Whether you are an entrepreneur who has much experience or just have some ideas about having your first business started, a key to succeeding is a strong plan for sales and marketing. This document is one that is streamlined that you may show to potential clients, lenders, and investors. This also allows you to have your long- and short-term goals laid out. It also must help you in projecting the direction of the business and how it gets there.
The first step in making the plan is to make an objective list. Identify the things you are hoping to accomplish when it comes to sales and marketing by the following year. Determine if you just wish to increase your sales or if you are also hoping to have customer loyalty established. If you wish to have you sales increased by a specific percentage, then make sure to specify. If expanding to new markets is something you are hoping to do, make sure of describing where you would want to branch out.
Market research should be done next. Typically, this involves interviews, surveys, as well as sales figures. You can gather information yourself or have a research consultant hired. The experience of a consultant in asking the correct questions may justify the expense of hiring one.
Some key information that you have to know include the amount that customers want to pay for products or services, where they get the product or avail of the service at present, and their common buying behavior.
Next, evaluate the services or products that you offer. Assess if some products are more profitable unlike others. You must also ask yourself if individual items have varied target customers. Have products or services grouped together to see if your marketing plan could take a single approach or different plans will be required for varied items.
Think about any potential problems you might encounter and your plans to combat these problems. Know if there is something that is going on in the industry that can be a source of trouble along the way. It is also important to know if you have competitors that can undercut your prices consistently. Be proactive and determine your plans to solve these problems.
You also have to include some financial information. Make one section in the plan which contains the statements of profits and losses. This should also discuss how much you wish to spend when it comes to marketing and advertising in the year that follows. If you have just started your business, make sure of including the projected numbers. If you will not gain something out of your investment, you need to have the marketing plan adjusted accordingly.
Next, determine the type of marketing that works best in the industry. In this step, you will need the results of your market research. By having lots of knowledge of your customers, you will have better knowledge when it comes to reaching the target market.