This study sought to understand the influence of strategic business planning on the early transitional growth stages within a small business. A single qualitative case study was conducted as the means to understand if the development and implementation of a strategic plan assisted the small business in successfully transitioning from the formation stage to the early growth stage of its organizational development. The study explored this subject though an inquiry of the communication flow of the business's mission statement, goals and objectives, and growth plan from the owner to the staff members and then outwardly to the customers. It is the communication, which is driven by and derived from the plan that enables the plan to transform from a static document into a managerial tool. The findings of this study question several prior quantitative studies that found no relationship between formal planning and small business growth or found a negative correlation between small business planning and growth. This study has found a middle ground between formalized planning and organizational learning. The findings indicate that a collaborative act of planning, not the possession of a plan or the level of formality of the plan, provided a positive influence in effectively managing the transitional growth of the small business. This formal act of planning was found to provide an opportunity for sharing and learning to occur between the owner and key staff members.
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