What is a Marketing Plan and Why Do I Need One to Grow My Business?
If you are reading this note it is because you are interested in starting a business idea. Well, if so, you need a marketing plan or a business plan, even if your project is being financed by yourself, by friends or family.
A business plan is not made just because you need to raise the funds for your investment. In fact, a business plan is much more than that: it is a tool to understand how your business is building. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to monitor the progress or control the fate of the business.
For example, you do market research first. This is the most crucial, so you will know what your consumer wants and how you are going to satisfy that need.
Therefore, writing your business plan forces you to review everything at once: your proposal, your marketing assumptions, your operations plan, your financial plan, and your personnel plan. You will end up finding important connections that you would have otherwise lost.
Another example, if you have a marketing plan to get 20 thousand clients for the second year of operations and your staff plan includes only two salespeople, that will give forces you to ask yourself: How am I going to have 20,000 customers with just two salespeople?
The answer could suggest that you form partnerships, and focus on planning your best strategies, since you will need to successfully execute the process of distribution of your products, so you will have to hire companies specialized in these functions.
In other words, your marketing plan should define the key information of your business, including your mission, your objectives; as well as the tactics and steps necessary to get more customers and increase your sales.
Defining the objectives of your marketing plan
Have you ever wondered why your business is not taking off? No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you are always in more and more difficulties.
The first part of your market plan should cover where your company is and your product offering and services.
Whatever business it is, you need to plan. At the beginning you have to have your objectives clear, as well as the vision and mission of the business you are going to undertake. So you can calculate the initial investment, costs, benefits, etc. As I said before, the business plan contains great information and can answer many questions that you will ask yourself as an entrepreneur.
In addition, the written history of your objectives, along with a history of accomplishing these, sends a message loud and clear: you know what you are doing and can deliver the results you promise. Everyone will respond positively to that message (banks, cooperatives that support SMEs, investors …, etc).
So, before deciding to skip the planning phase, consider all the implications and what it means for your future success.
In summary, a business plan will help you:
-Establish clear objectives, so you will have a better management of your business.
-It allows you to discuss your strategies in advance with your partners, wife or entrepreneurial family member.
– You will be able to decide whether or not you can rent a space, since you will monitor how your business grows and you will know if you can assume or no commitments.
– Hire new staff or not.
– It gives you decision-making power, whether or not you need to invest in the short or long term.
– You can express your ideas more clearly to your partners or employees.
– You will be able to develop new business alliances.
– The people with whom you do business will see you as a professional.
– You can sell m Better the idea of how much your business is worth.
– You will be able to expand your company.
As a last recommendation, I advise you to have a web page with the basic information of your company, details such as the address, your products and services you offer, how to get there (now it is easy to include a map to get there on your website) , the schedule, your telephone number to contact you, and you will be able to feed your audience with informative articles of interest.