The first thing any new start should always have is a business plan. What is a business plan you ask? Well, a business plan or marketing plan is a statement which outlines your start-up’s business goals visions missions, and objectives.
It also contains information about the team that makes up the start-up and their roles in attaining the set goals and objective. It serves as a guide through the various stages of managing your start-up.
Why Should All Start-Ups Have A Business Plan
There are various reasons why a start-up should have a business plan or a marketing plan, however, the core reasons are:
A serves as a communication tool to potential investors, helps you attract a loan from a financial institution i.e. Bank. Should anyone want to partner with you the first thing he/she would request for is your business plan. Why you ask? Well, this partner will want to know if the start-up is viable i.e. If the start-up is going to make a profit and he/she can able to tell this from your business plan.
As a planning tool, it serves as a guide through the stages of your business. A well-established plan will help point out road blocks. This will enable you to plan out a suitable alternative to avoid such road blocks.
Finally, as a management tool, the business plan enables you to track and monitor the growth and progress of your business. It also helps you to compare the forecast of reaching your goals with the actual accomplishment time frame.
Contents Of An Effective Business Plan
There are 6 things an effective business plan should always have. They are;
- Executive summary
- Market analysis
- Organization and management
- Service and product line
- Marketing and sales
- Financial projections
An executive summary explains to anyone requesting for your marketing plan what you’re your company is all about. It also talks about why you think your company will be successful.
Market analysis involves an in-depth research into what your competitors are up to and what their weakness and strengths are.
Organization and management point out the organizational structure, who delegates what and who is at the head.
Service and product line talks about the service you want to render or the goods you want to produce. It explains how your products benefit the customers.
Marketing and sales in this section you basically talk about how you want to attract and retain customers.
Financial projection you’re in this section is to convince your investors that your business will be successful and financial viable.
Format For Writing A Good Marketing Plan
- Name of the business
- Owner/owners of the business
- Contact information (address, email and phone number)
- Business ideas and goals
- Marketing (product and services rendered)
- Operations (location and staffs of the business)
- Finances (breakeven point and finance needed)
- Mission statement
- Company history
- Business goals visions and objectives
- Market research
- Market analysis
- Evaluation of marketing
- Market plan
Operations and Production
- Legal and licensing requirement
- Management details
- Organization structure and staffing
- Security and insurance needs
- Income and expenses
- Financial forecast
No matter the kind of business you want to venture into; be it a sole proprietorship or a partnership or even a joint venture you need a business plan. It helps you navigate the road ahead and take it from me the road ahead is tough.