How to Write a Business Plan: Part 6 – Marketing Strategy

How to Write a Business Plan: Part 6 – Marketing Strategy

The business plan boot camp will consist of nine parts in total, each tackling a portion of the plan and the basics of how to handle its successful creation as prospective businesses look to secure funding and backing. Put together, these skills will help create a business plan that will wow potential investors.

Part 6. Marketing Strategy

Remember that your marketing strategy is dynamic and not static. It is going to change over time as your company grows and develops — and that is perfectly fine and acceptable. Your potential investors know that your marketing strategy will change over time. What they want to see in your business plan is that you:

  • Have a solid marketing plan at the outsmart.
  • Have thought about how your strategy might shift based upon new demands and information.

As your business grows, your marketing plan will become part of the fabric of your business and will be something that you continue to evaluate and make better.

Here are the four key strategies that should be part of your strong marketing plan:

Communication Strategy

What kind of communications will you deploy to help advertise and spread the word about your products or services? The best communications strategies are layered and incorporate many different public relations tools including:

1) Print, TV and Web Ads

2) Emails

3) Direct Mail

4) Newsletters

5) Brochures

6) Website

7) Catalogs

8) Blogs

9) Event pop-ups

10) Social media

You don’t have to include all of these elements in your communications strategy, but use several of them to create a layered approach so you find your target audience and get in front of them with your messaging.

Market Penetration Strategy

Your market penetration strategy should address how you plan to make a visible, statistically, verifiable splash in your market. From your market analysis, you’ll already know how the current market is composed and the competitors you stand to face.

  • How do you plan to enter the market by selling your products and/or services so that you can gain a higher share of the market?
  • What kinds of promotions, discounts, coupons or incentives will you offer so that you can sell your products and increase your market share?
  • What kind of short-term or long-term price adjustments do you plan to make?

Distribution Strategy

Outline your distribution channels in this section. You might deploy a layered approach to this strategy as well, such as:

1) Local, national and e-commerce retailers

2) Internal sales team

3) OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)

4) Distributors

Show the specific ways you plan to get your goods and services to market — and you’ll impress your new investors.

Growth Strategy

This strategy is focused on how you plan to grow your company internally.

  • How will you increase your employees and human resources staff?
  • How do you plan to eventually branch out via franchises or acquiring other businesses?
  • Can you deploy vertical and horizontal growth strategies as follows:

1) Vertical growth strategy: This is a plan in which you would offer the same products over time but provide them for different levels of your distribution channels.

2) Horizontal growth strategy: This is a plan in which you would provide the same products to different customers.

After you have your marketing strategy set, it’s time to develop and outline your sales strategy. You should include two main elements in your sales strategy, including:

  • Sales Force Strategy: How are you going to make sales? Will you use an internal sales force? Will you use independent contractors? How many employees will you need for your sales force and how will you recruit them? How much will you pay your salespeople?
  • Sales Activity Report: In this section, you’ll want to outline your sales strategy as different “activities.” Follow this pattern:

1) Who are your prospects? List them.

2) Prioritize your prospects. Who has the highest likelihood of buying your products first?

3) For every sale you make, how much money do you need to make? Calculate the average.

4) How many sales calls do you need to make over a defined time period to reach your goal? Determine the average.

5) Considering vendors will be involved, how much will you be spending on outside consultants? Calculate the median cost for every vendor you plan to use.

Being able to present the product and sales section as well as a successful marketing plan will go a long way to securing funding. Tune in for part seven of the business plan tutorial to see the best practices of the funding request.

About author

Michael Barry
Michael Barry 33 posts

Michael Barry is the Editor-In-Chief at AgeOfTheSmallBusiness.com. Currently living in Boston, Massachusetts, he received his B.A. in Financial Economics from St. Anselm College and his MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine.

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