Finance for Non-Financial Managers and Small Business Owners

By Lawrence W. Tuller | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
Strategic Planning
STRATEGIC PLANNING MAY be one of the most overworked, misused terms in modern-day business. Every type of business plan has at one time or another been mislabeled a strategic plan. Pro forma financial forecasts, cost-center budgets, capital budgets, financing plans, acquisition business plans, and sales forecasts have all, at one time or another, been called strategic plans. The only reason that comes to mind is that the phrase strategic planning has a mystique; there is something magical about it that somehow makes it seem more important than other planning activities.Without question, strategic plans include part or all of these other types of plans. However, true strategic plans encompass much more. To clarify this point, perhaps some definitions are in order:
A strategy is a plan of action based on one or more measures intended to accomplish a specific, long-term goal.
A plan is a method or program in accordance with which something is to be done or accomplished.
A strategic plan is such a program based on a series of anticipated decisions aimed at enhancing the growth of a company’s sales and/or profits over the long term.

Another way of looking at it is that strategic plans are, by definition, long-term plans that provide a road map for the route a company must travel if it hopes to reach its ultimate objective. The flexibility to make abrupt tactical changes in market penetration and product

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