Let’s imagine for a moment that you are a ruler of a country 500 years ago.
Let’s also imagine that your peaceful existence has been disturbed. You’ve just found out that your land has been invaded by barbarians. Knowing full well that talks are going to be pointless there is only one choice…you have to go to war.
So you summon your two most trusted generals and ask their advice. The first general tells you “You have to amass as many troops as possible. Give them the best weapons and go and fight the enemy directly. There’s no other way apart from a full on attack”.
You turn to the second general and ask him for his view…this is what he says.
“You need a plan. You need to work out a way to position your troops so that you can destroy the enemy effectively. Furthermore this plan must be such that the land is never vulnerable to attack an again”.
Which general’s advice would you choose?
In fact…Do you know the fundamental difference between the two generals?
General A is a TACTICIAN. General B is a STRATEGIST.
So what does this have to do with your business?
In business terms a tactician is the person who believes that you need to work harder, hire more staff, make more phone calls, write more letters and advertise more. In a nutshell they believe that working harder at what you are already doing is going to be the keys to your success. They subscribe to the more is better philosophy.
A strategist is someone who believes that you need to work smarter. You need to plan how you are going to make sales and set goals. They also believe in hard work. But there has to be some greater purpose. They believe that you need to have an overall vision for where your company should be in 1,3,5,7,10 years from now.
If not, then why are you working so hard? Go back to being an employee and save yourself the hassles and heartaches that most small business owners have to deal with.
Every business needs both. A strategist is the planner but without a tactician to implement the plans the strategy (even if it’s brilliant) will go nowhere. On the other hand if you have a tactician who just believes in working harder with no plan or strategy. We’ll that’s no way to go either.
Which one are you?
Most people are either a strategist or a tactician. In large corporations that’s the difference between the executive (strategist) and the sales manager (tactician). It’s the difference between working on your business and in your business.
For most small business owners you’ll have to become both.
Ok enough theory. Let’s put this into practise.
A Service based industry
A strategist will ask “How Can we position/re-invent ourselves in the Market so that the customer think we are the only ones for the job?”
They may provide useful information to the customer. For example if you are a recruitment consultant you could write a report showing companies what qualities to look for in staff. Or they could hold a FREE mini workshop. On the flip side you could offer candidates FREE report giving them “10 Tips to Make Your CV Stand out from the Crowd”.
The tactician will be the one informing people of the service that you offer, make the phone calls offer the report. What you will do is set yourself up as the recognised authority in your potential clients mind.
Remember that you are helping the customer first. In their mind you have established yourself as an expert. Who do you think they will come to when it’s time to hire someone?
A product based industry
For example, if you are a furniture store. The strategist may decide that you want to give people the best buying experience that they’ve ever had. That way anytime they need furniture they will come to you FIRST.
You can achieve this by offering a report on how to buy the right Sofa, Table etc. for your home. It will explain the different types of wood, material used. How to clean and caring for the furniture? What shades go with what colour so you don’t have to spend a fortune re-decorating your home.
The tactician will implement these. They will be kind courteous to the customer. Not pressure them. Give them space. They will listen; I mean really listen to the customer.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Even if you don’t sell what they are looking for they will still come. You’ll have to literally push them away.
Do you know how I know this? It’s because I always go back to the same furniture shop FIRST when I want to buy furniture. Guess what? They are about 20% more expensive than most. It’s insane. But it works. And that’s what counts.
Distinguish Yourself From Your Competitors.
It just takes a little thought up-front to set you apart from your competitors. Reason being is that most small business owners don’t really take the time to do this stuff.
And that’s your opportunity!