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SECTION 9 Strategic Plan/Business Plan Ferry services are highly capital intensive and operate with small margins between revenue and cost. As a result, the relationship between ferry service strategic plans and business plans is important. Additionally, the strategic plan for a ferry operation can actually be a part of the over- all transportation strategy for a region or a state, or it can be part of an overall corporate strat- egy involving multiple businesses. Strategic Plan In general, strategic planning identifies the values and mission of an organization and broadly outlines what needs to be done to achieve the organization's mission. A strategic plan includes the following: A critical assessment of the organization's performance. The context of where the business operates. The organization's vision and its mission. The organization's values. Obstacles to reaching the vision. Strategic, long-term goals and directions. Within a metropolitan area, this strategic analysis may be performed at the regional or state level. On the other hand, a private operator may engage in a strategic plan for its entire line of businesses (for example, a ferry operator that also develops or manages property or a general maritime com- pany that also operates ferries). The focus of a strategic plan is usually on the entire organization, while the focus of a business plan is usually on a particular product, service, or program. In the public sector, the strategic plan of a ferry operation is tied to its place in the overall trans- portation strategy of the area. This may be an explicit or an implicit relationship. For example, in a metropolitan area where ferries are identified specifically as a means to relieve overcrowding at a fixed crossing, that reference becomes the ferry strategic plan. In an area that simply acknowl- edges vehicle ferries in the highway network, the strategy is implicit (Rice, accessed December 3, 2010). A metropolitan plan may identify access as an important outcome and inventory the exist- ing system's ability to deliver that outcome. If the system is deficient, then a strategic plan could identify ferries as a means to deliver the additional increment of access. The strategic plan could also identify, at a policy level, the resources necessary for implementation. The business plan then becomes the tactical document that is used to deliver this element of the overall strategy. In the private sector, corporations also employ strategic plans for their entire suite of busi- nesses, with the end result of delivering a profit to their shareholders. A business plan focuses on each individual business entity. 130