Infographic 5. Have a strategic marketing plan in place. A great business plan will always include a strategic and aggressive marketing plan. Where will this business come from? Be specific. New thinking proposes that entrepreneurs should engage in a formal planning process only when it is absolutely needed—but that they should be continually collecting valuable data for that eventual plan.
Quick Tips 1. Instead, bring your design vision to the process. This reinvention of the form will instantly signal to your potential partners that you think differently and bring a unique set of skills. Leading entrepreneurship advisors agree that the business plan must be an organic document that evolves as the vision for the business unfolds and materializes. Well, you could do that, but your business plan can actually be a living document you use often, to ensure your performance and growth are on track.
Updating and referring to your plan on a regular basis can drive better decision making and help keep your focus clear. This is critical as the demands of growth, customers, staff, and investors threaten to cloud your company's vision. A generic business plan sample with your details just dumped in isn't going to wow anyone, and it's not going to inspire you on a regular basis. A business plan is meant to guide your business in the right direction and document your thoughts and ideas for your business.
The first purpose of a business plan is to identify the aspirations of the business. Third, your business plan is needed to outline the steps you will take to reach your main objective. When I create my business plans, I like to lay it all out there first, and then start to remove pieces that are irrelevant.
Keep it readable, clean and professional. The basic elements of a business plan 1. Executive Summary — this is a one-page nutshell of your business. But if you selling to other businesses B2B , you may have a few key customers that are critical to the success of your business, or a handful of important customers that are trend leaders in your space.
Competition Immediately following your target market section, you should describe your competition. What are your competitive advantages over the competition?
The most important thing to illustrate in this section of your business plan is how your solution is different or better than other offerings that a potential customer might consider. Investors will want to know what advantages you have over the competition and how you plan on differentiating yourself. The simple fact is that all businesses have competition. Instead, Ford was competing against other modes of transportation—horses, bikes, trains, and walking. On the surface, none of these things look like real direct competition, but they were how people were to solving their transportation problems at that time.
Future products and services All entrepreneurs have a vision of where they want to take the business in the future if they are successful. The focus should be on bringing your first products and services to market.
Marketing and sales plan The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you plan to reach your target market segments also called target marketing , how you plan on selling to those target markets, what your pricing plan is, and what types of activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success.
Before you even think about writing your marketing plan, you must have your target market well-defined and have your buyer persona s fleshed out.
Without truly understanding who you are marketing to, a marketing plan will have little value. Your positioning statement The first part of your marketing and sales plan is your positioning statement. Positioning is how you will try and present your company to your customers.
Are you the low-price solution, or are you the premium, luxury brand in your market? How are your competitors positioning themselves? How do you plan on differentiating from the competition? In other words, why should a customer choose you instead of someone else? Where do you see your company in the landscape of other solutions?
You just need to explain where your company sits within the competitive landscape and what your core value proposition is that differentiates your company from the alternatives that a customer might consider.
You can use this simple formula to develop a positioning statement: For [target market description] who [target market need], [this product] [how it meets the need]. Unlike [key competition], it [most important distinguishing feature]. Unlike [name omitted], LivePlan creates a real business plan, with real insights—not just cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blank templates. Your positioning strategy will often be a major driver of how you price your offerings.
Price sends a very strong message to consumers and can be an important tool to communicate your positioning to consumers. If you are offering a premium product, a premium price will quickly communicate that message to consumers. Deciding on your price can feel more like an art than a science, but there are some basic rules that you should follow: Covering your costs. Download your business plan in stunning quality, or share it directly from Venngage in seconds.
Make your business plan a visual masterpiece by: Including Your Branding Make sure the readers knows exactly who they are working with by using your brand colors, fonts and visuals. Start with a professionally designed business plan template You may not have a professional designer on hand. But that should not stop you from creating a visually impressive business plan. Make this business plan one that your investors will have a hard time forgetting with one of our templates. Our team of professional designers has created a collection of business plan templates to help you get off the ground.
You could even take some of the ideas presented in this book and apply them to your own business.
Research, research, research. Traction could be some initial sales, a successful pilot program, or a significant partnership.
You want to be able to show an investor why and how your business is going to make money, so be realistic. You can use this simple formula to develop a positioning statement: For [target market description] who [target market need], [this product] [how it meets the need]. You just need to explain where your company sits within the competitive landscape and what your core value proposition is that differentiates your company from the alternatives that a customer might consider. Keep it short Business plans should be short and concise. Perhaps they need to target athletes or business people who need formal shoes for work, or perhaps they are targeting children and their families.
More and more, prospects are using social media to learn about companies and to find out how responsive they are. The reasoning for that is twofold: First, you want your business plan to be read and no one is going to read a page or even page business plan. Traditional business plans can be big beasts of a project that suck time, money and mojo at a vital moment. Positioning is how you will try and present your company to your customers. How does your packaging communicate your key value proposition? Schedule a time every Sunday where you tackle a part of the business plan.
Your initial price may not be your primary profit center.