Successful Marketing Starts with Business Planning

Business planning; not the most riveting subject. Especially when you are eager to start a business or promote a new product or service.

As a Business Mentor I work with savvy business owners, ensuring they keep their sanity by selling more. I do this with them through purposeful business planning that turns their passion into profit.

So, before you get started on your marketing plan, I would like you to think about Business Planning.

Why Do We Need to Think About Business Planning?

Believe me, your marketing won’t work if you don’t know what you are marketing and who you are marketing it to – that’s Business Planning.

People who start a business have a passion for their idea, they can see that passion taking them to profit. This means they often jump straight into marketing the product or service they love – before anybody else does. They miss out the vital stage between passion and profit: PLANNING.

More than 50% of small businesses fail within their first five years. The main reason? A flawed (or non-existent) business plan.  

As small business owners, we have to plan our businesses if we are going to have a business at all. But many of us don’t because we think it’s hard, we think we have to produce a massive analytical document, we get bogged down in detail, we think it takes time or we think it’s boring. We just want to get on and do our ‘thing’.

However, your business plan is vital because it holds the key to selling your ‘offer’ to your target market – MARKETING.

Your business plan is your detailed route map from PASSION to PROFIT.

Business Planning Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Planning doesn’t have to be difficult, and the plan for your business doesn’t have to be complicated. When I work with my clients we always start with the Business Plan. I don’t mean a massive document you put together to apply for business funding; I mean a simple, one-page plan. 

So, what’s the difference?

The Business Plan that most people imagine is the bulky, research heavy and cashflow forecast laden document that some businesses need to create in order to go out to gain finance for their start-up or growth.

However, the vast majority of businesses in the UK are Micro Businesses; one-person operations who very rarely seek finance. More often than not they start out on a shoestring and self-finance.

They don’t need a ‘bank-ready’ Business Plan – but they do need a plan. How else will they be able to fully answer the four key questions:

  1. What am I selling?
  2. Who am I selling it to?
  3. Do they Want it?
  4. If they want it, how much will they pay for it?

That’s where my One-Page Business Plan comes in

The One-Page Business Plan

The one page business plan

My advice? Before you start planning your marketing, plan your business. To do this, you can use my One-Page Business Plan. Here are the key components:

1. What’s Your Business Idea?

Write a full description of your business, outlining your main products and services

2. Who Are You?

List your personal goals for your business, the skills and experience you bring to the business and any skills you may need to develop

2a. What’s Your Brand?

List your personal and business values and the key words that best describe your product or service

3. What’s Your Market?

What do you know about your market and who are your main competitors?

3a. Who Are Your Customers?

Write a full description of your ideal customer. Remember to include everything such as age, gender, income, location, likes/dislikes etc.

4. How Are You Going to Market Your Business?

List all the methods you are going to use to get your message out to your target customers – both online and offline

5. How Will You Sell?

What are you going to charge for your products and services and which methods will you use to collect payments?

6. How Will You Manage Your Finances?

How much are you going to turnover in the next 12-months? How much profit do you intend to make in the next 12-months? How will you keep track of your business income and expenditure?

7. What Are the Risks?

List all the things that could go wrong in your business over the next 12-months. Consider your methods for dealing with any problems that may occur.

If you can answer all these questions you will have a far better chance of turning your passion into profit.

Kathy Ennis – LittlePiggy

E: kathy@littlepiggy.ltd | W: https://littlepiggy.ltd
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Wendy Jennings Creative can help you turn your business planning ramblings into a concise, impactful and structured way forward.