Strategies and Tactics

Now that you’ve written some fantastic SMART objectives, you need to come up with strategies and tactics to accomplish them.

Writing strategies should truly be a brainstorming process. If you just go with the first three to five things that pop into your head, you could miss the strategy that really works. For this, I am a big fan of white-boarding. Use lots of colors, draw pictures, write down anything that pops into your head. You can eliminate bad ideas later, but have no fear now. If white-boarding isn’t your style, find something that is, and go with it. Get some of your cheerleaders involved in this process, as well; the more the merrier!

After brainstorming, whittle those strategies down. I like to have 3-5 strategies planned for every objective. This casts a wider net for success and gives you some room to wiggle should something really not work.

Make sure your strategies are relatively broad and cover different pieces of your business. For example, if your objective is to “capture 10% market share in x industry within three years,” you shouldn’t use “develop a strong brand identity,” create brand awareness,” and “educate the consumer regarding the product and company,” as your only strategies. Why? Because they all focus on marketing. It takes marketing, financing, sales, human resources, R&D, etc. to run a business.

Your tactics should be the steps you need to take to execute your strategies. If you choose “educate the consumer regarding the product and company”  as one of your strategies, tactics could be, “develop a web presence,” “execute a public relations campaign,” and “create an advertising campaign.”

This is the time for down and dirty details. If you’re a chart maker, you will love this step. If you’re a big picture type person, consider employing someone who is good at the details that will not only develop creative tactics for you, but will help bring them to fruition.
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