Success in entrepreneurship can truthfully be said to rest upon one thing: strategy. Success in the business world might initially depend on an original idea, but the successful realisation of that idea requires a carefully considered strategic approach.
Strategic thinking is absolutely a skill that entrepreneurs can learn and develop, so in this article we decided to put together some key concepts to keep in mind when it comes to starting and developing a business.
Embrace critical thinking
As an entrepreneur, it’s common to be very passionate about your business idea. In many ways, this is a positive; it’s what often gives you that initial push to get your business started, and will help you remain enthusiastic and committed to your goals when things get tough.
Being passionate about your business can come with some negatives – primarily, it can warp your way of thinking and make it harder to approach issues in an objective manner. It’s important to encourage critical thinking, making sure that your decisions, especially the bigger ones, are based on fact rather than emotion.
For example, you may feel good about a prospective business partner, perhaps because they’re a friend or someone you respect, but if their offering doesn’t look good on paper, you should keep looking elsewhere.
Keep an eye on industry trends
Your business will never exist in a vacuum – it’s crucial that you keep this in mind at all times. While you should have conducted extensive market research before starting your business, that research should not stop once you’ve gotten started.
Keep an eye on industry trends, while looking for opportunities that you can seize and attempting to predict issues that you’ll need to prepare for and avoid. According to entrepreneur Shaun Connell, strategic thinking means keeping one eye on the future so you can plan and adapt, always one step ahead rather than constantly reacting to events only after they occur.
In many cases, it’s better to make a decision than remain on the fence, even if the decision you make ends up being the ‘wrong’ one. If you wait too long, the choice will likely be made for you, and you’ll have lost control of the situation. Strategic thinking often means acting even when you’re unsure – working on your ability to make decisions under pressure can be difficult, but it’s absolutely something that you should prioritise.
Strategic thinking doesn’t have to be some abstract thing that exists in your mind but just beyond your grasp. You can utilise a wide range of popular processes and methodologies to help you make decisions in a logical, informed manner.
These can often help you to stop and carefully evaluate the available data, meaning you’ll be less likely to miss any important factors that should be influencing the path you take.
Learning to think in a strategic manner is a lifelong process that can always be improved upon. The important thing is to learn from every mistake you make, and consider how you could have made the decision better based on the information available to you at the time.