A. Strategic planning clearly defines objectives then follows up by scanning both the internal and external atmospheres (a SWAT analysis is a quick and easy way to start this step), then determines the steps needed to implement the strategy; after doing all of that, it is time to evaluate the results and modify behaviors where necessary.A strategic plan is a plan that charts the direction that the owners/managers have in mind for the company. This differs from another plan such as a business plan because a business plan is focused primarily with the development of a business. Both are integral parts of a start-up company, but they accomplish different goals.
Without a strategic plan, it is hard to determine long-term goals even if you were to get a business started. Businesses tend to do better when tied in with various goals rather than simply operating for the sake of operating; businesses like that tend to go stale. This is also why strategic plans should be compared to actual results. Then they should also be re-written and updated. A business that is in operation should always be heading toward a certain destination.
Strategic planning is an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment.Strategic planning differs from other types of planning in that effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organization is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful. Regular planning does not have a foundational strategy in place to align its decisions and develop its processes.The Strategic planning process is vital for entrepreneurs because it helps the entrepreneur develop strategic short and long term goals. The goals are in effect a description of what the company will look like when it grows up. If the company’s long-range goal is to be the acknowledged market leader in its niche by year three, that describes a venture that will grow quickly and establish a robust market presence. Goals imply actions that must be taken to reach them, so the goal-setting process leads to determining how best to use the company’s resources to reach the goals.
C. Entrepreneurial thinking is certainly a mindset. When we choose to embark on a path not chartered, we are engaging in a “small act of entrepreneurship.” Being entrepreneurial is essentially about thinking and doing something that we have not done before, in order to achieve a desirable goal or outcome. It is about assessing a situation, designing alternatives, and choosing a new way — or perhaps a combination of ways — that we hope will lead us to something better; however we happen to define “better” at that moment.Entrepreneurial thinking allows for the dynamic formulation and development of plans that is related to the entrepreneur’s underlying strategy, but also allows a unique construction of a plan that is ambitious and entrepreneurial in nature.
D. Entrepreneurial thinking denotes a way of thinking and action about business and its opportunities that captures the benefits of uncertainty. This need for an entrepreneurial thinking is vital when it comes to strategic planning because, entrepreneurship is exposed to the liabilities of the new and to failure because the entrepreneurial process is complex and uncertain (Marcus, 2011). This mindset needs to create or help shape its own environment by creating a strategic and entrepreneurial alertness for it to survive the chaos, complexity and contradictions.One should focus on the entrepreneurial mindset when reviewing strategy because this is a way of thinking about the business that captures the benefits of uncertainty. Strategic entrepreneurship is the integration of entrepreneurial (opportunity seeking actions) and strategic (advantage seeking actions) perspectives to design and implement entrepreneurial strategies that create wealth (Dhliwayo, 2007).
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