Strategic may be one of the most over-used words in both business and in law. In fact, I may over-use it in this blog – after all, this is only my sixth post, and I’ve already used it in two titles. The reason is that I believe thinking and acting strategically – in business and legal mattes – is perhaps the most important factor in determining the success or failure of a business.
What does strategic mean, and why is it so important to think and act strategically? Companies form strategic alliances, have strategic partners, engage in strategic planning, seek strategic investors, etc. Strategic, as I mean it, is a specific and well thought out or targeted approach adopted by your specific business to address a specific circumstance or bring about a specific outcome that is optimum for you – and better than the alternatives.
Let’s discuss strategic partners and investors. Strategic partners and investors differ from others by the simple fact that they bring unique and valuable attributes to your business that others don’t – not just money or products. These may include: relationships with potential customers or suppliers; management or industry expertise or experience; engineering, design or other skills that you may be lacking; complimentary products or knowledge; intellectual property; overseas contacts, capital resources or other factors.
The point here is when you’re considering entering into a relationship with a partner or investor, focus on more than just the product or money they bring to the table. Chances are you have several parties that can bring those things. Consider whether they bring other factors that can add additional value to your company without adding cost. If they can, those are truly strategic relationships – and the ones that will benefit your company the most.