What is the difference between Objectives, Strategy and Tactics?
The easiest way to explain this is by an example. If you are hungry, then your objective is to not be hungry (i.e. satisfied). Your strategy is to go to a restaurant and your tactics are to choose a selection of food that will fill you up.
In a business context it might be that your objective is to get more customers, your strategy might be to reduce the price in certain regions or for certain products and your tactics will be to promote this fact via Marcom activities (PPC, email marketing, pr etc).
What is a business strategy statement?
In the simplest of terms, writing a small business strategy means defining comprehensive ways to get from point A to point B. However, the task is not easy because it is a multilayered process that requires numerous stages of planning.
Broadly, there are eight elements in a strategy plan.
Business strategies begin with giving an overview of your business. This is the element where you set a vision for your growth. Here, it is important to keep the plan very realistic.
Your vision should never be whimsical. It should be based on your current business position, growth potential in the current market and expected market conditions in the future. An overview helps you plan your resources right from the beginning and optimise on them for growth.
What you offer
This is the stage where you define your offering, which could either be products or services. Additionally, you need to give an overview of its production and marketing feasibility. Laying out the description of your products or services helps gives you a direction for growth because you can analyse your offering and its economic feasibility with respect to the market conditions
In business, growth is usually relative. This means that you judge yourself on two fronts. First, how much you have grown in relation to your competition. Second, how much you have grown in relation to your previous performance.
So, you need to put in tremendous amount of background research and survey so that you can understand your target audience as well as ways of your competitors.
Additionally, you cannot write a business plan unless you understand your company thoroughly. Here, you need to conduct a SWOT analysis of your business. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis tells you exactly where you stand in the market.
Every business, whether small or big, has its own uniqueness that gives it the competitive edge in business. What is yours? Identify what makes you different from your competitors. Your competitive advantage gives you the impetus for growth because you where to focus in order to establish a unique identity in the market.
Business structure and principles of management
Establish the administrative structure of your business. The structure should be planned such that it enabled optimum growth. Irrespective of the fact that your business is small, you need to divide operations of the company into different departments so as to aid easy management. Delegate responsibilities to each department and ensure that the entire administrative set of your business machinery functions seamlessly.
You must have a very clear idea about the amount of finances that you are going to allot for different operations in the company. In this element of your business strategy, chalk out ways in which you plan to use and manage your finances in order to reach your goals and objectives.
The action plan is the stage where you define practical ways to reach your goals. This is where you prepare a stage-by-stage plan focused on achieving all the objectives you set out in the above seven elements. Here, you set out ways to sell and market your products, manage people and manipulate finances.
Questions to ask yourself
- What do I want to achieve?
- What resources do I have?
- What do my target customers need/want today, six months from now and in 1 year?
- What do I need to change in order to satisfy those future customer needs?
- How am I going to achieve this strategically and tactically.
At the end of the day, a well written small business strategy is the foundation of growth for all businesses. However, strategic planning is something that should be quick, simple and carried out fast. Successful business owners are quick to move and quick to actually do something as opposed to spending countless hours on planning.