How to create a business plan for success based on your marketing plan.
Marketing Plans & Business Plans
If you are self-employed or run your own small business, your marketing and business plans are critical to your success.
In the simplest of terms, a marketing plan outlines two things:
- the results you would like your business to achieve
- how you will go about achieving these results
For the most part, you prepare a marketing plan primarily for your own use.
It is like a blueprint or a road map that identifies the results that you would like to achieve…and what actions you will take in order to achieve these results.
Similarly, a business plan also addresses two factors:
- the resources required to achieve your desired results
- how you will acquire…or develop…these required resources
Unlike marketing plans, business plans are prepared for the benefit of a third party.
This third party could be a potential investor or lender…a person or organization that might provide the necessary financing to start or expand your business.
Thus, the primary purpose of a business plan is to demonstrate the viability and ultimate success of your business.
By building on the preparation for your marketing plan, you can create your own business plan for success.
Here is an outline of the basic elements of a business plan.
It also shows how how your marketing planning can help you create your business plan for success.
This section summarizes the key elements of your business plan.
Although it appears at the front of your plan, it is the final element to be written.
Once you have finished the following elements of your business plan, summarize what you have prepared…call it ‘Executive Summary’ and add it to the front of the plan.
As its name suggests, this section offers an overview of the industry of which your business will be a part.
This overview will include industry trends, major players in the industry, and estimated industry sales.
In addition to identifying factors that are specific to your targeted niche market, this research will also help you identify the type of information usually included in a business plans.
This section of the business plan will also include a description of where you see your business within the industry.
Typically this description also includes:
- an outline of your niche market
- geographic location
- clients’ needs and how these needs are being met currently
This element summarizes the competition you will face in your market and establishes your competitive advantage.
If you need help in defining your competitive advantage, Exercise 3 in the ebook How To Achieve Better marketing Results…Sooner will help.
Here is where you add your personal marketing plan.
If you are like most self-employed people or owners of small businesses, you do almost everything yourself.
In this section you will describe how you do all the things that must done to achieve your goals.
It is also a good idea to include features such as:
- a description of your business’s physical location, facilities and equipment
- kinds of employees needed
- other applicable operating details
If you are comfortable using spreadsheet software, you can use your skills in this section calculating budgets, cash flow forecasts and any other financial data that potential investors or lenders require. spreadsheet
If you don’t know specifically what financial data potential investors or lenders require, find out.
Similarly, if you don’t know how to use spreadsheet software, find some one who can help.
This element of your business plan is too critical to ignore…or equally fatal…complete it poorly.
It is the financial component that strengthens and transforms your marketing plan into a marketing plan on steroids…your business plan for success.
A final word on your business plan for success.
The above elements are typical components of most business plans.
However, that does not mean all potential investors or lenders require these exact components. Some may require more…others less.
Don’t assume that these elements will automatically satisfy every one who might be in a position to help finance your business.
If you do not know what their exact requirements are…ask them. And once you do know exactly what they require…make sure these requirements are included in your plan.
It is satisfying potential investors of lenders that makes your plan a true business plan for success.