A business plan is a subset of strategy. Without a strategy, a business plan will be a ship without a rudder. As an entrepreneur, you have a vision for your business. The vision is reached by defining long-term and short-term goals.
You start thinking of how you should want to reach your business goals. What services or products should I take to the market? I ponder some questions about who is my customer and where they are located. You get the crack team together and start discussing these questions. These discussions lead to you collectively agreeing to decide to pick the product or service, the mode, the market, and the resources required that you will deploy to take this to the market.
What I have outlined in the above paragraph is the strategy. It includes the following: the product, the market, the customer, the organization, and the mode of taking the product to your customers. The method of taking the product to the market is the business model. There are multiple business models in theory. Some of these are- platform, subscription, user-generated sharing, etc.
You begin testing the strategy with the help of a business model. In a while, you start seeing the results of the test. You may need to make changes to the strategy at this stage. It could even be a change in the business model. Ultimately, you get the right product, mode, market, and customer segment.
Now comes the business planning part. In the plan, you get into the details of launching the product into the market. The costs, projected revenues, the organization, and timelines come here. You start preparing to market the product, build the brand, and connect with your customers.
I see many businesses asking consultants to prepare a business strategy, business plan, marketing plan, etc. Others ask for content strategy, SEO services, and digital marketing services. They are flooded with responses from consultants. They select the consultant and invest in the service. In the end, they find they are not getting the desired results.
The reason should be clear to you. Your SEO, content, Google Adwords, YouTube videos, email marketing, and branding plan will only give you results when you have aligned your strategy, business model, and marketing plan.