When it comes to your business, you’re probably planning a lot of different things – your next marketing move, your newest product, adding a new service. But not many businesses spend time planning out their business success. In fact, a lot of people leave this critical step out during their visions.
After all, when most people hear terms like “strategic planning” or “tactical goals,” they don’t exactly jump with excitement. But if you understand the two – and the differences between each one – you’ll have a clear understanding of why they’re so important to your business and your vision.
When it comes to strategy in the business world, it refers to the thinking process involved with planning to make a change, take some action or organizing a process. Strategy offers a clear definition of future goals and why you should aim to achieve them.
During the strategy planning phase, you’re figuring out why and what you will achieve in these goals. As a business owner or upper management chief, you’ll be leading the way toward what your values and philosophy will be, and how each person involved in your operation should act.
Your high-level strategy goals will be specific to certain elements, including time, any competitors and the current condition of the market. It should also answer one key question: How do we achieve our vision in the current market, regulatory and competitive environment?
Once you answer this question – and consider all other factors – you’ll be able to determine which market segments you should pursue, as well as which relationships and customers. You’ll also be able to organize your structure and priorities better.
So where do tactical goals come into play? This is the part of the plan that involves some serious action. Tactics are the movements you make to implement your strategy. They consist of everything that needs to be done, in what specific order, and by who and with what tools or resources. There may be several tactics involving different people and departments – yet the goal is the same. To help you reach your objectives, you may even decide to bring suppliers aboard. Either way, with your tactical goals in mind, you’ll need the involvement of your entire organization.
Tactical goals should be achieved under a year, and with current resources and market structures. It’ll help you decide which actions you need to take on a day-to-day basis in order to achieve your goals and implement these into your vision.
Both of these goals – tactical and high-level strategy – are critical to your business’s vision and success. During the strategic planning process, you will be outlining what you want to achieve, and these in turn will become your objectives. From there, you’ll determine how you want to measure your results.
And perhaps the most important step will be this one: Your starting point. Ask yourself where you are now and envision where you want yourself to be in one month, six months and a year. This way, you’ll be able to perform relevant research and come up with a plan of attack. In order to fully take advantage of any opportunities you’ve discovered in your research, make sure you define your strategic objectives along with the tactics you need to make them happen.
Last but not least, don’t forget to include other areas of your organization – like marketing, sales, and customer service – in your plans. They’ll bring fresh ideas to the table and help you overcome any risks or concerns along the way.
When you’re ready to switch gears to the tactical planning process, it’s time to dissect your strategic goals. Then you can jump into action in order to reach those strategic objectives. Tactical planning is created by people who get the work done each and every day. They know what to do, when it needs to be done and what it’ll take to get them there by creating a tactical plan. Here, you’ll want to ask yourself: How can the strategic goals be achieved within the limits of my current resources and authority?
In short, strategic and tactical goals are critical to your business’s mission. It’ll weed apart the day-to-day responsibilities you need to tackle in order to reach your success. After all, there’s no point in take a road trip without a make- you need a clear idea of where you’re going and how you’re going to end up there.
In this Insivia insight, Patrick distinguishes between tactical goals and high-level strategic goals.
Though it’s important to create a vivid strategic vision for your company’s future that includes long-term goals, strategic visioning goals tend to be more high-level and abstract. Equally important are tactical goals, which are more concrete and actionable. They are a means to an end; the end being your vivid vision.
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