While planning in large organisations has been researched extensively, resulting in many prescriptions, models and concepts (Jennings and Beaver 1997), the use and application of the planning process in small firms is still the subject of on-going debate (O’Neill, Saunders and Hofman 1987). Pushpakumari and Athula (2008), argue that SMEs often do not have the means to ensure continuous successful implementation of strategic planning as they maintain lower levels of resources, have limited access to human, financial and customer base and less-developed management capacity and administrative systems. Research findings reveal that, generally, funding remains a necessary but not sufficient condition for a viable SME development. Management problems that manifest in many ways like: lack of capacity; lack of clear vision; lack of business plans and business strategy; and poor strategy implementation are critical for the performance and survival of SMEs (Gerber, 2001). According to Antony and Onugu (2005), unlike large enterprises, SMEs are characterised by their flexibility, responsiveness, pursuit of opportunities, risk- taking, innovation, unconventional thinking and creativity. According to RBV, chaos and contingency theories these are strategic resources that can be exploited by SMEs to adapt to the ever changing environment and to become more competitive and responsive to customer needs and requirements.

Comprehensive reviews of the small business literature suggest that, ceteris paribus, strategic planning and competitive advantage is generally more common in better-performing enterprises (Hormozi, Sutton, McMinn, and Lucio, 2002; Lurie, 1987; Miller & Cardinal, 1994; Schwenk and Shrader, 1993). Several scholars (Berman, Gordon, and Sussman, 1997; Bracker, Keats, and Pearson, 1988; Carland and Carland, 2003; Gibson and Cassar, 2005) argue that small businesses that strategically plan are more likely to be innovative, achieve higher sales growth, and higher returns on assets, higher profit margins and higher employee growth and above all gain competitive advantage. According to, Gibson and Cassar (2002), planning in small firms is mostly adaptive in nature, short-term oriented and concerned with the manipulation of scarce resources.
Furthermore, planning in small firms is generally typified by intense personalisation and is highly influenced by the preferences, experiences, attitudes, prejudices and general personality sets of the firm. Thus the existence of diverse planning processes in small businesses should be expected but with little or no resemblance to the planning process found in large organisations.