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  • Being prepared isn’t just for boy scouts

  • By Sayward Spooner (Mississauga Business Times – September 2008)

    Planning is the pits, for most anyway. It’s the dirty work before the fun can begin. Tedious and exhausting, the fruits of your labour are not apparent until much later. But, according to Neville Pokroy, a principal at the consulting company Mastermind Solutions, planning is the key to having a future.

    That’s why this September 25, businesses across the GTA should plan to attend the 2008 Mississauga Business Law Summit: Economic Uncertainties: Prepare, Prevent & Protect – Mitigating the Risks and Discovering the Opportunities. “It really is very important to be aware of changes in laws that are likely to affect your business,” insists Pokroy.

    He ought to know. Pokroy oversees the strategic marketing of the largest law firm in Mississauga, Pallett Valo, which also happens to be the lead sponsor for the summit. “It’s not often that you get to know about laws being changed unless you’re on the lookout for that,” says Pokroy. Pallet Valo, he says, wants to be “preemptive in communicating that kind of information.” That way, perhaps companies can be more preemptive in preventing catastrophe.

    “The number of calls I get from people who want marketing advice but are already in trouble and don’t have money to pay for that advice, I think goes up in troubled times,” says Pokroy. It seems absurd that any organization would expect to get free advice from a professional consulting company, but these businesses are desperate. They did not prepare themselves for the unthinkable.

    “[If] your marketing is strong when times are good, the down-turns are not going to affect you as dramatically as those companies that have not prepared themselves,” says Pokroy. This fact is especially apparent in today’s economic climate. The companies which constantly have an eye on the road ahead are surviving Canada’s fluctuating dollar and soaring fuel costs. Others, companies like General Motors, haven’t done their homework and are paying dearly for it now.

    “There are a vast number of companies out there that feel that planning is maybe over-rated – not that necessary,” says Pokroy. This is often how companies feel about the law. According to Pokroy, businesses get “blindsided” by past legal changes that have not affected them. They assume those changes never will. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. The point is you should be prepared either way. “You look at all the successful companies and those are the guys that have really planned,” says Pokroy.

    Nothing in business stays static. Laws and economic conditions change constantly and the only way to avoid disaster is to be prepared before these changes occur. This year’s Business Law Summit, at the Mississauga Grand, 35 Brunel Road, will be an insightful look into the future of Canadian business. The event runs from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the cost is $75 plus GST.

    As Pokroy says: “Prepare yourself.”

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