Young Upstarts

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4 Things Businesses Can Learn About Strategy From Chess

Chess is a game of tactic and strategy, and these tactics and strategies can be useful in the business world. Business is all about position and strategy, and you’ll be moving your business in the same ways you would chess pieces – with precision and accuracy.

And the more you play chess, the more you’ll learn how to:

1. Value Preparation.

Preparation is valuable, and every business can learn to prepare from chess. When you go to play against another player, you can learn their tactics and better understand what the opponent’s next move may be.

And this is a vital part of business, too.

You can prepare for your next meeting with a big vendor or investor. Prepare through:

  • Research
  • Past successes and failures

Long-term preparation is key in chess and in business. Learn to strategize for preparation, using your time wisely to learn how to gain leverage in a contract or discussion.

2. Looking Ahead.

Looking ahead is key in chess. You need to imagine moves and wait for them to become a reality. It’s vital to react to these moves, and it’s these moves that are critical in business. We’re often stuck in the here and now, but did you know that Lenovo talked about being the leader in computing 30 years ago?

Chinese companies have always made long-term plans that stretch 100 years.

You don’t need to go to this extent, but looking ahead is a great way to stay on course in business and reach milestones. Shoot for the stars, and the worst that can happen is that you’ve progressed in business. Remaining stagnant means never looking ahead, or not looking ahead enough to find success.

3. Chess Teaches You Sacrifice.

Business is a game of sacrifice. You sacrifice your time for a payment. You sacrifice one contract for a bigger contract. Everything is about sacrifice, and the same goes for chess. When you’re sharpening your chess skills, you’re also benefitting your mind and learning the art of patience.

You may sacrifice short-term gains today, such as hiring more employees, for long-term gains that are more profitable.

You may also hire more staff now and invest in equipment knowing that sales are going to pick up. Profits may be hurt in the short-term, but the business has a higher capacity level and can profit from it in the long-term.

4. Think Outside of the Box.

Chess doesn’t always go your way. You can prepare day and night, but unless you think outside of the box, you’ll lose a lot of games. Business is the same way. The most profitable products and services in the world required someone to think outside the box; someone to be innovative.

Chess has strict rules, and you need to leverage these rules and creativity to win. When it comes to marketing, product positioning and winning in the industry, you must change up the rules. Do something your business has never done before.

Go outside of your comfort zone.

Leverage the outside-the-box thinking to win a contract, attract more clients or add a feature that pushes your product past the competition.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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