I am often asked “When is the best time to do strategic planning?” Conversely, I am told by business owners, we can’t do strategic planning until we finish–installing our new ERP, get through trade shows, or hire our new VP. Those all seem like good reasons to wait. However, like many things we deal with, there is no perfect time to do strategic planning when the leadership team won’t be dealing with many other high priority items. When is the last time you had a “slow” period?
Over time I have developed two rules about strategic planning timing:
1) There is never a convenient or good time to tackle a strategic plan; if you think you need one, you probably do–and you need it sooner rather than later.
2) The best time to start the development of a strategic plan is yesterday; the fruits of your labor take a while to develop so getting traction sooner rather than later is important.