Business Plan Part VII

Market Strategy

All businesses need to be able to sell their product or service in order to be profitable.  To sell your product or service, you need to have a clear-cut plan of “attack”, so to speak.  First and foremost, you need to define your market, or who you will be selling to.  It’s good to know the approximate size of the target market as well as the growth potential for the market.  Armed with that information along with the information on your competition, you can decipher your place within the market.  Think about the unique selling position and strengths your business has and describe how your company will take advantage of the strengths. As the market changes, will your business obtain more of it? 

The market strategy section should include several topics of discussion.  Be sure to include your pricing strategy as well as your customer service policies.  How will your prices compare to the competition?  If your pricing is higher, explain how you can justify it.  What promotions and sales incentives will you use to entice your market to purchase from your business?   Will the business be offering any sort of credit terms?  If so, what will they be and how do they compare to the industry?  Be sure to include your customer service policies along with explanations on how your employees will be trained to follow these policies.  Also include a discussion on how you plan on reaching your target market and the expected costs.  There are many options for advertising including radio, newspaper, television, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, posting flyers around town, telemarketing, and the US mail.  What options will you use to network your business?  Do you plan on attending trade shows or other events to get your business name out there? 

As you can see, this section can be quite in depth.  You will also want to include who in your business will be implementing the marketing plan.  Will any aspects of it be outsourced?  If so, to whom and what are the expected costs?  Do not forget to include in the marketing strategy a plan for slower times or sales downturns.  An existing business should include a brief history regarding marketing and any expected changes.

The next topic we’ll discuss is location.  Until then……….   

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