Everyone is familiar with the terms “Business Plan” and “Strategic Plan”. When asked “what is the difference”, many will probably struggle. On top of that, since these are not scientifically agreed upon terms, one can find a wide variety of definitions and interpretations for the two.
A Business Plan is often associated with a founding document for a start-up, written to obtain a bank loan or venture capital. It answers the “who” and “what” of the business, including your company’s organizational structure, who is running it, who is the competition and who the customer, your marketing plan and financial projections. It defines where you want to take your business.
A Strategic Plan is used for implementing and managing the strategic direction of an existing organization. It is about the “how” and “when” related to changing the organization from where they are now to where they want to be in 3-5 years. It defines the corporate objectives and then breaks those down into departmental plans that describe how to get to those objectives.
Full blown Strategic Plans are often associated with larger organizations and a high cost to develop ($25,000+ is not unusual). They are infamous for ending up on a shelf, never to be looked at again.
For this reason, many SME’s (Small and Medium Enterprises) never develop a Strategic Plan, which is unfortunate, as they therefor often lack focus on the future.
Plan Genie© is a new software tool developed and co-founded by Brian Gardiner. Brian is a seasoned entrepreneur and long-time Vancouver TEC-Chair, who has witnessed first-hand that many businesses could do better if they’d operate from a written plan.
Plan Genie© provides an easy way for developing an effective plan for any organization, and especially for SME’s. It includes many features of a regular strategic plan (no surprises there), but the step-by-step approach and clarifying video clips make the program easy to use.
Once the various sections that describe your current state and the desired future state are completed, including boundary conditions like your corporate values and operational restrictions, Plan Genie© lets you create individual action plans for the typical organizational functions such as Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance and HR, and then assign the many tasks required to execute those plans.
Plan Genie© is ideal for:
During this intensive, hands-on, 4-hour workshop you will:
In my next article I will talk about Continuous Improvement.
Jaap has 30 years of Management, Engineering & Manufacturing experience in various industries in Canada and Europe. During this time he has been involved in many Lean and Continuous Improvement initiatives as well as Organizational Change programs. Since 2014 he has worked as a consultant, assisting start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises with access to Government Funding programs for innovation and growth. He provides funding & business related presentations, takes part in panel discussions and has acted as a judge in pitch competitions.
Article by: Jaap Siekman