How to Make Strategic Thinking Work for you

A Strategy is a plan that is designed to help you achieve a long-term goal. Which means when ‘thinking strategically’ during your planning process you should have your goals in mind to create a well thought out plan.

Why Is Having a Strategy Important for a Startup?

As a startup business, you are likely to have a great vision for your business.  But have you set long-term goals which relate directly to your marketing activities? Vision, mission, strategic thinking and goal setting are all important components of an effective plan. Following a strategic framework such as the one offered by My Marketing Button means that the tasks that are completed have a defined purpose in the wider scheme of things. 

Give Purpose to Your Operations

Defining your mission statement and/or vision for your company provides a direction for decisions and a purpose for certain activities that need to take place. The purpose of the company gives your team and other stakeholders an understanding of:

  • why the company exists
  • the overall intention of the business.
  • What the company is aspiring to

When defining your mission statement and vision, think where your business will be in one, three and five years’ time.  To get you started, think about:

  • What market position do you want the business to hold?
  • How will the company grow to accommodate business operations and demand? 
  • What do you want the reputation of the business to be?
  • Do you want to achieve something like an award or certification?

Sharing your vision for your startup with the people around you communicates the purpose of the activities they are completing daily, so they can understand why it is important and that they are part of the bigger picture in terms of how your business develops. The vision also informs decisions and actions which are made daily and how they think about tasks in relation to the wider plan. This means that all activity whether done by you, your team or an outsourced company should work as a stepping-stone to achieving the vision.

Create Measurable Goals

The vision provides the direction of where your startup is headed. But how will you make it possible to achieve this vision?

Strategic thinking is keeping in mind the vision when planning business activities. Planning careful, well thought out tasks that have realistic targets associated with them create a well-defined plan.

  • Create SMART targets
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Timed-bound
  • Be realistic
    • Understand the resources available to you and their capabilities
  • Create a clear plan
    • Is the plan easy for everyone to understand?
    • Make sure that the plan is communicated to all people involved
    • Ensuring everyone involved understands the plan is key to its success.

Monitor Your Progress

Ensure that you are completing the activities that you set out in your strategic plan. Effective communication will enable you to monitor activities, their effectiveness and any changes that need to be made to achieve the targets set.

You may need to seek additional support or provide support to your team if targets are being missed, or there is something which is hindering the progress of activities. It is always important to remember that your plan should be flexible as unpredictable things happen all the time that might change your plan.

Having a realistic approach to your plan means that you understand that changes might have to be implemented or activities may have to be adapted to suit certain situations. Monitoring progress using a platform such as My Marketing Button means you can change strategy to react to changes and communicate and support those around you with tasks.

Key Takeaways

  • Strategic thinking and the definition of vision, mission and SMART targets are essential for an effective marketing plan.
  • Using a strategic framework for planning such as My Marketing Button gives purpose to your activities.
  • Understanding the capabilities and limitations of the resources available to you is important.
  • As much as achieving your goals is important, understanding why a target hasn’t been reached is key to adapting, learning and setting new targets.