Big Picture vs. Nitty-Gritty Details-Why You Need One Before the Other

As a sometime student of military history, I am fascinated how what happens in the military has so much application to the business world.  An obvious one is military planning.  For the Normandy Invasion during World War II, the operational plan was over 100,000 pages.  That is a huge amount of intricate detail.  However, the plan could have never been put together without knowing the objective and goal of the whole operation.

However, in small business today, too many business owners are focused on the nitty-gritty details of what goes on in the business instead of figuring out where the business needs to go.  A good way to look at this is to understand the difference between tactics and strategy.  Strategy is the objective, goals, and direction of where you want to go and what you want to accomplish.  Using the previous example, strategy would be the ultimate objective of the invasion of Europe, where the troops were going to land, and what goals were to be accomplished and in what time frame.  Tactics would be how to land on the beaches, and how to overcome enemy resistance.  It would have been impossible to develop all the intricate details of the tactics of the Normandy Invasion without the strategy first being in place.

Likewise, in business it is virtually impossible to be successful in the long run by focusing on tactics and ignoring strategy.  As a business owner, you may be putting together sophisticated marketing campaigns, detailed product development, and lots of hard work to make it all happen, and you still struggle.  Why is that?  One big reason may be that you have never developed long-range goals and objectives that orient you and your business in a direction towards success.  What are your business goals 5 years from now?  One year from now?  Ninety days from now?  If you can’t answer those questions, then what makes you think that you can magically put together tactics that will give you the business success that you want?

Put together your goals and objectives for the rest of this year and beyond before the end of the year.  Why spend another year hoping, wishing, and praying that your business will be successful when you can truly plan for it to be successful.

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