I read an article in a journal today (find link here) that focused on the challenges of small businesses in making strategic decisions. The author states that small independent businesses are limited, contrary to big business, in how strategic they can be in making decisions. They can basically select a strategy of growth, retention or harvesting (reducing business functions that lose money) while big businesses can do all three.
What was interesting to me is that the author presented two different ways of making decisions. By time (long, medium and short term) and by importance (strategic, operational and tactical) Now I have been part of an organization that tends to use the second way to classify decisions for almost 15 years, however once classified as such they are immediately arranged from long to short range time frame decisions. I don’t see why the two ways should be exclusive.
Do small business owners have as much time to think strategically as big business CEOs? I think that’s the more pressing question. If time permitted they probably would but with multiple functions and a very short staff to carry all the tasks needed most small business owners don’t. A “break” even for a day or two to think about the business, where it is and where it’s going, is essential.