How is that product better than the competition? Why will people buy it? Price: How much can you charge? How do you balance sales volume and price to maximize income? Promotion: How will your product or service be positioned in the marketplace?
Will your product carry a premium image with a price to match? Will it be an inexpensive, no-frills alternative to similar offerings from other businesses?
What type of advertising will you use? When will ads be run? How will the product be packaged? Place: Which sales channels will you use? Will you sell by telephone or will your product be carried in retail outlets? Which channel will let you economically reach your target audience? The marketing portion of a business plan addresses how you will get people to buy your product or service in sufficient quantities to make your business profitable. It consists of: Market analysis, which assesses the market environment in which you compete, identifies your competitors and analyzes their strengths and weaknesses, and identifies and quantifies your target market.
Marketing strategy, which explains how you will differentiate your business from your competitors' businesses and what approach you will take to get customers to buy from you. Marketing and sales plans, which specify the nature and timing of promotional and other advertising activities that will support specific sales targets. Market Analysis How do you determine if there are enough people in your market willing to purchase what you have to offer at the price you need to charge to make a profit?
While the large number of small businesses starting each year will make it difficult to gain significant share of the market in the near term, it does help to ensure that there will be initial customers available to the Cambridge Strategy Group. Potential for Profit: The potential for profit in this segment is very high.
The operating costs required to address this segment are minimal, allowing a majority of service revenue to be turned directly into profit. While the barriers to competitive entry may be fairly low, no clear leader has gained the mind-share of the potential client market. Additionally, based on the overwhelming size of the market and the distributed nature of the potential clients, it is unlikely that any competitor will be able to dominate the market in the near future.
The following facts were listed in a November report published by the U. Small Business Administration: In ; , new businesses opened in the United States — the most ever. Interest in owning or starting a small business has broken new records over the last five years and part-time entrepreneurs have dramatically increased.
From to , about According to Cognetics, Inc. Microbusinesses with employees generated Of the 4. Firms were started for very traditional reasons. Entrepreneurs had a clear perception of an opportunity to develop a business through a new product, coupled with a desire for both independence and financial reward.
The marketing strategy most frequently cited by respondents was either to be the first to the market with a new product or to find a market niche and develop it. These companies much less frequently wait for a market to develop. Additionally, the fact that the stock market has been slowing during the past year will likely take some of the glitter off of the small business market. This will allow the Cambridge Strategy Group to establish a market presence and prepare to grow during the next period of rapid investment.
By combining the marketing and management experience, small business focus, and local presence in key markets, the Cambridge Strategy Group will help the growing number of small businesses increase their chances for success.
CSG is incorporated in North Carolina where it will initially focus its operations. However, with consultants distributed across the nation, CSG can easily expand its target client base to encompass other regions through the use of existing and tested technology.
While the market is certainly large enough to sustain multiple segment rivals, the Cambridge Strategy Group will attempt to ensure that its name is well known in all its target markets. Market Rivals: There are a number of available Market Rivals who compete with the Cambridge Strategy Group while having slightly different business focuses. Examples of market rivals include start-up focused branches of Big Five Consulting Firms, Management Consulting Firms, and Venture Capitalists who also provide business services.
The main alternative to outsourcing work to a consulting firm is performing the work in-house. However, your marketing plan is a road map providing you with direction toward reaching your business objectives.
It needs to be referred to and assessed for results frequently. While some small business owners include their marketing plan as part of their overall business plan, because marketing is crucial to success, having a comprehensive, detailed marketing plan on its own is recommended. If you don't want to make a mini-plan as part of your business plan, you can attach your full marketing plan to the business plan as an appendix to the business plan.
Benefits to a Marketing Plan The importance of a detailed marketing plan can't be overstated. A marketing plan: Gives clarity about who your market is. It's easier to find clients and customers if you know who they are. Helps you craft marketing messages that will generate results. Marketing is about knowing what your product or service can do to help a target market.
Your marketing messages need to speak directly your market. Provides focus and direction. Your choices for marketing are vast including email, social media, advertising, guest blogging, direct mail, publicity, and on and on. With so many marketing choices, you need a plan for determining the best course of action for your business.
A marketing plan is a tool you need to use daily to help you reach your market and your profit goals. As you make your marketing plan, focus on what you need to understand and reach your market.
The basics include: 1. However, both plans should be long enough to provide concise and detailed information. The information within the plans should be well-researched and include supporting evidence for facts presented. The goals, missions and strategies within these plans should be measurable and attainable, and reviewed and updated as the business evolves. References 3.
Be specific in your goals, such as increase email list by x amount over the next year or find x number of new clients. Who is the most likely buyer of what you're offering? Will you do home parties or one-on-one consulting, and if so, what will be the cost of travel, mailing of invites, purchasing support materials, etc?
The traditional distribution channel is from manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Small Business Administration office, a record number of new small businesses opened their doors in It sets forth the specific steps you will take to sell your product or service and provides a timetable for those actions to occur.
There are many ways to reach your customers.
The plan includes strategies on pricing and incentives to gain new clients for a service-oriented business and increase sales volume with retail distributors. We will be concentrating on all businesses that employ less than individuals. Step Three: Focus on strategy. These teams would have particular strength in an area where the competitors already have an established consulting presence, such as the major U. Your plans for market research. In this section of your plan, document which conversion-boosting strategies you will use.
It's important you stay aware of all of this and adjust your marketing plan accordingly. In other words, what is your Unique Selling Proposition , the message you want your customers to receive about your product or service that is the heart of your marketing?
Does the packaging meet all regulatory requirements such as labeling? Remember that benefits can be intangible as well as tangible; for instance, if you're selling a cleaning product, your customers will benefit by having a cleaner house, but they may also benefit by enjoying better health. According to Cognetics, Inc. Technological: Recent advances in technology have greatly enhanced the ability for distributed teams to work together on common projects.
CSG will need to focus on how to capture the most out of the existing market, even if it declines in size, before thinking about expanding. Let your target market be your guide in deciding what marketing strategies you'll use. If you decide on radio ads, which stations will you choose and at what times of day will you run ads? Studying your data, such as website analytics , sales numbers, and the trends will give you clues as to what's working and what isn't.
The marketing portion of the business plan addresses four main topics: Product: What is the good or service that your business will offer? We then take the information gained in our analyses and create an effective marketing mix encompassing all of the elements of product or service definition.
While the large number of small businesses starting each year will make it difficult to gain significant share of the market in the near term, it does help to ensure that there will be initial customers available to the Cambridge Strategy Group.
The sections below discuss our analysis of the environment, the target market, our competitors, and the company. The www.