When to create a tactical plan
Generally, business owners will create and use a tactical plan to address a short-term goal that they want to reach within a year or less. However, completing the tactical plan should also help the business achieve its medium- or long-term goals.
It can be helpful to start by creating SMART goals for your short-, medium- and long-term business objectives. SMART goals meet the following criteria:
- Specific goals inspire. Set a clear goal that has specific outcomes.
- Measurable goals can be achieved, and you’ll know when you reach the goal. Measurable goals can also be tracked along the way.
- Attainable goals can be reached. While you may want to build a business empire, start by setting goals that you can realistically achieve.
- Relevant goals make sense for your business. They’ll help you achieve other goals at the same time.
- Time-bound goals have a deadline. Setting a time frame could help you stay motivated and focused.
For example, you may have a long-term goal of opening a second business location within the next five years.
There are multiple steps involved with reaching your five-year goal, such as increasing your profits, building your savings and finding the best location for the second store. You can create SMART goals and tactical plans for each of these steps.
Start with the first step, increasing business profits, which is too broad to be a SMART goal. Instead, you could set a goal of doubling your business’s profit within one year. It’s specific, you can measure how much money you make, it may be attainable, it’s relevant to saving up money for the second location and you have a one-year time frame.
You can then identify different ways your business could make more money and create a tactical plan to turn those options into actions.