Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur with a new business idea. Exciting! You are eating, sleeping, breathing and dreaming about your idea, building it out in minute detail in your head. You might even write your idea down and flesh out the idea on paper. At some point, you decide, “This can work! This could be a great business! I’m going to do it!”
So, what’s next, then, you ask yourself? Well, you know you need a few things to get your business off the ground. First, you think, you need to create the product or service. Figure out all the components and so forth. Then, of course, you need to get a website and logo, a business bank account, figure out your pricing and marketing, and, and, and… so much to do! Best make a list of all the things, right?
That’s pretty typically the way startups approach things. Make a list (at least a mental list) and then start running around doing the things. Yes, absolutely, there are a lot of things to do, no question. But you missed a step – a critical step!
What Strategy is and Why You Need it
Strategy is the “40,000-foot view” of your whole business or various aspects thereof. It is the act of preparing a plan, based on all considerations.
Let’s say you were going to play a board game. Could be Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, or chess. You set up the board and position the pieces. That’s the first step in developing an effective strategy – set up and position all the pieces. Ever wonder why it takes some people sooooo long to actually take their turn in a board game? They are thinking. They are strategizing. They’re not just thinking about what to do for this turn, but they are considering what you might do, and then what they might do, and so on. They are projecting two or three – or more – turns ahead.
That’s what’s involved in developing your business strategy. Gather all the pieces and line them up for action. Then study the ‘board’ and think about your moves – before you take them. The ‘moves’ are the tactics.
Why does it matter? Why can’t you just start making moves? Well, think about how many times it’s happened to you (it’s happened to me a lot!) where you just made a move in a board game, based on either a guess in the moment or just because it feels like progress to be moving, and then, wham! Your opponent saw something you didn’t and takes you out in one fell swoop. You left yourself vulnerable because you didn’t take the time to plan and strategize. See what I’m getting at?
You need strategy so you don’t waste time, money, energy and effort, and so that you aren’t vulnerable to something unforeseen.
Think Strategically, Act Tactically
This is a great old saying, and very important. There are those who plan and plan and plan – Brene Brown calls it ‘procrastiplanning’ – and become paralyzed, never actually pulling the trigger, and taking action. That’s just as unhelpful as action without planning.
The strategy is intended to inform your action. Taking strategy-informed action helps you save valuable time, money, energy and effort and moves you ahead more quickly and effectively. It also helps you to spot, in advance, where you might make your business vulnerable so you can avoid, or at least mitigate, that.
The strategy is the act of planning.
The tactics are acting on the plan.
By All Means, Get Help!
Of course, I cannot complete this post without addressing the elephant in the room: “What if I have no idea what I need to put into the plan??”
This is where I come in.
I can help you learn and understand everything that needs to go into your business strategy. Reach out to me here and let’s get your business on point!
Stay on Point!