Strategic Planning For Small Business Owners – Complete Guide

Photo of author

Editorial Team

Improper strategic planning is the reason for the business failure of start-ups in their initial years. Also, the business that survives in the initial years cannot achieve the set parameters or targets because of improper business planning. So, small businesses need to implement the strategic planning process for better growth and development. 

Also, research says more than 20% of small business fails because of improper strategic planning, and it increases up to 50% when they are near to completing five years.

Strategic planning has significant importance for all-size businesses, and almost all large organizations ensure the implementation of strategic planning for their business. Here we bring everything about strategic planning and its importance for small businesses.

What Is Strategic Planning For Your Small Business?

Strategic planning is a thorough process for visualizing the ideal future for your small business and turning that vision into a set of wide-ranging objectives and go-to-action plans to get there. Your employees will coordinate to execute the action plans to achieve the specific goals. 

In addition, an action plan for your business suggests a pathway to fulfill the set parameters and goals that reflect the achievement of the small milestones and lead the organization toward sustainable development. In other words, a detailed plan helps your business grow by presenting a roadmap directed toward the business’s goals and objectives.

What Is The Process Of Strategic Management Planning?

Analyze Your Strategic Position

The strategic planning process of the business begins with self-analysis to know the potential of the business. The business can perform the internal analysis using the SWOT tool and use PESTEL analysis to understand the external environment. Both tools are beneficial to understand the internal/external environment.

The analysis of the internal environment using SWOT allows the organization to know its strengths and weaknesses. The proper analysis of the external environment allows businesses to ensure the maximum utilization of opportunities and manage the threats for better growth.

Usually, PESTEL analysis should perform before the SWOT analysis because it helps small businesses to know the affecting factor and enable them to understand strengths and weaknesses accordingly. All these tools allow you to know the exact strategic position of your business and indicate what corrective measures help you to boost business growth. 

Set a Vision 

Vision means the desired state of your business in the future at a specific period, based on the set goals and standards. Vision helps businesses by leading them in the right direction by focusing on the set parameters. 

Vision is a short statement that works as a foundation for your business and presents a roadmap leading toward a better future. The vision has significance because it is set by focusing on several factors, including the competitors. So, set a vision that helps you direct towards a better future. 

The brand’s vision is always concerned with the long term and can achieve through hard work, consistency, and focus. Small businesses should put more effort to achieve the set vision. 

Set a Mission Statement

The most important thing is to understand the difference between the vision and mission because many businesses consider the vision and mission the same. The mission statements present the purpose and existence of the company and why the brand’s existence is beneficial for all. 

The vision presents the roadmap of the long-term plan to achieve the set goals and objectives. And the mission statement communicates everything about the brand that includes works, customers, etc. 

The mission statement presents a plan or pathway to achieve the vision. A vision and mission statements collectively define the business and indicate the direction to move for the achievement of desired results. 

Don’t Ignore KPIs

Small businesses should always consider the key performing indicators of their business. The key performing indicators are the important factors that provide better returns and business. These key performing indicators also present your business’s strengths by indicating the performance and timely achievement of the set goals.

Proper strategic planning by considering the key performing indicators allows you to work on your strengths and ensures the improvements of the factors that provide better returns to your business. The proper utilization of key performing indicators helps the business to work on the areas that need improvement and put more effort to fulfill the specific business tasks.

The key performance indicators allow small businesses to check all the concerned performance-indicating factors and take corrective measures for ensuring better performance of the brand and higher customer satisfaction.

The four main key indicators for small businesses are Customer Satisfaction,

Employee Performance, Satisfaction, Quality, and Financial Performance Index. The proper check of all these key performance indicators helps you to leg up among the competitors.

Develop Organizational Values

The organizational values of your business represent the culture and internal environment of your business that inspire the employees. The values accomplish the mission and vision, it also allows the businesses to focus on the beliefs and principles for better internal functioning.

Also, the organizational values are the foundation of the culture of the company, and it directs how to work and behave within the organization, and it also motivates the employees to achieve the set goals. 

The organizational values are part of the day-to-day operations within the organization and ensure the timely completion of all the tasks without wasting the time and effort. 

Organizational values and culture are important factors for the employee’s success or failure. Those who perform their daily tasks regularly are capable of receiving appreciation from the organization for better performance and growth. 

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is an important part of strategic planning because businesses should be aware of the factors that may affect business operations or plans in the future. Proper knowledge of the affecting factors allows the business to be concerned with the affecting factors and prepare efficient strategic plans that ensure better business growth. 

Assessing the risk at the initial stages of the planning allows the business to create a safe roadmap and ensure the timely achievement of the set goals and objectives without any barrier or obstacle. 

Proper risk assessment helps you to get a step ahead of the affecting factors and ensure the timely completion of essential tasks. It also allows you to follow a suitable approach for your business and give tough competition to your competitors within the industry.  

Develop a Strategic Plan

After concerning all the significant and affecting factors, a business can create a strategic plan that helps them to direct towards better growth and prevent the business from the negatively affecting factors. When you are aware of your strategic position and have a mission and vision to move forward. A perfect strategic management plan will help you to boost the growth of your business and ensure sustainable development.

There are some factors you need to consider while developing a strategic plan:

  • Which approach is suitable for the business to compete with the competitors and help you to create a significant place within the market?
  • What strategies effectively achieve the set goals and objectives that efficiently help us move towards the set mission and vision? 
  • Which factor has a higher negative impact on the business, and how to deal with these factors?
  • What are the concerning factors for planning the day-to-day activities for the business operations? 
  • What factors should the organization prefer to assess the progressive business measures? 
  • Which policies are more productive and provide more flexibility to the employees to work with responsibilities? 
  • Flexibility in the plans and strategies makes the business efficient to adapt the market change and any negative factors. 

There are important factors a business must check before creating a strategic plan to make the brand efficient in the industry and improves the strategic position by achieving the small milestones for better growth. 

Implement your Strategic Plan

The next step after developing the strategic plans, the business should move to implement the strategic plans before communicating to the other people within the organization and accepting valuable suggestions from their employees and other members. 

Small businesses can communicate strategic plans using different devices or tools like emails, mobiles, meetings, announcements, booklets, etc. This complete reflection of the organization outlines its values, mission, and vision. 

The implementation step requires lots of communication within the organization that allows the employees to know everything about the brand and its operations. After providing the proper time to understand the brand, the organization must implement the strategic plan and set the roles and responsibilities of the employees.

Review the Action Plan

You must assess your strategy plan and make necessary adjustments during the procedure’s final phase. Assessing the level of growth accomplished as well as your team’s actual efficiency is part of reviewing your strategic plan.

Evaluate your development to the anticipated performance measures. Additionally, organizations need to reassess the goals and changes to the business environment. Some parameters check the efficiency of the current business operations and present the results of current business performance.

If anything is not working up to the mark or not according to the set standards. Then the business requires making the changes that impact positively and helps the current business operations. Also, if everything is going right, the organization should implement additional measures to boost the current growth rate. 

Benefits Of Strategic Management Planning

1. Smooth Business Operations

Proper strategic planning helps the business by smoothening the daily tasks and assists in work management to perform regular business tasks. 

Also, smooth business management motivates the employees and inspires them to manage more tasks without putting the extra effort. It helps to understand the organizational change and market trends and ensure work by understanding all the concerned factors. 

2. Minimizing the Risk Factor

Strategic business planning helps businesses by providing valuable information that enables the organization to understand or monitor the affecting factors to minimize the risk and get the advantages of the current situation. 

The strategic plan has the potential to adapt to the market condition and the changes. Also, it enables the organization to take corrective actions to overcome challenging situations. Reducing the business risk allows the employees to concentrate on work quality.

3. Optimum Use of Resources

Strategic planning also focuses on the employee’s skills and allows them to avoid wastage. The proper growth of the employees reflects higher productivity and enables them to work better and more efficiently. It helps you increase the profitability of your business.

It motivates the employee towards the goals and encourages them to put more effort into the timely achievement of the goals. The strategic plan allows the employees to improve their skill set and deliver the optimum benefits to the organization by reducing wastage. 

4. Help in developing a proper framework

Strategic planning ensures the proper allocation of the roles and responsibilities of the employees. It prevents them from performing unnecessary time-wasting tasks that help them to deliver higher benefits to the business. 

Proper allocation of responsibilities to the employees helps them to perform the concerned tasks and maintain the organizational decorum for better and more efficient results. It will help them to develop the proper framework within the organization and improves the culture. 

What Are The Objectives Of Strategic Planning?

1. Improve Productivity

Strategic planning helps the organization by improving performance and overall productivity. It helps the organization to follow all the organizational norms focusing on personal development and allows the employees to perform better. 

Proper internal management and focus on employee performance by timely reviewing allow the business to get better results by encouraging the employees towards better performance. Higher organizational productivity leads the organization toward higher profitability.

2. Better Management

The roles and responsibilities are well-defined in the proper strategic planning that helps the employees and management to know their roles and responsibilities. Proper responsibility allocation allows people to focus on specific tasks and deliver better organizational results. 

Proper and smooth management also helps the business to perform better. Management can focus on specific tasks and deliver better output for the organizational benefits instead of resolving employee disputes and other issues. 

3. Proper Direction

A proper strategic plan covers every possible affecting factor and presents the most suitable and effective way for the business. It provides a direction that helps the business to achieve its goals and get higher organizational benefits. 

Providing the proper direction makes things easy for the management and employees and encourages them to perform better. The right direction with proper specifications helps people to know their roles, which makes things easier. 

Characteristics Of A Perfect Strategic Plan

1. Proper Evaluation of Business

The first step of strategic planning helps the business know the actual business position and factors that need to improve for business growth. Proper evaluation enables people to take corrective measures for improvement in performance and production.

If the initial stage is not performing properly, then the foundation of the strategic plan is not perfect and leads the whole planning in the wrong direction. So, proper evaluation of the business presents the foundation’s strengths and reflects the creation of a perfect strategic plan. 

2. Setting Clear Goals

Setting achievable goals helps the employees make them able to understand how much effort they should put into completing the mentioned tasks. If the goals are not achievable, then it impacts the employee’s performance.

Clear and achievable goals allow the employees to push their limits for the timely completion of the goals. Also, it helps to boost the employees’ confidence and encourages them to learn more for better performance. 

3. Focus on the strengths 

The strategic plan develops by considering the strengths of the business reflects the higher chances of success because focusing on the strengths allows the organization delivers the best and properly perform all the tasks with higher efficiency. 

Also, a perfect strategic plan focusing on the strengths enables the business to move in the right direction with a higher potential to face the changing market situation.

4. Timely Review

Proper reviewing after the specific period presents the organizational efficiency to take corrective actions when required. Also, it allows the organizations to review all the functioning and prevent employees from unwanted activities for better potential. 

The proper and timely review allows the organization to take all the safety precautions timely and prevent the business from any negative external and internal impacts. The timely review makes the strategic plan perfect for small businesses and ensures delivering multiple organizational benefits.


Small businesses must have a strategic business plan that helps the organization compete within the industry and makes a strong foundation for sustainable business growth. A strategic plan presents a roadmap for small businesses and business growth by achieving small milestones. 

It is the most essential thing for businesses irrespective of their size and delivers multiple benefits. Also, it ensures the completion of the long-term and short-term business goals to motivate the employees and allows them to grow personally by mentioning specific and achievable goals. It prevents the business from every possible affecting factor and provides flexibility to change the shape according to the change in the situation.