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Q. Discuss Whether Strategic Planning Is Worthwhile For Small Firms Or Not

1238 words - 5 pages

Before I discuss whether Strategic Planning is worthwhile for small firms or not, I would like to briefly explain what strategic planning is.Various definitions of strategic planning have been offered in the literature. However, defining strategic planning remains a problem because it can be defined in many ways depending on the size and nature of the business. Planning does not seem to have clear definition of its own place in organisation. Strategic planning can be an intended course of action. Strategic planning can also be an approach to managing the organisation's future. Strategic planning merely formalises the strategy process in some organisations. The definition I will use is "A strategy is the pattern or plan that integrates an organisation's major goals, policies and action sequences into a cohesive whole" ( Mintzberg,H., Quinn , J.B and Ghoshal, S. (1998).Whether the strategic planning is worthwhile and relevant for small firms is mainly dependent on the management style of the organisation, resources they have and up to date information they gain about the market and competitors. If any small firm adopt the strategic plan, their action should be swift, efficient and controlled in order to achieve goals. Implementation must be secured by detailing the activities to be undertaken, giving responsibilities to managers and holding them accountable for achieving results.There can be many benefits of applying strategic planning into small organisations. Strategic planning gives an organisation direction instead of letting it drift. Setting the goals and then choosing a strategy to achieve the goals can give a clear sense of direction to the small organisations. Strategic planning can also help to allocate the budget and to integrate all the activities which are involved in the planning process, which encourages small businesses in long term thinking and commitment. According to Miller and Cardinal (1994,p.1650), a simple planning performance model suggests that, "the amount of strategic planning a firm conducts positively affects its financial performance"(Desai, 2000, p 687). Strategic planning can help (depending on the size of the firm) in the identification of future marketing threats and opportunities. It can provide an objective view of managerial problems and promote forward thinking within the firm. In other words, Strategic planning can be used as a tool by the owner/manager to try to regain control of its organisation during recession.Further Evidence regarding benefits of applying strategic planning can be seen from Upton, Teal and Felan,( 2001) where research has been carried out of how many small/medium sized firms use strategic planning. Analysis revealed that, out of 65 respondents, 71 percent had formal written plans and majority of the firms tied their plan to actual performance. By looking at this evidence, it can be said that strategic planning is worthwhile as it gives the clear direction of how to achieve the goalsNow I...

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