Business planning

Business planning will be one the fundamental steps is creating and running a successful business. Having a solid business plan in place will allow you to assess your business idea and develop a successful plan going forward.

A successful plan allows you to set out what you intend to do and how you are going to do it. Business planning allows you to anticipate mistakes and a have plan in place for how your business will grow and operate.

Having a business idea is one thing but you then have to have a business strategy which will take into account you business aim, competition, resources and financial capital. A good business plan is like a blueprint for the start, operation and growth of your business. It will help you plan how your business operate whilst detailing your business strategy and direction you will follow.

A business plan is a working tool that will allow you to run your business whilst setting out your business strategy.

What is included in a business plan

A business will contain a brief history your business, overview of the business products and services, customers and suppliers. Also included in your business plan will be a summary or projection of the company’s growth and financial highlights. Your business plan will also include short term and long term goals and most important how your business will make a profit. A good business plan will be constantly revised.

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Overview
  • The legal structure
  • Business formation history
  • The type of business
  • Location
  • Means of doing business (Internet
  • Operations Plan
  • Market Analysis
  • Products and Services
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Management Team
  • Financial Plan
  • Projections

Sales & Marketing

Marketing is extremely important for the success of any business. A good marketing strategy will help drive sales for your business. A marketing strategy will help customers thing of your brand when they want to buy. I am sure at some time your have thought about buying something and automatically a brand will come to mind. Hence the power of marketing. A marketing strategy will help new businesses become known in the market place and help to attract and retail customers so it can survive and grow.

Market research for start-ups

A good marketing strategy will be driven by a solid knowledge of the market which your business intends to operate in. If you actually know what your customers want then you will have knowledge off how to lure them from your competition so they buy from you.

Carrying out market research does not need to be expensive and there are lots of simple ways to carry out effective and meaning full market research. Carry out simple conversations with potential customers can be one simple way to carry out market research. Customer surveys is one tool that can be employed and can used to find out what potential customers think about your business, products, services and prices.

An important part of market research is also to find out about your competition. Look closely at your current market and see your competitors are doing. What will it take for your business to better than them.

Discover your target market

Conducting Market research thoroughly can enable you to spot any gaps in the market which you can exploit. If you can find a niche in the market that makes your products or services unique then your business will have a competitive advantage in targeting your customers. It is not always possible to appeal to everyone so look to target specific segments of the market. Those groups who have similar buying habits and tastes.

Marketing and promoting your business

There are so many ways to market and promote your business these days especially with the growth of the internet. A successful marketing strategy will always be underpinned by the four Ps:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

This is your marketing mix. If you get these right then your business will be primed for success. Your business should have a unique selling point that convinces customers to buy from you.

Having a digital footprint is essential for any business now especially with more people shopping online and from their mobile devices.

Types of online marketing to promote your business

  • Email Marketing
  • Business website
  • Blogging and Content Marketing
  • Social Marketing & Social Networking

Types of traditional marketing

  • Advertising
  • Direct Mail
  • Public relations
  • Leafleting
  • Trade Shows & Exhibitions

It is important to have a balance of traditional and digital marketing to enhance your business marketing efforts. However one of the most successful ways to promote your business is through your customers. Word of mouth recommendations can be very important for your business. However you market your business, having a marketing plan in place will very important.

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