Peter Klohn, head of the Owner-Managed Business practice group and partner in our Saint John office, recently noted the following with respect to the importance of strategic planning to the entrepreneur:

The symbol of financial success on Wall Street is the bull. Unfortunately, I have seen too many entrepreneurs who value the bull’s stubborn persistence over strategic thinking. I’d suggest that successful entrepreneurs are more like mountain goats who can navigate to great heights by planning their route and avoiding obstacles along the way. They see the value of working with, and around, those who stand in their way rather than bowling them over and hoping that the damage caused won’t end the journey. Good carpenters say the key to success is to “measure twice and cut once”. An emphasis on strategic planning for entrepreneurs yields the same positive results.

Despite this, many entrepreneurs don’t begin the strategic planning process in conjunction with developing a business plan for their great idea. It’s unfortunate, but having a great idea and a short-term plan isn’t enough to carry you toward success. Strategic planning, the act of looking not just where your company is now, but where you want your company to be in the medium to long term, and developing a plan outlining how you will get there, will make you more aware of your business’s strengths and weaknesses. This can lead to better evaluation of risk versus reward, stronger decision-making, and can ultimately lead to more success.

Strategic plans should not replace business plans, which ideally would touch on your short to medium term goals for your company. Rather, they complement each other, providing guidance not only in the short term, but well into the future as well.

If you don’t have a strategic plan for your business at the moment, give some thought to developing one. It can be a great way to involve any employees in the future of the company, as well – what better way to get the whole team invested?

For additional general information on strategic planning, check out some of the helpful links below:

Business Development Bank of Canada

Info Entrepreneurs Montreal

Financial Post: A Strategy for Strategic Planning

 Sarah Almon