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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 and how you plan to achieve your objectives. Whether you aim to successfully carry out a complex project or grow your business within the next five years, a 5-year plan helps you gain vision and effectively run your initiatives.

Often depicting the existing state of an organization and where it wants to be at various future points of time, a 5-year plan is commonly used by leaders for the following basic purposes:

  • communicating ideas;
  • setting management guidelines;
  • enforcing strategic planning;
  • attracting potential investors (especially for start-up companies).

Without such a plan, you run the risk of taking action with poor results and losing traction. To help you set a clear direction to your plans, this page offers you a free downloadable 5-year plan timeline template and essential information on how to put such a visual tool to use.

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 to summarize long-term plans or roadmaps for client or executive communications. Structured on a well-defined timeline that includes placeholders for key milestones and tasks, it enables long-term planners to estimate and forecast resource requirements and schedules for high-level audiences.

Providing a summary view of a long-term plan, the five-year timeline template is ideal for reporting and communication purposes such as reviews, presentations or proposals to stakeholders and clients who only want to see top-level summaries of a project.

It can also be used as a planning tool to help determine the sequence of tasks that must be accomplished by a certain time schedule, in order to achieve the objective. Project planners and project managers can use our 5-year plan timeline template at the beginning of the planning process to further define the stages, milestones and resources needed to deliver their initiatives. As the project moves along, they can use the 5-year plan timeline template as a quick visual to track their progress vs. the original plan.

Displaying essential data on a single PowerPoint slide, the 5-year plan template is simple to understand, impressive to see and easy to read. Moreover, since it is built directly in the presentation platform, you can easily edit the template 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.

This timeline template was created with the timeline creator from Office Timeline which lets you automatically update the slide with your data in just a few clicks. Office Timeline is a free project planner add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint, and its Pro+ edition integrates with tools like Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel. This allows you to quickly import existing project data into PowerPoint and instantly transform it into planning slides like the 5-year plan template.

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.

Free PowerPoint Timeline and Swimlane Maker