Forecasting for Growth: Strategic Thinking

Successful growth of your business means thinking about the present and the future. In addition to working hard on the day-to-day, successful business owners also make time for forecasting and planning critical to continued success. Strategic thinking can help you turn your business vision into a reality by helping you develop the problem solving and critical thinking skills needed to navigate unexpected changes, and help you plan for and make transitions to create new opportunities. Developing a strategic vision for your business means taking time to envision what you want your business to look like and defining the steps you need to take to reach your goals. Here are five criteria to help you define your ideal outcome.


Strategic thinking starts with what you think your organization should look like, and how best to organize your people and resources to achieve your ideal outcome.


Looking at your organization from a “bird’s eye view” can give you the strategic advantage of seeing the bigger picture. By increasing your powers of observation, you can become more aware of what motivates people, how to solve problems more effectively and how to gain clarity on your options.


Views are simply different ways of thinking about something. In strategic thinking, there are four viewpoints to take into consideration when forming your business strategy: the environmental view, the marketplace view, the project view and the measurement view. Views can be used as tools to help you think about outcomes, identify critical elements and adjust your actions to achieve your ideal position.


What is the driving force behind your vision and mission for your business? Examples of driving forces might include: individual and organizational incentives; empowerment and alignment; qualitative factors such as a defined vision, values and goals; productive factors like a mission or function; quantitative factors such as results or experience; and others such as commitment, coherent action, effectiveness, productivity and value.


Defining your ideal position should become easier after working through the first four phases of the strategic thinking process. Your ideal position should outline the conditions you have found to be necessary in order for your business to be productive; the niche in the marketplace that your business will fill; opportunities that may exist either currently or in the future; the core competencies or skills required for your business; and the strategies and tactics you will use to pull it all together.

For more help developing a vision and defining long-term strategies for your business’s growth, contact the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. Conveniently located in Camarillo, California, we’re here to help.

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