Business is a competitive market, and to stay ahead of a competitor, you must keep up. Markets fluctuate and change every day. New ideas, creativity, and trends can change powerful marketing habits instantly, which is why careful planning and attention are crucial to the success of any business. Let’s discuss the benefits of strategic thinking.
First of all, do you consider yourself to be a strategic thinker already? If so, you’re probably one step ahead of the game when it comes to predicting the challenges and obstacles that affect everyone’s life and business. But there may be areas where you could make a few small tweaks and benefit greatly.
If you’re like me, you may never have described or even thought of yourself as someone who regularly engages in strategic thinking. I’m less detail oriented than I would like, so that means that I learned to focus more on planning and organizing to increase the strategies I could develop to improve my life. This also spilled over to my online business, as well as my writing so it has definitely been beneficial to my life experience.
One way to plan effectively is through strategic thinking or planning. It is a detailed process done roughly once a year that sets clear goals, priorities, clear directions, and action steps with documentation of what a company plans to do to achieve more profits or other measures of success.
With strategic thinking, you can better predict challenges or obstacles you may face and highlight areas you need to improve to keep up with the market. It provides consistency and the knowledge you need to stay relevant in your industry.
Here are five common benefits of strategic thinking and why you should add it to your business routine:
Be More Proactive and Less Reactive
Planning and clearly listing the steps you want to take for your business gives you the control you need to be successful. Strategic planning requires the ability to take responsibility and the initiative to highlight your weaknesses, strengths, or other pain points that get in your way. Success doesn’t come without work or waiting for it to come to you.
Provides Organization and Direction
A strategic plan encourages movement. It requires creating action-based steps and imagining your future to ensure you are doing what is right. When you take the time to evaluate your decisions and the consequences of them, you can better organize and improve your business strategy.
Strategic Thinking Makes Goals Clearer and Obtainable
Strategic thinking requires you to ask yourself challenging questions to get you in the right direction. When you challenge your thought process, you can be sure the goals you create align with what you need or want.
Some important questions to ask include:
“How do these action steps get me closer to my main objective?”
“Am I going in the right direction? Why?”
“Am I bound to face challenges along the way” “If so, how do I combat them?”
“Do I need help to get there?” “What do I need to change now to do better or accomplish my goals faster?”
According to Tim Stobierski, in his article on ways to develop your strategic thinking skills, here are some ways to improve your strategic thinking skills…
1. Ask Strategic Questions
If you want to improve your strategic thinking skills, one of the simplest things you can do is ask more strategic questions. Doing so allows you to exercise your planning skills, become adept at spotting opportunities, and develop a more strategic mindset you can leverage throughout your career. It’s also important that your questions apply to your role and responsibilities so you can act on them. Some examples of strategic questions you might ask include:
- How can we strategically position ourselves to enter a new market?
- What’s the direction for growth for each of our products or services?
- Where will the organization’s growth come from in the next five years, and how does it compare with where growth has historically come from?
- How should the organization respond to the threat presented by potentially disruptive competitors?
2. Observe and Reflect
In addition to asking strategic questions, you need to answer and address them skillfully. One of the most effective ways of accomplishing this is to observe and reflect on your current situation, ensuring any strategy you conceive is grounded in facts.
Strategic Thinking Increases Durability and Profitability
When you create a detailed plan of action, you limit your exposure to surprises, errors, and other obstacles – providing more durability and fewer chances to fail and increasing your profitability, productivity, and success.
Overall strategic thinking is planning taken to a superior level. It’s about creating a detailed list of action steps, tracking your results, being available to evaluate them, and ensuring you know where to improve at every step of the way to stay and be successful. I’ve found The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World by Dorie Clark to be extremely helpful with improving my understanding of and implementation around strategic thinking.
I’m a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, an independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my training on how to sell yourself at Sell Yourself and Your Stuff and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.