In a nutshell strategic planning is setting and implementing long duration goals and short duration goals for the company.

Just as important as the overall goals are evaluating the efficiency of the internal organization, evaluating external factors which immediately affect the organization or will affect the organization in the future, and making sure that the customer is happy with your current array of products, their quality, and customer service.

What is also true is that the strategy for a big conglomerate organization and a small business is fundamentally different. In the former case you are interested in maintaining your dominance in the market place and in the latter case you are a small business trying to be as efficient as possible to grow quickly with a more efficient workforce and a unique product or products hoping to develop a word of mouth reputation in the marketplace.

It is a fact of life that big capital intensive conglomerates have wholesale advantages and the ability to buy up competitors who may appear as rivals so the strategy is primarily one of eliminating upstart competing businesses by buying them out.

As a small business a simple strategy may just be one of making your mark in a competitive environment and once successful your long duration goal may be to sell out or get absorbed by a larger corporation at a considerable profit.

So you see long duration strategies for big and small businesses are fundamentally different but what they have in common is a desire to maintain an efficient workforce, have satisfied customers, and make a profit during economic downturns as well as economic good times.

A research and development department is for big corporations and small businesses do their research and development largely by introducing new and better products or services which meet customer demand.

Once you define or state your long and short duration goals it is important to get feedback on a regular basis which evaluates whether you are making good progress in a timely fashion towards your goals. The staff in charge should be held responsible or accountable for reaching or not reaching the goals and dealt with accordingly.

One very important factor in business strategy is government regulations and standards or laws passed which limit the freedom of business practices. Government regulations or laws are designed to benefit big business and hamper the growth of small businesses.

When the competition gets too fierce for a big business then they just lobby the government for favorable treatment which also coincidentally hampers small businesses and just prolongs the existence of inefficient large organizations with subsidies and favorable treatment. Yes, business competition is basically unfair and the government makes it so to a large degree these days.

I will briefly introduce you to SWOT  which is an aid to strategic planning that focuses on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for a company. Analyzing these factors helps a company to evaluate internal inefficiencies and evaluate the external factors which can or are impacting the company in the short and long duration for better or worse.

For a big company values such as integrity, honest and moral behavior, and awareness of social responsibilities should all be part of the mission statement because in the long duration your reputation as a company is largely determined by the reputation or quality of your products or services and the reputation of your staff including employees. It is very tempting to cut corners and screw the public when you are powerful and wealthy since we all know that great money without a moral backbone leads to corrupt business practices where the public gets shafted one way or another.

One final note and that is that big business is now international and strategies must be adjusted to fit the culture and laws of a foreign nation which means that uniformity or standardization of operations is no longer completely possible. Company strategy must adapt to varying external national factors. This said, it is still important to be a company with integrity, honesty and morality, competence, and a good reputation wherever it chooses to do business worldwide.

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