Strategy And Tactics: Two Players On The Same Team

We all have heard terms like strategy and tactics while establishing our business. But somehow, we sometimes use them interchangeably. The meaning of both is blurred and understanding the clear difference can save you a lot of time and headaches in your business.

Difference Between Strategy And Tactics

Many years ago Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu wrote “The Art of War.” In it, he said, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.” So you can consider Strategy and Tactics to be on the same side. They are not opponents or enemies. But there is a clear difference in how to use them in growing your business. When you do the right thing at the right time it results in amazing progress for your business.

Strategy defines your long-term goals and how you’re planning to achieve them. In other words, your strategy gives you the path you need toward achieving your organization’s mission.

Tactics are the actions you choose to take to achieve those goals. They are generally much more specific and are often oriented toward smaller steps and a shorter time frame. They involve best practices, specific plans, resources, etc. They’re also called “initiatives.” 

The Right Way to do it

Strategy requires thought and planning and a clear understanding of where you want the business to go. Choose the strategy first then choose the tactics that will support your strategy. 

To strategize first think about your goals. About your long-term goals, like what % revenue increase do you want this year. Or what new product or services do you want to add to your offerings? There are different ways you could achieve those goals, raise your prices, add sales staff, add a new premium product and market to a small number of clients willing to pay for that product/service, or offer a less expensive starter product/service and market for a wider audience and greater volume of clients. Choose your strategy – how will you go about increasing your revenue?

Now comes the Tactics. You break your long-term goal into short milestones and determine specific actions to achieve them. Taking the same example above, let’s say you choose the strategy to offer a less expensive starter product/service because you believe that will lead to greater sales of your primary product in the future. Now you must identify and take action on ways to reach a large number of your target audience to get the volume you need. That means that meeting people independently, one-to-one will not be the best tactic – you must reach a larger number of people, so now choose a tactic to reach that volume. Perhaps your tactic will be paid advertising on social media, or public speaking to large groups. Now you know what specific tactic to focus your energy and actions on. These are your tactics.

When you combine strategy with tactics you will get the best of both worlds and you will achieve your goals.

Ladder To Business Success

Often, small business owners make the mistake of choosing a tactic without first identifying their strategy. This often leads to frustration and unnecessary expenses because they were following a tactic that would not lead them to the outcome they were looking for. Take the time to figure out your strategy then identify the actions or tactics to support that strategy and your business will climb the steps to success in no time. If you are still confused or don’t know what to do next and want professional help, contact us here.