Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner lacking a sound business and marketing plan template? Well, if you don’t have a plan, chances are you’re one of the few businesses that never needed to raise capital.
One of the first things you are asked to prepare when scheduling a meeting with a venture capitalist or a financial institution is your business and marketing plan.
Needless to say that virtually nobody will lend you money based upon a simple business idea. You need to have a proper concept and a thorough action plan if you want to be taken seriously.
Business and marketing plan template
The 3 parts of a business plan
The core elements of your business and marketing plan are as follows:
1. Executive Summary
This part is of critical importance. Investors read your summary first and if you don’t manage to grab their attention, they won’t read any further.
Include topline information such as: the business you’re in, the problems you are the solution to, your unique selling proposition (USP), the money you want to raise and your key financial figures.
2. Company Overview
What’s the legal entity form of your company? When and where did you form the business? What’s the stage of your company? Are you a start-up?
Allocate this part to a brief description of your company.
3. Situation Analysis
This section of a marketing plan deals with the external and internal factors. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- What market are you in?
- What are the newest trends?
- What’s the legal, economic and political framework?
- Who’s my target audience? Use demographics, psychographics and buying behavior patterns for market segmentation.
- Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Create a SWOT analysis for your competition and make sure you invest the time to do one for your company as well!
4. Marketing Strategies, Tactics & Programs
Describe your products and services. Focus on your positioning and branding both online & offline. Develop your promotional strategies; discuss your distribution and sales strategy. Decide what price strategy you are going to embrace and embed the information into your marketing funnel.
Today, online marketing is a MUST. If you don’t have a website and you’re not allocating a part of your marketing budget to building your Google branding, you are wasting your time and efforts. Don’t ignore the importance of social media, email marketing and other online marketing strategies. Include a separate section in your marketing plan template where you focus solely on Internet marketing.
5. Marketing Implementation
What are the milestones you need to accomplish over the next 1-5 years in order to achieve your business goals and objectives? What market tests are required? The action plan is a step by step guide for your salesforce.
6. Financial Plan
What are your financial projections and how does your company plan to generate the necessary revenues?
In case you are looking for investors, identify the amount of money you need to start or grow your business. Use your marketing budget plan to allocate the funds to different online and offline marketing activities.
Who is the CEO of the company? What’s his/her experience and knowledge? Who are the people on the team and what is their expertise? All these questions are highly relevant to investors lending money to your company. It’s critical to know WHO they are buying into.
8. Supporting documents
Attachments can consist of balance sheets, cash flow statements, market tests, different customer surveys, customer lists etc.
If you need more information about marketing plans I invite you to read “Marketing Strategy Secrets: 10 Key Ingredients to A Proven Marketing Strategy Plan”. The E-Book is available on Amazon Kindle.
In case you want to improve your Google branding and boost your online profits use the insights from the E-Book “Web Marketing Secrets”.
Use metrics to evaluate your sales activities and marketing strategies. Generate reports regularly and share the results with your team. Review and adjust your business and marketing plan.
Do you use a specific business and marketing plan template? What about a strategic planning software?