Strategic and Business Planning

This section looks at the main types of planning relevant to clubs:

Planning is the development of a future direction and a road map of the actions to get there.  All plans need to detail actions to follow to achieve agreed outcomes over a designated period of time. Your club plans are important tools that can assist with longevity, financial stability, innovation and general success. They are also very useful for keeping people on track, they can save you heaps of time and duplication of effort.

Committee’s Role in Strategy and Goal Setting:
The Committee should ensure the club has a clear set of goals or strategies for future and ongoing development. These goals should be agreed upon by the Committee and should be SMART:

  • Specific – what, who, where and when
  • Measurable - what is the indicator 
  • Achievable - plan for success
  • Realistic - given your human resources 
  • Timebound - year calendars are a great tool here 

A process for setting goals should be conducted annually where club members and stakeholders can have input. This can be achieved by conducting planning meetings or forums or by gathering information via survey.
At least every 3 months the Agenda for Committee Meetings should give time to look at the club’s progress against its goals and to establish additional actions where needed.
The chosen directions for the club should assist the Committee in decision-making also. For example: any spending proposals made to the Committee should be considered with respect to the club’s overall and stipulated goals.  

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic Planning for sporting clubs or organisations is:

  • a way to gain consensus – sharing and working towards a vision for the future which can develop cohesion amongst members
  • a tool which enables club members to focus on specific outcomes
  • a tool that allows and encourages an opportunity for ownership by the club
  • an opportunity for development of the club’s purpose and autonomy
  • a dynamic and ongoing process where goals are ‘time framed’ to ensure a sense of achievement
  • an avenue for the club to define its challenges and prepare to address them
  • a management tool to be used for effective interaction with external bodies.

BUT Strategic Planning is not:

  • an unrealistic ‘wish-list’ which are beyond the capabilities of the club to achieve in the timeframe
  • considered to be the solution for the problems of the club.
For Clubs with Paid Staff

Committees and paid staff need to have a clear and shared understanding of the difference between strategic matters which are matters for the Committee or Board and operational matters which are primarily matters for others (staff, subcommittees, volunteers). Noted is that this does not prevent a Committee Member from assisting when asked in some operational matters because they have particular experience in a given area.
Knowing the Difference
Issues or aspects of the club’s management might be deemed strategic because they for example:

  • Impact the club’s relationship with the parent body or key stakeholders
  • Impact the club’s relationship or potential relationship with members or future members
  • Are related to overall club goals, directions or strategies
  • Impact on the club’s overall level of risk, compliance, or future viability

Aspects of running the club may be deemed operational because they for example:

  • Are procedural in nature
  • Are considered part of the day-to-day management of the club
  • Are best referred to subcommittees made up of the people who are in the know
  • Are not strategic in nature
What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is simply the strategy to achieve the ‘business’ objectives of the organisation.  A business plan prepared for the club will need to include evidence of potential income generation.  The business plan should clearly identify all the important facts about the organisation, its history, the current financial position, the objectives and the ‘business’ activities to be undertaken. 

A club may undertake a business plan for a range of purposes.  For example:

  • to raise funds towards facility development
  • to ensure it remains financially stable over a specified period of time, or
  • to ensure it can host a special event without falling into financial trouble.

Helpful Resources

More Information