“The vast majority of small business owners do not plan”, I think that we can regard this statement as a ruling. But why is it so? As far as my knowledge reach, the reason for this derives from two different aspects: First, the lack of time that every small business owner face, which exists mainly because of the centrality of the small business owner in the day-to-day management tasks that are crucial for the maintenance of the small business. Second, the skills, or lack of skills, to establish a profound strategic planning process that will evolve into strategic plan that will lay out the small business goals and objectives and the necessary resources needed to achieve those objectives. Such skills are not as common even when we are dealing with large business top managers, but contrary to small business owners large business top managers do have the access to professionals in the field of strategic planning and the necessary resources to hire them, and this is what makes the whole difference.
After saying all this, several questions needed to be answer: do all small business owners sentenced to lag behind their corporate colleagues regarding strategic planning? Is there something that the small business owner can do in order to narrow the gap? And if there is, what will be the benefits to the small business owner?
Small business owners will never have the necessary resources needed to close the gap with large businesses regarding strategic planning process and implementation. But frankly I don’t think that they should put neither their time nor their money in the elusive quest to narrow this gap. What small business owners can and should do is to understand that a small business is not a large business regarding its abilities and needs with the only exception that it’s employ fewer employees. If this understanding become a common knowledge to the small business owner, it is rather obvious that he or she should adopt different approach regarding strategic planning.
The idea that strategic planning at small business should not come in a rigid form, that dictate a step by step formula what the small business should do and how it’s need to act at every possible situation, opens a whole new set of alternatives to engage at some sort of strategic planning from which the owner and its business will be the main beneficiaries. The benefits to the small business from engaging in any sort of strategic planning could be as follow: The understanding of the small business owner how he sees the objectives of its small business as for today and what he plans to the future. Defining the resources needed to achieve those objectives and plans. Insight what are and will be the risks while trying to implement its present and future plans.