Strategic vs Tactical and what these terms mean for your business!
Too often, small businesses owners fail as they lack the skills to successfully plan for their future. When you hear the words Strategic Planning or Tactical Planning, do you think these terms don’t apply to your business or do you perhaps wonder what this marketing jargon means? You won’t be surprised to discover that you’re not alone. The more intelligent the business owner often the less interested they are in focusing on strategy, they bypass it to get to tactics and often end up on the wrong path.
The business terminology is simple to understand and hopefully, after reading this blog, you’ll be confident in distinguishing the difference between strategies and tactics and be able to apply them successfully to your business. We all need reminding of the difference from time to time, no matter how experienced we are.
The reason for the confusion is partly due to the fact that both words are so closely connected and, unfortunately, used interchangeably. Yet, in business terminology, the words strategy and tactic refer to separate business functions and practices.
Strategy Is About Setting the Ideas – Business owners should regard strategy as the thinking process required to plan a change or course of action in your company. In simple terms a business strategy should consist of outlining your set goals and how you should go about achieving them. Strategic planning requires you, the owner, to determine ways of reaching these goals.
Tactics Is the Action – Tactics can be defined as the specific actions you take in ensuring your strategy is implemented. These actions comprise what is to be done, in what order, using which tools and personnel. You may involve a variety of individuals in order to reach your required aims.
Strategic Planning Process Success– With strategic planning, you should consider the following:
- What you want to achieve from your business – could be increased turnover or reduced time you spend in the business
- How you will measure results of success – what will the outcome look like; what income will be received; being able to leave the business for 3 weeks and come back to the a business which is intact and thriving
- A realistic baseline or starting point
- Internal and external issues that may impact your plan
- Action plan to take advantage of opportunities – The plan should reflect both perceived challenges and the expected end results in order to be complete
Tactical Planning Process Success– In tactical planning, your plan shows an understanding of the goals you set; then you develop actions to achieve those objectives. Tactical planning is developed around the resources, the tools and abilities within the business and what you need to outsource.
To Summarise – The responsibility for strategic planning rests with you as the business owner. No one else is ever going to do that work for you, or without your involvement. So get your hands dirty and set the strategy for your business and get some help on the bits that you don’t know or feel unclear about.
Tactical planning relates to actions taken by you or your staff, whose responsibility is to achieve the objectives you have planned for. The responsibility to plan the tactics belongs to those who are involved in the outcomes so if it’s just you on your own you need to have a day on strategy then leave the plan alone for a few days and come back at it with the tactics in mind. If it’s just you and you try to combine the two planning requirements you will default to tactical thinking very quickly because it’s easier and the aims are more readily within reach.
There is a big distinction between strategy and tactics so I use this to remind me “Strategic is doing the right things (mapped and planned route) – tactical is doing things right – (vehicle in good shape and enough fuel).”