Are Business Plan and Business Strategy the same thing?

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by Matt Castro, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Matt Castro

    Matt Castro
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    Hi, all.

    I've been having an off-line debate the past few weeks on a blog post I wrote re: the differences between a Business Plan and a Business Strategy.

    The position I took is that they are different. And are used at different times in a business cycle to achieve different objectives.

    So, I thought I'd reach out to a forum to get a sense of common opinion/perception on this issue.

    And I ask: "Are Business Plan and Business Strategy the same thing?"

    And, if not, "What is the most difficult part of developing a Business Strategy?"

    I will really appreciate your opinions.


    Matt
     
  2. James Greg

    James Greg
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    HI Matt, In my view these are two different terms. A business plan would be the ways to run a business which a strategy is one that helps you execute those plans. I think the most difficult part in a business strategy would be to keep your business running smoothly and avoiding any huge bumps before they start causing real harm.
     
  3. stellaandreapark

    stellaandreapark
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    Quite right about that James. In order to run a business, you should plan. Strategy comes afterward. And there are many different types of strategies, there are marketing strategy, advertising strategy, sales strategy etc...
     
  4. adamwebb1991

    adamwebb1991
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    No, this is not the same

    strategy is what we do
    Business plan - how we do it
     
  5. Navida

    Navida
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    Strategy and planning are different, Planning is the function of strategy and strategy is the road map having set of different plannings with relevant to different tasks and departments.
    In a nutshell we can say that strategy is the overall process which leads to achieve different missions in a vision oriented way.
     
  6. jiefoun

    jiefoun
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    yes, i agree to all of you guys....they are totally different!
     
  7. BusinessStories

    BusinessStories
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    I agree, A business plan to me means a long-term set of goals while a business strategy is a guideline for how you will reach those goals.
     
  8. Host.co.in

    Host.co.in
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    Business plans should be the part of a business strategy and should be designed according to it. Support capturing the particular share of market withing a specific period is your business strategy then you should analyze the market needs make a plan to manufacture and sale specific amount products or services within that particular time to fulfill you strategy.
     
  9. Matt Castro

    Matt Castro
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    hehe. Same discussion I was having off line. Chicken and the egg.

    Thanks for all the comments.

    Essentially, I believe a Business Plan is for the start-up phase of a business (or early phase and or a major growth phase requiring, maybe, some serious cash). The Business Plan establishes things like structure and tells what the business is ‘about’. For me the time horizon is shorter than the Strategy. The Business Strategy, for me, is for an established business and outlines where a business is going. It highlights direction, priorities, maybe purpose. Considering a longer time horizon (long being based on the cycle of business). Strategy gives clarity to the actions, defines the key priorities of the organization and key objectives that would be outlined in any Business Plan. But the Strategy is in the Plan. Here's what we need to do to be successful with this product/service and here's how we'll do it and here's the organization and resources we'll need.

    Thoughts on that?

    Matt
     
  10. firstchoicecar

    firstchoicecar
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    A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals,While business strategy is a business plan that takes place long-term in order to help achieve a specific goal or objective.The purpose of business strategy is to strengthen a particular business so that its performance increases.Business strategy is only a part of business plan.
     
  11. JPStonestreet

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    Strategy answers the question, "What are we going to do?" While a plan answers the question, "How are we going to do it?"
     
  12. andrea10

    andrea10
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    I think Business Strategy and Business plan both are two different things. In Business plan we decide how to make and at what duration we have to achieve our targets. Business Strategy is an action which has to be taken by Business owners, managers and board members to implement Business plan and to achieve targeted goals.
     
  13. sabinasmith

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    no these are not same it has difference.
     
  14. kundansingh

    kundansingh
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    plans are a wider view and strategy is step by step:)
     
  15. Mark T

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    Hmm. Quite a tricky question.

    Well, a business plan is an outline or layout of how will you market, offer and compete your product against your competitors. While a business strategy is a composition of, or list of plans (like plan A, B, C) as when one plan does not work, there are still other plans/options.

    It is like saying, "I have a strategy. And it consists of plan(s) that I can use as an option when others don't work."

    Thanks,
    Alex
     
  16. bestbuys4busines

    bestbuys4busines
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    I agree, your plan should show where you want the business to go and it should include your strategy on how you are going to get there, therefore, including your marketing strategy, operations strategy, financial (including finance) strategy, hopes and dreams of the period of the plan, structure etc. In essense, the main objective of a business plan is to obtain finance (and help you focus on your objectives) therefore the financer wants to know where you want to go and how you intend to get there, demonstrating you have done your research and you know what is required.
     

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