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why is planning important to strategic management

Envisioning goals and then defining strategies you'll embrace to achieve your objectives is the true essence of strategic planning. Easy to overlook in a smaller business, strategic thinking identifies the methods you will take to reach your goals. For example, if you believe you must expand your e-commerce function to achieve increased sales volume, you've also identified the method to use your strategy and reach company goals.

Save the specific steps and components for your business plan. By selecting the strategy, you have defined the method to employ in your detailed specifications in your business plan.
Strategic management can help your business to identify and capitalize on its core competencies -- things within your business that you do best.

As Edward Russell-Walling notes in his book "50 Management Ideas You Really Need to Know," a core competency has three key factors: it is not easy for competitors to duplicate, your business can use it in a number of different products or services and it provides a benefit to your customers.

For some companies, a core competency is the brand name: People buy the products simply because they carry the organization's name, which is associated with quality and prestige.

For others, the core competency might be the cost of production. Whatever your core competencies are, Russell-Walling is quick to note that most companies only have a few. If you think your business has strengths in multiple areas, it's important to get at the root of what causes these successes.

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