive advantage and ways to develop additional ones;
  • Marketing plan – describing methods and strategies of attracting prospects, converting them to paying customers and maximizing your lifetime customer value;
  • Team – listing current team members and types of people you need to hire in the future, this section focuses on the human resources required to execute on the established goals and identified opportunities;
  • Operations plan – mapping out all your initiatives and identifying each individual project that contains larger goals;
  • Financial projections – assessing the potential results for each opportunity you consider pursuing;
  • Timeline – illustrating the major tasks and milestones that will have an impact on your project.

How do I write a 5-year business plan?

When creating a 5-year business plan, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. First, make an overall assessment of how your business is currently doing – clearly review your business mission and vision statements, your sales data and financial records; then, pinpoint your business’s strengths and weaknesses, along with the opportunities and risks that it faces in relation to the industry, economy and competition.
  2. State where you want your business to be in 5 years – how big do you want your business to grow? Would you like to start selling nationally? Do you want to develop your product line, expand your target market or selling channels?
  3. Establish a set of concrete steps to take in order to achieve your goals – start from your desired outcome and work backward to identify what you need to do to achieve them. The closer you get to today, the more details your plan of action will be.
  4. Decide how you will measure success – create specific and measurable goals and determine how you will measure the results (what will your KPIs be?)
  5. Gather all this information in a cohesive document that goes through the sections outlined above and regularly review your plan.

Using the 5-year plan timeline template

This 5-year plan timeline template was designed for professionals who need a hand to summarize long-term plans or roadmaps. It’s a quick way out when you need to prepare for an upcoming meeting with your clients or executives, or when you are prepping a business review meeting with your team.

You can use this 5-year plan timeline template to achieve the following goals:

1. Project planning

The template is structured on a well-defined timeline that includes placeholders for key milestones and tasks. Project planners and project managers can use our 5-year plan timeline template to:

- Estimate and forecast resource requirements and to define the stages, milestones and resources needed to deliver their initiatives.

- Help determine the sequence of tasks that must be accomplished by a certain time schedule, in order to achieve the objective.

2. Project tracking

As the project moves along, project managers can use the 5-year plan timeline template as a quick visual to track their progress vs. the original plan.

3. Project reporting and communication

Designed as a concise project overview, it displays the essential data on a single PowerPoint slide and is simple to understand and easy to read. This makes the five-year timeline template ideal for efficient reporting and communication.

How to customize the 5-year plan timeline template

Since the template is built directly in PowerPoint, you can easily edit it to fit the particular style guides or color schemes of your company. It is intended to replace complicated Gantt charts, Excel tables, and hard-to-follow milestone charts.

Easy automation with Office Timeline

This timeline template was created with the timeline creator from Office Timeline which helps you to automatically bring in your data into the slide with just a few clicks and keep it updated with one click.

Office Timeline is a free project planner add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint, and it integrates with tools such as Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel. This allows you to quickly import or copy/paste existing project data into PowerPoint and instantly transform it into the 5-year plan you need.

You can find detailed instructions on how to automatically populate your slides with project data from other programs on these pages from our Support Center:

Frequently asked questions about 5-year planners and templates

Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions about 5-year planning:

How do you create a 5-year plan template?

To create a 5-year business plan template follow these three simple steps:

  1. Outline the overall structure of the plan. Start by making a rough plan for each year.

  2. Make sure that the 5-year plan includes sections for elements that are usually required in a long-term business plan, such as an executive summary, a SWOT analysis, an analysis of your market and competitors, and an estimate of your resources.

  3. Save your template with a suggestive name so that you can easily find it. You’ll be able to re-use it whenever you need to draft a long-term plan for a new project. To do this, you’ll have to make the appropriate customizations and include relevant industry-specific information and market research, according to each project.

Why is it important to have a 5-year plan?

A 5-year business plan is important because it serves as a roadmap for the company's progress and growth. A well-crafted long-term plan can help a company to:

  • set long-term goals,

  • establish priorities,

  • make informed business decisions,

  • secure funding from investors or lenders,

  • identify potential opportunities for growth,

  • measure progress and success over time,

  • anticipate and prepare for changes in the market and industry.

In short, a strategic long-time plan helps you in the decisional process on the company's future. A business with a long-term business plan has an improved overall strategy and is more prepared for potential obstacles it may face.

What is a good 5-year plan for a business?

A good 5-year business plan should provide a clear description of the status of a company, an honest perspective of its future growth and realistic, achievable goals that align with the company's mission and vision.

A 5-year plan would include at the very least:

  • A clear and detailed description of the company's products or services, target market, and competitive landscape.

  • Projected financials and strategies.

  • A risk management plan that identifies potential risks and outlines strategies to mitigate them.

And finally, long-term planning needs flexibility. A 5-year plan would need to be reviewed and updated regularly, at least once a year, but ideally it would include several review milestones every year to ensure that the business stays on track to meet its goals. The plan should be adaptable, as the business environment may change and require adjustments.

What does a good strategic plan look like?

Strategic planning is a company’s process of defining its direction and the road to attain the intended goals. It can benefit your organization's vision and progress toward goals. Strategic planning typically means mid- to long-term goals (three to five years or longer) and differs from business planning, which typically focuses on short-term goals, such as budgeting estimations for the next quarter or year.

Simply put, a basic good strategic plan should answer these three questions:

  1. Where is the company now?

  2. Where is the company going? Or what are the objectives?

  3. How is the company going to reach its objectives?

Lastly, a good strategic plan should be regularly reviewed, maintained up-to date and taken into consideration when decisions are made. For this, the document should be flexible and dynamic, adjustable to accommodate the changes that inevitably happen, especially with long-time planning.

How do you set a 5-year business goal?

To set a 5-year business goal, you first need to determine your company's mission and objectives. This is needed in order to align the goal with the company's mission and vision. Setting your business goal means that you have a clear and specific objective. It also means that you take into consideration the current market and industry analysis.

The next step is to craft a plan with specific steps to achieve the goal. A 5-year plan template like the one above can come in handy to help you kickstart your planning.

And finally, you need to find a system to monitor progress and make adjustments as needed. Changes are bound to happen when you plan on a long-term basis.

Communicating the goal and plan to stakeholders ensures that everyone is aligned and working towards the same objective. Some of the most efficient tools that you can use to this end are business plan presentations and executive summaries, enriched with suggestive and concise visuals, such as Gantt charts, timelines and roadmaps. Take a look at our timeline template gallery and find inspiration for your next presentation.

What does a 5-year strategy look like?

A typical 5-year strategy includes a mission statement, the description of the company’s defining features and status, a set of long-term goals that align with the company's vision and a plan for achieving those goals.

Business managers and project managers often resort to visual aids to create a material support of their vision that they can use to share their ideas and strategy in a suggestive and compelling way. An effective visual should bind the strategy (the “why”), the actions that need to be performed in order to achieve the goals (the “what”), and timeline for completion (the “when”).

Such complex roadmaps provide a clear overview of the strategic tasks and milestones, allow hierarchization, show prioritized effort and highlight interrelated work.

The 5-year plan template available on this page was built with the lightweight PowerPoint add-in from Office Timeline, that you can try for free for 14 days and take advantage of the full features the tens of templates that can be automatically customized and updated with just a few clicks in minutes instead of hours.

Updating your template is simple and fast.

Use the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in to quickly update any of these timeline templates or create your own project visuals. Easily change the texts, dates, colors, shapes and styles of your timeline, right from inside PowerPoint.

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