Small firm success and the art of orienteering: the value of plans, planning, and strategic awareness in the competitive small firm

P. D. Hannon, A. Atherton

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    55 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    There is an ongoing debate within the academic literature about the value of the business plan in the development of the small firm. On closer inspection of the research, there appear to be clear benefits in the use of business planning as a process within the smaller business. This is in contrast to the production of a business plan as an output focused predominantly on convincing and acquiring resources from other organisations and individuals. As a process, business planning can be both formal and informal. It is also focused on understanding and responding to the context within which the business operates. Strategic awareness capability, as both a bundle of activities and a core competence, helps to make sense of this context, and serves as a means of managing interactions between the firm and its environment. It also allows for a more sensitive reading of the limitations and strengths of the planning process in markets that are, for the small business, generally unpredicatable and complex. When combined, strategic awareness capability and planning effectiveness can be used to develop a typology of business types that provides insight into the processes by which business development can be supported. In addition, strategic awareness capability can be considered a core competence of the small business and conceptualised in terms of different levels of experience, and expertise. As a result, small firms with varying levels of experience face different challenges and needs when using and developing strategic awareness capability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)102-119
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
    Volume5
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Keywords

    • Business plan
    • Corporate planning
    • Small firms
    • Strategic evaluation

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