Strategies vs. Tactics
Why is it that only 15% of small businesses actually remain active after 5 years?
There are many simple answers:
lack of money
lack of experience
lack of resources.
The reality is that most people go into business having learned a bunch of tactics without any type of true strategy.
What’s the difference?
Strategy provides a framework for action (i.e., why am I doing this?) and is the basic foundation of your business, while tactics define the actions (i.e., what am I doing?) you need to take to fulfill your strategy.
The simplest way to delineate the two is by using the following statement:
“I want to…(ex: be financially free in five years) and I’m going to achieve financial freedom by… (ex: purchasing and renting three single family homes per year).”
The “I want to…” is your strategy and the “I’m going to achieve…by” are your tactics.
Why do I need to know this?
People often use the terms strategy and tactics interchangeably, and that’s where the trouble begins.
A system based on tactics without strategy leads to shooting in the dark—you might get something done, but it doesn’t become sustainable or scalable – providing you with a path to grow revenue – the goal of all businesses.
A system based on strategy without tactics means that you have big thinkers with no means of being able to carry out their ideas.
There Must Be A Relationship Between The Two
These two must work in tandem, without it your business cannot efficiently achieve goals.
If you have strategy without tactics you have big thinkers and no action. If you have tactics without strategy, you have disorder.
Where Do I Start?
Defining your strategy clearly on paper helps you adhere to and retain it.
Implementation is the next important step, and the way to implement a strategy is through tactics.
Every tactic must suit the strategy.
If you can’t explain how a tactic helps you achieve the strategic outcome, then it’s probably not the best choice and needs to be rethought.
Determine the following for EACH aspect of your business:
- An action(s) – steps you need to take achieve your strategic outcome(s)
- A purpose – are your actions helping you to achieve your strategic outcome(s)? If not, why are you doing them?
- A schedule – when will you get each action completed?
- A measurable result – once completed, how will you define success?
If you put the time and effort in at the beginning of your business to develop the strategies and tactics that will lead you to your goals, you exponentially increase your odds of growing a successful business.