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The following article first appeared in the Insights section of Whittlesey’s website. It is reposted here with permission.
Imagine this: You’re about to take a road trip with a friend. 
You and your friend get in your car and start driving. 
After a while, your friend asks how much longer until you arrive. You say you don’t know. 
Your friend asks what route you’re taking. You say you don’t know. 
Your friend asks if you even know where you’re going. You say you don’t know. 
Eventually, you run out of gas because you had no idea if you needed to get more gas to get wherever it was you were going.
Now, imagine running a small business the same way as that doomed road trip—not knowing where you’re going, how to get there, or what you need to get there. 
Small business owners without a sound business plan are doing just that.
Many small business owners suffer from the following symptoms which create intense barriers to business growth and viability. 
This piece will identify the symptoms associated with failure to engage in the strategic planning process and demonstrate how strategic planning can solve these common issues.
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The lack of a sound business plan can lead to all sorts of issues that can hinder the growth and success of a business. 
The ones listed below are just a few:
The cure for these ailments is sound strategic business planning that establishes where the business owner is now, where the business owner is going, and how the business owner is going to get from the present state to the desired future state. 
The action plan that establishes how a business owner moves from the present state to the desired future state represents the strategic plan for the business.
A sound strategic business plan eliminates the confusion surrounding important corporate decisions because the business owner is able to measure risk and reward against a clearly defined view of success. 
As a result, the business owner does not need to agonize over competing paths that may or may not align with their business goals.
When driving a small business, have a plan—know the destination and how to get there.
About the author: Brian Kerrigan is a partner at Whittlesey’s Hartford office. He has provided tax compliance and consulting services for companies throughout New England for more than a decade.  Connect with Kerrigan via email for more information. 
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