What’s the difference between strategy and tactics? How can you use both to your advantage in your business?
Your business strategy defines what your goal is. Your business tactics help you achieve that goal. If you use tactics without having a clear cut business objective your business will fail.
Both strategy and tactics fit together and form the core of your business plan. The strategy is the ‘what’ of your business equation. Simply put, it outlines what you are looking to accomplish in your business. The tactics put together the ‘how’ of achieving it. Here’s where you set about working on how you’re going to achieve your objective. Your business strategy will guide the tactics used by the different teams working in your company.
Each set of tactics should have a measurable outcome that can be analysed for the purpose of assessing the tactics effectiveness. Each tactic must serve the high level strategy or it does not belong on your schedule.
Business Strategy Works on Three Levels:
Level 1: High Level Strategy
Here’s where you lay out exactly what your objective is. Stability? Growth? Diversification? Market domination? Innovation? Vertical niche?
Tip: Whatever you choose, look to compete by being unique. This way you will stand out in a crowded market. Plan your tactics accordingly.
Level 2: Departmental Business Strategy
How do you see your business competing in the marketplace? Is it through competitive pricing, providing a unique product or service, or building a closer rapport with your customer base?
Tip: Compete for profit. After all, the primary aim of every business is to make money.
Level 3: Market Strategy
How are you planning on boosting your market share? Are you looking to increase it through different channels such as social media; or develop your product or service, or add on products or services?
Tip: Focus on the platforms that are appropriate and have the best chance of working for your particular strategy. If you have researched and defined your ideal customer segment profiles you will know where to focus.
Working The Strategy
Once you put your strategy in place you work out your business tactics to fit within this framework. You will find that your business will never be static. You will have to adjust your strategy and tactics to keep pace with its growth.
If you are running your business based solely on tactics, you will find that you can’t achieve your business objectives.
Your team needs to know what your strategy is before they can focus on how to work within the framework you give them. Lay out your strategy clearly so that everyone is on the same page. Work through the tactics that will be used to achieve your aim.
Break down your objectives.
You can easily evaluate how your business strategy is working if you’ve broken down your objectives into clear goals. Monitor how your teams are working together to achieve their targets.
Put in place review points and metric triggers that have fall back strategies or agreed modifications to the strategy that you can switch to. This assists with keeping up the momentum.
Be ready to think outside the box and adapt your strategy and tactics to suit if necessary. This will allow your business to grow and give your team the opportunity to contribute.