What Is a Strategic Business Plan?

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Businesswoman listening to seminar speaker at business conference

Business planning is necessary for company growth and success. Business plans provide companies with the tools to track growth, establish a budget and prepare for unforeseen changes in the market place. A strategic plan includes many elements a business can utilize to attract financing and manage company objectives. To optimize strategic business planning, businesses must clearly define company goals and conduct extensive research to properly understand industry trends.

Definition

A strategic business plan is a written document that pairs the objectives of a company with the needs of the market place. Although a strategic business plan contains similar elements of a traditional plan, a strategic plan takes planning a step further by not only defining company goals but utilizing those goals to take advantage of available business opportunities. This is achieved by carefully analyzing a particular business industry and being honest about your company’s strength and weakness in meeting the needs of the industry.

Significance

A strategic business plan is necessary to optimize market research and to attain optimum market share for your business. The plan allows businesses to focus on a particular niche in the marketplace, which makes sales, advertising and customer management more effective. The plan allows a company to know as much as possible about the needs of its customers and gaps in the marketplace that need to be filled. A strategic business plan helps a company provide better, more targeted service to its clients.

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Characteristics

A strategic business plan includes extensive market research, industry trends and competitor analyses. A strategic plan will include the components of a traditional plan, such as an executive summary, marketing analysis and financial statements, but a strategic plan will be more specific on how the company will go about achieving company goals. For example, a strategic business plan will attempt to identify a target market, narrow it down to a manageable size, and establish a strategy for acquiring those customers.

Benefits

Writing a strategic business plan has many advantages. The plan can serve as an outline for successful completion of company milestones. Company owners are in a better position to not only understand their business but become experts in their industries. A strategic plan helps executives understand the direction in which their company is headed by reviewing past progress and making changes to improve and grow. The plan is an organizational tool that helps to keep a company on track to meet growth and financial objectives.

Misconceptions

Many small business owners feel that strategic business plans are for large companies and big businesses. However, according to the Small Business Administration, a strategic business plan can benefit companies of all sizes and can be a great advantage to small businesses. Small businesses may utilize the document to develop the strategies necessary to attract and retain the customers it needs to succeed.

By Sherrie Scott|Chron

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Author:

Have you ever had a dream of a young child torn away from her mother and given away in marriage to a man old enough to be her great grandfather? Yeah, that was the kind of nightmare i woke up to at 2.00 am . Her screams echoes at every corner of my room,keeps me awake until dawn and gave me this burden in my heart to do something about it...I came up with the solution that if we could help this young child's mother to be self-reliant to be able to take care of her...even educate her, she will not end up in child marriage since her family will not need to borrow money from these Shylocks who want a pound of flesh of their offspring.Call me a dreamer...I won't stop until the nightmare is over. Wish me luck !

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