For me personally, I am not a professional chess player, but I do love thinking about strategy, especially in business. I love to relate how chess being the ultimate game of strategy can also be related to business and marketing. With the advent of computers, it’s amazing to think of all the possible strategies since a computer can “think” over 20 moves ahead and how quickly a computer can process information. In this article, I am expressing once again how practicing chess strategy can help your business grow and to become more profitable and proficient which will have a huge pay off. These same types of strategies have worked for thousands of companies around the world, and e4 BPO helps companies use these strategies to grow and prosper.
Even if you’re not an avid chess player, you will still be able to latch onto these ideas.
Chess has been around for over a thousand years and therefore has a very long history. It was used to teach Emperors, Kings and Queens about strategy since it started.
One thing that intrigues me about the game is how rich of symbolism it is. You have castles, knights, bishops, pawns and of course the king and queen. Each piece in chess makes you think back to mid-evil times. Probably one of the best ways I can relate the game of chess to business and marketing is to create some of that symbolism to each of the pieces. This should help you to think about solving problems for your business and assigning a strategy to still win.
Successful companies today apply these type of strategies.
How do we attack a problem in business piece by piece.
Let’s first look at the castle, also known as the rook. It moves straight ahead, backwards or side to side. It is a very strong piece. You could consider it like military power. Think of it as size and strength in business. It is also a very good defensive piece on the board. It can go on the offensive and sweep in quickly across the entire board. In relation to business, this would be a slice of your market share for your company.
Next let’s look at the knight. In the old days, if you owned horses it was a sign that you had money. And having an entire stable full of horses meant you were very wealthy. The knight or horse can be related to the financial power of your business. The knight moves on the board in an “L” shaped pattern and can even jump over other pieces. Where you find the knight the most effective in chess is when it is in the center of the board. So if you can put cash into the middle of what you are trying to accomplish, you will be able to control your situation. However, just like with the knight, you need to have a good exit strategy with your cash or you could lose it.
Now for the bishop. Here we are talking about politics, influence and negotiation which fall under the bishop. For your business, we would relate this to making connections and networking. It would be managing certain situations at your company or quickly sweeping in to clean up a problem or bottleneck. The bishop goes diagonally on the chess board and can come out of nowhere quickly.
Those are some things you can do to leverage things in your favor related to connections, capital, strength and size. So now let’s look at some of the strategies.
Chess related to business strategies
One thing you must always do in chess is keep the pressure on. Every move you make you basically need to force your opponent to make a predictable defensive move. In this manner, you will be able to stay in control and prevent them from taking an offensive move of their own. You want them to be constantly reacting and “putting out fires.” If you do so, they will be unable to execute their own strategy. If you look at the world in general, the USA seems to be pretty good at that since every other country tends to react to the moves made by the USA. It should be the same for your business to keep your competitors on their heels and propel your company to the top in your industry.
Every move you make counts big time. If you make a bad move it’s basically a wasted turn. You will be losing time and losing ground, not to mention momentum. You will also risk losing control of the situation and find yourself being the one on the defensive and on the run. Just like great chess players, a great business person should be very conservative during the “opening” regarding what they do. But once you have gained some ground, it’s time to move in for the attack.
In the game of chess, every asset you have counts. If you happen to lose a piece now and you fail to take one from your opponent on your next turn you could possibly lose the game. It’s no different in business and marketing. Business is just as competitive. You will need every asset that you can gain in order to have an edge over your competition. When you can get ahead of your competitor, the momentum usually picks up and then it’s like a snow ball rolling downhill. You need to use every asset at your disposal. If you’re not using it, then sell it so you can turn it into cash so you can use that as your power piece.
Once nice thing about chess is it teaches you to take heavy pressure and complex situations and learn how to deal with them. It requires massive amounts of strategy. Just like you can count on gravity to make an apple fall on someone’s head, you can count on chess to teach you strategy to help your business.
In business, just like in chess, when you find yourself competing against someone, you must try to estimate all the moves your competitor will make against you at any given time. Of course you won’t be able to predict every move, but the point is to try your best. Then you will need to define a realistic counter move that will assign value to each of those moves. You will need to use foresight to stay ahead of your competitor in order to win the game. Just like a computer chess game, you need to have a “code” which is your “strategy” so you can crunch numbers fast enough. When your competitor makes a move, wait if you can, think and analyze, then make your move. Sometimes, you can plan ahead if you know your competition very well so you can react to your competition almost instantly, and if so, you most likely will win the game.
For the average entrepreneur, creating a business marketing strategy is a huge undertaking. You must be willing to bravely face all the inherent risks that come with opening a new business and be willing to face all the challenges head on. The exception is the entrepreneur who is fearless, who is willing to accept risk and has the proverbial “get it done” attitude.
If we are talking about the average entrepreneur, they slip and slide around, trying to reach that elusive goal named success, instead of attacking the challenge in a bold manner. They take small incremental jumps, often in the wrong direction, instead of using strategy and planning each of their marketing moves .
In the world of small business marketing, strategy is a lot like the difference between checkers and chess. Although the goal is the same, the complexities of the approach to the game are way different. Chess is a much more complex game than checkers because there are way many more variables; just like the business world. Chess and business requires more planning, concentration, hard work and strategy. To win in chess and business also takes the qualities of stamina and perseverance with many, many obstacles to navigate around.
In checkers, it is easier and demands very little concentration and forethought. Since checkers is easier, it is often the manner in which most businesses operate their marketing strategy. Very sad, but true.
Like in the game of chess, marketing your business is a very complicated undertaking. Chess players anticipate future moves and will position their pieces in such a way that each one strengthens the others on the board. The pieces are working together for the common goal in a common strategy and plan. Your marketing efforts for your business should be approached the same exact same way.
Every marketing move you make needs to reinforce the previous move in order to defeat the competition. Instead of using chess pieces you are using your mission statement, website, logo, brochures, sales letters, emails and hundreds or thousands of other marketing tactics.
Just like bishops, rooks, knights and pawns, all these tactics each have a different level of effectiveness and need to be played correctly. Some are more powerful than others and should only be used when the time is right. Others, like business cards, are not as valuable but have an important place in the game and your business.
As a business owner you don’t risk losing pieces to your competitor, you are risking losing business. Just like a great chess player, you must develop your strategy to win on a very consistent basis. It takes your focus, vision, and attention to stay in the game until the end and come out victorious.
Here are some things you can implement on your game board for your business marketing strategy:
Take time to focus on your clients and give them all of your attention. Fill their needs with your unique product or service.
Take time to develop a clear and concise marketing message. Be relevant and consistent with how you communicate your benefits and features.
Always constantly communicate with your target audience. Develop more ways to continuously market to your clients and prospects. Be familiar with your target market, but not too obtrusive to become annoying and going overboard.
Always develop your Unique Value Position (UVP). Know where you stand in the marketplace and be aware of your competitor’s moves in order to stay ahead. Be sure that you are responding to their actions not reacting in an irrational, defensive position. Stay on the offensive whenever possible.
Always build a relationship with your market, customer, prospects and vendors. Get to know your market and let them know you care. Find out what they want and need through surveys and conversation.
Always market everyday. It is very crucial that your marketing strategy has a long view ahead. Think three or four steps ahead by establishing a marketing plan and working on it every working day.
These are only a few ways you can create your business marketing strategy but are very crucial. Always remember that you have to think like a chess player and look into the future by anticipating what the market wants and what your competitors might do. When you do you will enjoy great success and win the game.
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