Ask SCORE: What’s the difference between planning and strategic planning?

 by Dennis Zink

Strategic planning, most broadly, means defining a goal and allocating resources to move toward that goal.

Strategic planning is analytical (it involves finding the dots); and strategy formation involves synthesis (connecting the dots) via strategic thinking.

It has been my experience that most companies do not have a strategic plan, at least not in writing.

As a business owner, you have to know where you are going; have a game plan outlining how you will get there and when you will arrive.

As circumstances change, and they will, you adapt your compass readings to these changes. It is perfectly OK to change your itinerary.

A strategic plan can provide a useful focal point that moves an organization enthusiastically toward its mission, vision and goals.

Is your company ready to undertake this process?

The questions

Some questions to ask before you begin… read more.


Dennis Zink is a volunteer, certified mentor and chairman of Manasota SCORE. He is the creator and host of Been There, Done That! with Dennis Zink, a business podcast series. He also facilitates a CEO roundtable for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, runs a business MeetUp group, Success Strategies for Business Owners and is a business consultant. Email him at