The difference between a Business Plan, a Strategic Plan and Plan Genie©

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.

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.

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.

The difference between a Business Plan, a Strategic Plan and Plan Genie©

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:

  • driving company change
  • preparing a business for sale / succession
  • initiating improvement of processes & productivity

A low-risk way to learn about Plan Genie is to sign-up for an Introductory Workshop.

During this hands-on, 4-hour workshop you will:

  • hear why a written plan is important for your success
  • learn how to use the Plan Genie program
  • start the foundation of your own plan

 Workshop agenda:

  1. Introduction & context setting
  2. Overview of Plan Genie
  3. Step 1: Goal setting
  4. Step 2: Values and operational restrictions
  5. Step 3: Understand your current situation
  6. Step 4: Action plans
  7. Wrap up and path forward

For more information, please visit

In my next blog I will talk about Continuous Improvement.

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