Yesterday we discussed five ways to improve strategic planning for your organization. From setting some guidelines to incorporating the opinions of others, successful strategic planning shouldn’t be an insurmountable challenge for your organization. And once that strategy is set, you need a plan to carry it out in a way that leads to success for your organization and your team-members. This plan is the tactical side of things, the processes and procedures put in place to make your big-picture goals and ambitions a reality.

A compass and map

Does your business have a direction? How will you get there?
Image courtesy of Fine Art America.

Here are five things you can do to make sure your day-to-day activity is driving the large-scale goals of your company.

  1. Don’t do it for the money. Perhaps the biggest threat to your strategic plan is deviation from the goal at the tactical level. For small businesses, the temptation can be strong to take on whatever business opportunity presents itself, even if it doesn’t fit the vision. The problem is that simply chasing the next dollar means that the market – and not your strategic plan – is guiding your business.
  2. Keep it simple.  Once you have your strategy in place, each process or procedure that you implement to further that strategy needs to be as simple as possible. It can be tempting to simply add extra steps to a system in an effort to make it more efficient, only to see the exact opposite results.
  3. Make it repeatable.  Perhaps the key component of tactical success is that the processes and procedures you put in place are repeatable. For a business to grow or scale over time, the work it takes to keep the business running has to be clearly defined. “Make more cold calls” is not a lead-generation strategy. But putting together a call script that helps get meetings with prospective clients is a tactical plan that can help further the strategic goals of the organization.

    a training class

    Training team members on tactical activities is key to making sure they are doing them right.
    Image courtesy of Symbiotics Ltd.

  4. Measure the results.  From logistics to lead-generation, each process you’ve added to reach your goals has to be measured. Otherwise, how do you know what’s working and what’s simply a waste of time and resources? The good news is that measuring results should be easy if you have clearly stated your strategic goals. “Increasing sales” isn’t a strategy, but “double our market share in Microsoft license sales for this vertical” is. Both are measurable, but only the latter has a defined end-point that you can measure against. Measure the average time it takes for your technicians to close support tickets. Measure the results of customer satisfaction surveys. Measure the average deal size. Measure how many calls are being made, how many advertisements are being run, how many days it takes a customer to pay their bill. Measure everything.
  5. Constantly readjust your compass.  Aviators and navigators don’t reach their destination via a straight line. Rather, they constantly evaluate their coordinates and other data like windspeed or tide and recalibrate their direction until they reach their destination. Your tactical activity should be the same way. Take the data from the processes you’ve implemented and constantly seek ways to make those processes more efficient and effective. Can tickets be closed faster?  Should sales calls be made in the morning instead of afternoon? Can online credit card payments reduce the time it takes to collect revenue? Different challenges and opportunities will emerge and disappear. Try new things, tweak procedures a little or a lot. You are taking information and feedback and using it to help you find the way to your strategic goals.

To have a business that grows and succeeds in the long term, you must balance strategic thinking and tactical execution. The key to doing so is fairly straightforward, but far from simple: set long term goals and constantly refine your short term processes to make sure you are on track to achieve those goals. The good news is that following yesterday’s tips about strategic planning and today’s offering about tactical implementation should put you on a path to success. More importantly, these ideas should help you find the strengths and weaknesses that currently exist in your business. Take that knowledge, use it to your advantage, and remember that a strong day-to-day game plan and clear long-term vision should complement each other. To learn more about how Mosaic NetworX can help you reach your strategic goals, contact us today.