Business Plan – Marketing & Sales | EntrepreneurInsight
Image: Freepik In our previous article 'Business Plan – Market Analysis' of a few techniques such as promotions, advertising, public relations. Marketing develops a relationship between a large customer base and the products . Marketing and sales both the terms are part of the strategy of business companies to . The consultant then said, "Then you do not have a business plan"]. The Marketing and Sales Plan explains your business's strategy for convincing prospective As in so many other sections of your business plan, you must be very specific. $40, will be spent on professional public relations services.
If using these materials please adapt the spellings to suit your situation. When faced with business planning or strategy development task it's important to clarify exactly what is required: You'll see from the definitions below how flexible these business planning terms are.
In a business context a plan's numerical data - costs and revenues - are normally scheduled over at least one trading year, broken down weekly, monthly quarterly and cumulatively.
Business Plan – Marketing & Sales
The business entity could also be a proposed start-up, a new business development within an existing organization, a new joint-venture, or any new organizational or business project which aims to convert action into results.
The extent to which a business plan includes costs and overheads activities and resources eg. Large 'executive-level' business plans therefore look rather like a 'predictive profit and loss account', fully itemised down to the 'bottom line'. Business plans written at business unit or departmental level do not generally include financial data outside the department concerned. Most business plans are in effect sales plans or marketing plans or departmental plans, which form the main bias of this guide.
The extent to which financial and commercial numerical data is included depends on the needs of the business. The extent to which this details the sales plan also depends on the needs of the business. Some organizations interpret this to be the same as a business plan or a marketing plan.
You can see that many of these terms are interchangeable, so it's important to clarify what needs to be planned for rather than assuming or inferring a meaning from the name given to the task.
That said, the principles explained here can be applied to business plans of all sorts. Business plans are often called different names - especially by senior managers and directors delegating a planning exercise that they do not understand well enough to explain.
What Is the Relationship Between the Business Plan, Marketing Plan & Sales Plan? | hidden-facts.info
Typically these names reflect the department doing the planning, despite which, the planning process and content required in the document is broadly similar. Write your aim large as a constant reminder to yourself, and to anyone else involved. Keeping your central aim visible will help you minimise the distractions and distortions which frequently arise during the planning process. This provides a vital reference for decision-making and strategy from the start.
A strong clear ethical code communicates your values to staff, customers, suppliers, and creates a simple consistent basis for operations which conventional financials, processes, systems and even people, do not address. It is very difficult to introduce ethical principles later into an enterprise, especially when planning shifts into implementation, and more so if problems arise relating to integrity, honesty, corporate responsibility, trust, governance, etc.
It is easy to address issues of ethics and corporate responsibility when you are the owner of a new enterprise.
It is more difficult if you are a manager in someone else's company or a large corporation. Nevertheless ethics and corporate responsibility are highly significant in planning, and strong justification for their proper consideration can now be made.
There are now plenty of recent examples of corporations - indeed entire national economies and governments - which have failed because of poor regard to ethical considerations. The world is changing and learning, slowly, but it is, and anyone ignoring ethics in planning today does so at their own peril.Sales and Marketing --What's the Difference?
This tends to focus thinking on creativity, innovation, ambition, quality, excellence, perhaps even social good, etc. Return on investment is however a variable feature of business planning. It is flexible according to the type of enterprise, its main purpose and philosophy. Planning in traditional corporations at times forgets this basic obligation, especially when a junior manager is asked to 'write a business plan' for the first time.
In traditional profit-driven corporations, when a new manager starts to write a business plan or operational plan for the first time and for some experienced managers also, for the umpteenth timethe manager wonders: What is the aim?
What am I trying to achieve? Often when they ask their own manager, the manager has the same doubts. Such enterprises are becoming more popular, and will continue to become so, since the collapse of the western economies inand increasing disillusionment with old-style business thinking. Instead the main driver of enterprise may be some other purpose. Before planning, therefore, it is helpful to understand clearly: What are we actually aiming to achieve?
Junior managers have responsibility for plans and activities which feed into larger departmental plans and activities of senior managers. The plans and activities of senior managers feed into the divisional plans of executives and directors. There is a hierarchy or tree structure of cause and effects, all hopefully contributing to the overall organizational aim. In many good businesses a substantial business planning responsibility extends now to front line customer-facing staff, and the trend is increasing.
In this context, the business plan could be called also be called a marketing plan, or a sales plan - all departmental plans are basically types of business planning: Also, these principles and methods apply to very large complex multinational organizations, which tend to entail more and different costs, fixed overheads, revenues, and consequently larger planning formats; more and bigger spreadsheets, more lines and columns on each, more attention and people working on the numbers, more accountants, and typically - especially at middle-management level and above - more emphasis on cashflow and the balance sheet, alongside basic 'profit and loss' planning.
Knowing the market enables you to assess and value and plan how to engage with it. A common failing of business planning or operational planning outside of the 'business' world, is to plan in isolation, looking inward, when ideas can seem very positive and reliable because there's no context and nothing to compare.
Hence research is critical. And this applies to any type of organisation - not just to businesses. Planning very much concerns processes. The principles of marketing will explain additionally how to put meaning and values into what you plan. Your market research should focus on the information you need, to help you to formulate strategy and make business decisions. Market research should be pragmatic and purposeful - a means to an end, and not a means in itself.
Market information potentially covers a vast range of data, from global macro-trends and statistics, to very specific and detailed local or technical information, so it's important to decide what is actually relevant and necessary to know. Market information about market and industry trends, values, main corporations, market structure, etc, is important to know for large corporations operating on a national or international basis. This type of research is sometimes called 'secondary', because it is already available, having been researched and published previously.
This sort of information is available from the internet, libraries, research companies, trade and national press and publications, professional associations and institutes. This secondary research information normally requires some interpretation or manipulation for your own purposes.
However there's no point spending days researching global statistical economic and demographic data if you are developing a strategy for a relatively small or local business. Far more useful would be to carry out your own 'primary' research i. A lot of useful primary market research can be performed using customer feed-back, surveys, questionnaires and focus groups obtaining indicators and views through discussion among a few representative people in a controlled discussion situation.
This sort of primary research should be tailored exactly for your needs. Primary research requires less manipulation than secondary research, but all types of research need a certain amount of analysis. Be careful when extrapolating or projecting figures to avoid magnifying initial mistakes or wrong assumptions. If the starting point is inaccurate the resulting analysis will not be reliable. For businesses of any size; small, local, global and everything in between, the main elements you need to understand and quantify are: Keep the subjects simple and the range narrow.
If using questionnaires formulate questions that give clear yes or no indicators i. Try to convert data to numerical format and manipulate on a spreadsheet. Use focus groups for more detailed work. For large research projects consider using a market research organization because they'll probably do it better than you, even though this is likely to be more costly.
If you use any sort of marketing agency ensure you issue a clear brief, and that your aims are clearly understood. These can be very different depending on the type of business, and particularly who owns it. Traditional business models are not necessarily the best ones. The world is constantly changing, and establishing a new business is a good time to challenge preconceptions of fundamental business structure and purpose.
A business based on a narrow aim of enriching a few investors while relegating the needs and involvement of everyone else may contain conflicts and tensions at a deep level. There are other innovative business structures which can inherently provide a more natural, cooperative and self-fuelling relationship - especially between employees and the organization, and potentially between customers and the organization too.
When you have established or confirmed your philosophical and ethical position, state the objectives of the business unit you are planning to develop - your short, medium and long term aims - typically 'short, medium and long' equate to 1 year, years and 3 years plus.
In other words, what is the business aiming to do over the next one, three and five years? Grand visions need solid foundations. All objectives and aims must be prioritised and as far as possible quantified. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. It announces clearly and succinctly to your staff, shareholders and customers what you are in business to do. You can involve staff in defining and refining the business's mission statement, which helps develop a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Producing and announcing the mission statement is also an excellent process for focusing attention on the business's priorities, and particularly the emphasis on customer service.
Focus on your target market. Who are your customers?
Who will you target? Who makes the decisions? Determine how you can best reach potential customers. Your marketing plan must set you apart from your competition, and you can't stand out unless you know your competition.
It's hard to stand out from a crowd if you don't know where the crowd stands. Know your competitors by gathering information about their products, service, quality, pricing, and advertising campaigns. In marketing terms, what does your competition do that works well?
What are their weaknesses? How can you create a marketing plan that highlights the advantages you offer to customers? How customers perceive your business makes a dramatic impact on sales.
Your marketing program should consistently reinforce and extend your brand. Before you start to market your business, think about how you want your marketing to reflect on your business and your products and services. Marketing is the face of your to potential customers--make sure you put your best face forward. What problems do you solve? What benefits do you deliver? Customers don't think in terms of products--they think in terms of benefits and solutions. Your marketing plan should clearly identify benefits customers will receive.
What Is the Relationship Between the Business Plan, Marketing Plan & Sales Plan?
Focus on what customers get instead of on what you provide. Take Dominos; theoretically they're in the pizza business, but really they're a delivery business. Your products and services have to stand out from the competition in some way. How will you compete in terms of price, product, or service? Then focus on providing detail and backup for your marketing plan. Key questions to answer: What is your budget for sales and marketing efforts? How will you determine if your initial marketing efforts are successful?
In what ways will you adapt if your initial efforts do not succeed? Will you need sales representatives inside or external to promote your products? Can you set up public relations activities to help market your business?