Marketing Plan: Marketing plan lays down the strategies of marketing which can lead to the success of business. These strategies are in terms of marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion). From the market feasibility study and marketing research, potential/ present demands of customers are determined which helps in understanding the profile of customers and hence help in laying down the strategies for segmentation of the market, identification of the target market laying down strategies for target market.
So it is crucial that every time you mention financials in your business plan, to really give them the correct context. When I have worked with clients in developing business plans, there has been a budget or amount set aside for example to be spent on marketing, which has been decided a bit arbitrarily. I mean with no real research, no understanding of what that amount needs to be spent on, and what that budget will truly achieve.
Business planning process : As discussed above, a successful entrepreneur lays down a step by step plan that he/she follows while starting a new business. This business plans acts as a guiding tool to the entrepreneur and is dynamic in nature - and needs continuous review and updating so that the plan remains viable even in the changing business situations.
I teach that you should seek to learn from competitors; obviously never copy another business's idea or what they are doing, but you can absolutely learn from their mistakes or see what they are doing and discover ways to improve it. All of that analysis belongs in your business plan: make sure you have your competitors under the microscope and make sure that is a solid chunk of your plan. That is some of the best research and information you will gather about what will make your business successful in future.
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