Business Planning and Strategy

There is a popular adage often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and we often hear “learn from your mistakes.” 

These phrases are particularly relevant to businesses.  Planning in business is crusial; the absence of proper planning can detrimentally affect a business achieving their goals.  Every business needs to understand the marketplace they operate in and the opportunities for them within that. 

The planning process should provide: 

  • Start-up and young businesses with a structure to define their business.
  • More established businesses with the focus, direction and actions in order to develop and grow their business in an ever changing business environment.

There are a couple of key differences between a strategic plan and a business plan.

  1. A strategic plan is primarily used for implementing and managing the strategic direction of an existing/established business.
  2. A business plan is used to initially start a business, obtain funding and/or direct operations. 

The two plans cover different timeframes as well.  A strategic plan generally covers a period of 3 to 5+ years, whereas a business plan is normally no more than one year.

Many small businesses will never need to create a strategic plan but all businesses need a business plan.

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