The business plan may sound like a simple enough concept, but it’s actually a complex roadmap for the continuity and growth of your business. It should outline every aspect of your business including your basic concepts, marketing ideas, and your financial resources.
This is a plan that should be fluid and constantly changing to adapt to your business. A business plan acts as a professional mission statement that directs your employees and sets the tone for your company.
It will identify your goals and define success. When making a business plan you need to come up with a step-by-step guide and a theoretical guide that will take you through every other aspect of your business is growth.
Understanding the Different Types of Business Plans
Keeping things up-to-date will allow you to accurately and adequately plan for your future. There are four primary types of business plans. All of these are appropriate throughout different times in your company’s growth:
- The Summary Plan or the mini plan is a functioning outline for your eventual business plan. This gathers together all the concepts that will be important to your business growth in one outline that expresses your future planning. Think of this as the building blocks of a larger concept. This outline will allow employees or potential business partners, to see where you plan on going with your company.
- The Functional Plan provides a more fleshed out version of your business plan. This is something that people can start following as you build your company. Many employers will hand this out to their partners or executives. Consider this plan a tool that can initially get things off the ground.
- The Public Plan is a more polished version of your functioning plan. This is a plan that you’re going to use for presentations to entice investors and potential clients to take an interest in your business. It needs to be complete and cohesive with a positive outlook. This can turn into a very important business-to-business marketing tool.
- An Electronically Accessible Plan can be implemented for those who have a business that requires long distance communication between executives and stakeholders. This plan needs to have all of the components of your public plan, but in a universally accessible way. It can help to have an IT department look over this and make sure that every aspect of it is secure.
Your Marketing Plan
The marketing plan is one of the most important sections of your overall business plan. It can take months to develop and will be the vehicle used to reach consumers. Each portion will need to be revisited as your business grows and diversifies.
The first step to any good marketing plan is to identify your target market. These are the people that you plan on appealing to. Think of these as the very first people that will purchase or take an interest in your product. Once you understand exactly who these people are, you can develop advertising that will be focused primarily on them.
To do this, you’ll need to dig in and really commit to several different research methods. You need to look at the habits, preferences, and socioeconomic demographic sets around your area. This will let you know whether your product is going have a local market, or whether you need to go international using digital marketing.
Certain groups like millennials are best reached using social media traffic, while baby boomers may prefer print. Having a brick-and-mortar location can help with credibility. Consider finding an Irvine office space for lease, or another place that will put you at the center of your target market.
Many companies have a separate marketing department or a consultant that can help them to focus on this aspect of their business plan. Your marketing is ultimately responsible for your initial sales and repeat customers.
This is something that absolutely can’t be overlooked or underdone. A cohesive and complementary business and marketing plan can lead your business to success.