Goal,strategy and tactics: Understand to achieve your business ends

by Ashvini on July 26, 2011 · 13 comments

in Entrepreneurship

A small business needs strategy. It is a myth that only large business need strategy. Strategy is a big word but hides a simplicity. It is just a plan to reach your goals with actions.

Let us take an example

  • Goal is to be profitable by let us say in three years.
  • Strategy is a plan to get there.
  • Tactics are the action that needs to be taken

Thus, Strategy is plan of action ( tactics) to achieve your goals

It is that simple , it really is. All these three things are important to develop a long term business.

Why should a small business have a plan ? It is often repeated that

If you fail to plan , you plan to fail

But what exactly is planning. How do create a plan? Plan is not just how would things happen over a period of time. It is not only about how would you get from a point X in time to point Y in time. It is also about what would you do in journey so as to give you maximum benefits in future.

I am sure we have all been strategizing all the time whether for our marriage, career or business. We often take goals for strategy but in our head we plan . That is strategy.

Let me explain how can we do some planning ? If we wish to start a business, we need a goal . Now to start a business we need to understand what are the important components we need to plan about.

  • Customers
  • Procurement
  • Employees
  • Manufacturing/services

Let us take examples of customer

Customers can be

  • Acquired
  • Retained
  • Delighted

Thus now you have goals acquire customers, retain them and delight them. Create plan to do that. For e.g. if your goal is to acquire 1000 customers by the end of year, write how you are going to acquire them.

Goals-Strategy-tactics

Write about

  • Geographical distribution Target market : your state, region or country?
  • What makes them tick?
  • What makes them buy
  • Income ranges
  • Purchasing capacity
  • Channels they use such as Internet, TV or newspaper
  • Anything else that comes to your mind

Once you have written these factors you know what you need to do next. You can acquire customers

  • Advertising on Newspaper
  • Acquire them on Social media
  • Personal meetings
  • Others…

We are at the bottom of strategy pyramid, where we are not reaching the actual actions but strategy is slowly transforming to actions. Now we have decided to that advertising on newspaper is our primary strategy let us see how we can break it down

  • Our target market reads business newspaper
  • They notice large ads vs classifieds
  • They read business newspaper at leisure ( time for change of strategy)

We are thus at the final stage of strategy. Now we have to work physically to make things happen( that is right no more sitting in office). Here are some of the actions that would result from our strategy.

  • Find right newspaper as per the plan
  • Create ad or have them created professionally
  • Find either the cheapest or the primary ad placement
  • Buy the placement and run the ad

Strategy-action-result feedback

At this point the strategy-tactics scenario comes to an end. But this is not really the end of it as tactics will generate some result. These results have to be monitored and fed back into strategy.

For e.g. one of the ways to increase blog readership is to network with other bloggers and comment on their blogs. We all know it but we cannot differentiate that it is just the same strategy-tactics in action.

Once we do this , we see an uptick in our traffic and we find that our strategy of getting more readers by commenting is really working. This is called as “winning strategy” :). Once we have winning strategy we can actually create more tactics to improve our strategy or to fine tune existing strategy.

I hope I was able to explain the concept in simplicity.

What is your Goal- strategy – tactic matrix? Can you share some of your insights? How much important it is to have such a matrix?

About The Author

{ 13 comments }

Bob@Classified October 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

A very interesting article. There is so much of our brains that we don’t use, and yet all is so vital. If anything, the worst thing we can do to ourselves and brain is not continue learning, don’t you think?

Veronica Cervera@miami waterfront condos October 9, 2011 at 12:23 am

Can’t stress enough the importance of planning. This is where your goals, your strategy, and your tactics are determined and identified. Now I know a lot of people who don’t like to plan and would like to go for their gut feeling all the time. This may seem exciting for some, but then again, as what’s said in this post – ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. That’s inevitable.

Carolyn August 7, 2011 at 8:01 am

Hi Ashvini, Another great post by my business professor! Maybe this is why I was never a business person. I gave up on goals a long time ago. Life has taken so many twists and turns for me, I can’t imagine having goals. Most of my post-school life has been a surprise.

I have had short term goals, such as having a child (but even then I had twins, so unexpected!), but life just keeps happening to me, full of surprises (mostly pleasant). I feel as if I’m on a roller coaster enjoying the ride, but never knowing what the next turn will bring (moving to England was a great example of something I didn’t plan to do).

But maybe that’s just me. Others do seem to have more control of their lives than I do. And those are the people who are in business, setting goals and doing well at it!

I don’t know if you’ve heard the expression, “Do you want to make God laugh? Make a plan.” Well that’s my life.

Thanks so much for your amazing blog that is inspirational and informative! You rock! :-)

Ashvini Kumar Saxena August 8, 2011 at 11:24 am

Hi Carolyn,

Thank you so much for being my inspiration. Since you read and like my posts so much , I more and more love to write them :)

I have become professor now is it ;) ?
Life or business, we all needs goals and aims isn’t it? I think you are really lucky to have met personal goals . I think the fun about working on our own or deciding on our own goal is to have lots of fun and enjoy uncertainty that comes with it. So even if sometimes, goal gets a new meaning it is much worthwhile still. I think too much control over parameters of life spoils the fun that we can have. A life where we want so many things and manage to get even a few of them I think is well lived.
Planning is essential in my opinion just to make sure that we don’t lose track of the goals we have set. If we could not meet them, we change our strategy or scale down the goal to more achievable. I think you would probably agree with this.
Once again , I am really happy to have a friend and inspiration such as yours. Let us keep this friendship rocking :)

Guru Prasad August 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Liked this article a lot. I also have lots of dreams of starting my own business, but dont know whether will end up becoming one. Thanks for this info.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena August 8, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi Guru Prasad,

Having a dream is a great start. I think with suitable planning, you will be able to live it. My best wishes and thanks for commenting on my blog :)

Best regards,
Ashvini

Adam@ online endeavors July 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Strategy is the plan of action to achieve our goals – very well said my friend!

Regarding my business endeavor, I do work on strategies to get my clients delighted so that it helps further enhance my business even if it requires little extra effort right now. Work hard right now so that I can reap the rewards later (O:

Thanks for the awesome share, brother!
You so Rock!

Wim @ Sales Sells July 27, 2011 at 11:42 pm

This one’s crucial! I always recommend every business, no matter how small, to write down an “alternative” business plan, just one or a couple of pages. Of course it’s possible to keep it all in your head, but writing it out makes it a tool that will hold you accountable. A business plan should not be only something you write for others e.g. investors. It’s a document you should come back to and use to keep on track.

Wim

Ashvini Kumar Saxena July 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Hi Wim,

Nothing is better than what you just said :). I too was not in much habit to write down things but I have installed Google notes now and put all my ideas there. I am sure my brain cannot keep all of them floating :).

Thanks for sharing this very important piece of information.

Adrienne July 27, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I totally agree with Aswani, great post and loved the graphics as well Ashvini.

You did a wonderful job of explaining the importance of this for small businesses. Although not everything you said necessarily pertains to me, some of it does. I’m going through a training course at this very moment helping me understand the important of writing some of this out so that I can see where I intend to be even just a few months from now. I guess in the past I have just been kind of all over the place unfortunately.

Now the blog commenting strategy, I do believe I’ve got this one down. Wouldn’t you agree? :-) At least I sure hope so by now.

Thanks again for sharing this today. Great job!

Adrienne

Ashvini Kumar Saxena July 28, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Glad that you liked the post. As Wim said, It is so important to write down the strategy and tactics even on a piece of paper. I think you have your goal set and the strategy to achieve is that to get some education. So you are all set :).
You are a terrific commentator , on the spot and always there. I think you make a great deal of friends just by being kind . I think we all can learn this from you.
I hope I was able to simply some of the concepts.
Thanks for coming back and commenting .
Ashvini

Aswani July 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Great post Ashvini. Well explained and very easy to understand. And I love those graphics ;)

Personally speaking, I really do not have any such goals at present but yes, being a blogger…I want to keep going as long as I am able to do so. Of course, I would say that one of my primary goals at present is to make my blog more profitable in terms of monetary benefits and so, I am trying to concentrate more on this particular area, you can say it as planning out strategy and for the very same, I am making use of various tactics. Hopefully, I should be able to do much better in the times to come. Thanks for sharing such valuable info. Keep it up..!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena July 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Hey Aswani,

I appreciate your comments . Sometimes it is better to just write down something so that you know where you are headed. Its another thing if we cannot meet our goals. We can always modify our strategy and bring in new tactics to meet our goals. PLanning is the most essential thing to winning .

Glad that you got the terms understood in theory.

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