There are many benefits of strategic management and they include identification, prioritization, and exploration of opportunities. For instance, newer products, newer markets, and newer forays into business lines are only possible if firms indulge in strategic planning. Next, strategic management allows firms to take an objective view of the activities being done by it and do a cost benefit analysis as to whether the firm is profitable.
Just to differentiate, by this, we do not mean the financial benefits alone (which would be discussed below) but also the assessment of profitability that has to do with evaluating whether the business is strategically aligned to its goals and priorities.
The key point to be noted here is that strategic management allows a firm to orient itself to its market and consumers and ensure that it is actualizing the right strategy.
It has been shown in many studies that firms that engage in strategic management are more profitable and successful than those that do not have the benefit of strategic planning and strategic management. When firms engage in forward looking planning and careful evaluation of their priorities, they have control over the future, which is necessary in the fast changing business landscape of the 21st century. It has been estimated that more than 100,000 businesses fail in the US every year and most of these failures are to do with a lack of strategic focus and strategic direction. Further, high performing firms tend to make more informed decisions because they have considered both the short term and long-term consequences and hence, have oriented their strategies accordingly. In contrast, firms that do not engage themselves in meaningful strategic planning are often bogged down by internal problems and lack of focus that leads to failure.
The section above discussed some of the tangible benefits of strategic management. Apart from these benefits, firms that engage in strategic management are more aware of the external threats, an improved understanding of competitor strengths and weaknesses and increased employee productivity. They also have lesser resistance to change and a clear understanding of the link between performance and rewards. The key aspect of strategic management is that the problem solving and problem preventing capabilities of the firms are enhanced through strategic management. Strategic management is essential as it helps firms to rationalize change and actualize change and communicate the need to change better to its employees. Finally, strategic management helps in bringing order and discipline to the activities of the firm in its both internal processes and external activities.
In recent years, virtually all firms have realized the importance of strategic management. However, the key difference between those who succeed and those who fail is that the way in which strategic management is done and strategic planning is carried out makes the difference between success and failure. Of course, there are still firms that do not engage in strategic planning or where the planners do not receive the support from management. These firms ought to realize the benefits of strategic management and ensure their longer-term viability and success in the marketplace.