Think Strategically & Tactically


I. Balance Efficiency and Effectiveness

II. Working “in” and “on” our business 

III. Utilizing change as a competitive advantage

IV. Managing the moving parts

a. Business Process Management
b. Performance Development Cycle
c. Annual Planning and Execution Model

V. Business and industry life cycles – Start Up Stage

a. Strategic business planning 
    • Effective and Productive Growth
    • Setting Smart Goals
    • Making change in an organized and predictable manner
b. Strategic marketing strategy
c. Strategic sales strategy

VI. Business and industry life cycles – Growth Stage

a. Sales prevention mode
b. Performance Development Cycle
    • Customer Code of Service
    • Performance Development System
    • Performance Development Relationships

VII. Business and Industry life cycles – Maturity and Consolidation Stage

VIII. Generational Opportunities (Coming Soon)

Think Strategically and Act Tactically

Big Picture Stuff

We often mistake being busy for becoming productive.  Do you work smart or do you work hard?

According to the Department of Commerce, at least 40% of new business start ups will be out of business by the end of the first year.  More than 80% of the small businesses that survive for five years will ultimately fail.

How can so many people lose so much working so hard?

You may have heard the expression “the harder I work the luckier I get”.  Hard work does pay off most of the time. Hard work pays off best when it is balanced with smart, unbiased, quality thinking. 

What paradigm shift is necessary to begin to develop the habit of thinking strategically and acting in a tactical manner?

One key is to learn to balance efficiency with effectiveness.  Efficiency focuses on acting and doing the right things.  Characterized by speed or an emphasis on doing things quickly.  Efficiency focuses on getting things completed.


Effectiveness Balancing Act focuses on thinking about how best to do things right in order to prevent costly mistakes.



Both efficiency and effectiveness can play a prominent role in the success of a business.  The key is making good choices about when to do which and balancing short term results with long term plans.

Failure to balance the quality and the quantity of our activities leads to two different devastating low levels of productivity:
1) Working really hard on the wrong things
2)  Doing things right but not having very many quality activities

Understanding economic and industry cycles offer strategic considerations to think about that get us beyond the obvious and have the potential to lead to higher levels of productivity.

Economic Cycles

Historically over time, the economy has periods of contraction and expansion.  Within the periods, there are times of recovery, prosperity, peaks and troughs.

Strategic thinking helps us anticipate, adapt and capitalize on future economic cycles, while clinging to the raft of fundamental principles that got us to this point in our business.

As entrepreneurs and family business owners we have to learn to work “in” and “on” our business. Playing both roles well keeps us grounded but not overwhelmed by the past and the present.

 “Business …will live or die according to how well it performs its sole function to find and keep customers”

Simply Successful recommends that a SWOT analysis be utilized to better understand the needs of the businesses customers and the impact of competitive pressures.

The foundation for the Simply Successful strategy has it roots in the best selling small business classic THE – EMYTH by author Michael E. Gerber.  Valuable insight and information is available at

Accelerating Rate of Change:
We can’t expect things to slow down or to stabilize going forward.  If anything, these major trends are accelerating at a faster and faster pace. 

We have to learn how to build quantum leap change into how our people see things as opposed to traditional incremental change. 

Our Adapt to Change Better Page gives ideas on how to plan and anticipate for change.

Managing the Moving Parts
Entrepreneurs and family businesses tend to get caught up spending all of their time on the day-to-day activities of the business.  Simply Successful believes that standardization through process improvement is critical to the success of business.  We provide a comprehensive business process management system as a template for success.

Business process management aligns all aspects of a business with the wants and needs of customers and clients.  It promotes business efficiency and effectiveness while striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration with technology.  Business process management enables the people in the business and rewards them for being receptive to change and open to continuous improvement.  As a strategic management tool, business process management is more capable of change and delivering on the customer experience than the traditional functionally focused tactical hierarchical approach.

The Performance Development Cycle provides a strategic compass to be utilized at different times throughout the business and industry life cycle.

Stages 1-3 are critical to proper sales and marketing alignment.  Steps 7-10 provide the roadmap for the people aspect of a growing business.

Annually the Planning & Execution Model connects the strategic and tactical plans into one uniform plan that can be utilized in all three of the stages of the business and industry life cycles, and bridges the gap between strategic thinking and tactical execution.

Business and Industry Life Cycles
The initial stage or phase of a business cycle we position our company to be able to compete.  The landscape is populated by entrepreneurs or families with a vision for what is possible and the willingness and the ability to make the vision real.  During phase one of the cycle, the search for and identification of good matches between products/services and markets are critical to success.

Developing a strategic business plan that balances concern for job and concern for people requires a systematic approach.  Simply Successful offers three important business models that are at the foundation of strategic business planning:

1) Effective and Productive Growth

2) Setting Smart Goals


3) Making Change in an Organized and  Predictable Manner-Time and Activity Competency

Our marketing strategy is spelled out on the Become Better Recognized  page.

Our sales strategy is spelled on the Sell More Effectively page. 

Managing Time and Potential -- Return on Time and Resources Spent


is critical at this stage of the business and industry life cycle.

In the initial stage of developing a business there are many resources available, many of them at low or no cost, Our Get Help provides the names of people and organizations to contact.  Knowing who to call on and connecting and deploying resources is a vital component of the role of the owner entrepreneur.

The second phase of a business cycle is driven primarily by growth.  During the industry life cycle of growth, new entrants vie for market share through rapid expansion and cover the market with one or more products or services.  Employees become a big part of the success equation during the growth phase. 

Failure to plan strategically when people become part of the equation leads to a sales prevention mode.


Simply Successful has many tips, tools, techniques, resources and best practices designed to offer a competitive advantage to our customers during this second stage of the industry life cycle.

Adding people brings a whole new dimension and these processes are designed to standardize steps 7-10 of the performance development cycle.
1) Customer Code of Service

Performance Development System    

3) Performance Development Relationships

As industries mature, scale and cost control take center stage.  The low-cost producer usually wins with the best market coverage and has the greatest market share.  During the maturity and consolidation phase, innovation and product differentiation remain important but they become secondary to controlling costs and improving margins.

This phase of industry life cycle is typically highlighted by transitions in leadership in families, mergers, acquisitions, and a reduction in the number of competing companies. 

Simply Successful has over 40 years experience in management and leadership positions in Corporate America that spans all of these phases of industry life cycles.

Generational Opportunities: (Coming Soon)
Do you remember when we used to tell people what to do and they did it (or at least we thought they did)?

Being able to effectively communication to influence employees without authority, to supervise, or to communicate with potential buyers has never been more complex than today.

We have four generations (soon to be five) of people with significantly different paradigms to interface with:
1) Traditionalists (born before 1946)
2) Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
3) Generation X  (born 1965-1981)
4) Millennial  (born 1980-2000)

We will need to close the skill gaps that develop as a result of complex inter-personal relationships in order to leverage generational differences.

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