So you’ve got that brilliant business idea that will revolutionize the industry. You’ve prepared a business plan – it has got your vision and mission statements, demographics, values and market share data. And you are convinced that you are all set to go. But is your business plan really complete?
So what’s missing?
Too often many forget the most crucial parts of a business plan. What is your story? What is your marketing plan? What is your sales plan? Without these components, your business plan is a very incomplete picture of what is potentially a very successful business idea.
So what is the story? What is the story behind your product? What is the story you are telling your consumers about your product? What are the consumers telling themselves about the product? What is the story that they will convey to their neighbors and friends about the product? What is the experience that the product will give them? How is the product the answer to their deepest, darkest desires?
Give the world a story. Every successful business idea has a story and a good story at that. Give your potential customer base something to talk about. Without a story, there will be nothing for them to talk about, nothing for them to dedicate their attention to.
The marketing plan
How will your consumers get to know about your product?
Yes, you’ve got this great product, it has a great story behind it and the people are going to love it. But how will they know the existence of this brilliant product if you don’t have a marketing plan for it?
How will you reach your target audience? How is it going to spread? Who is going to talk about it and how often? What is the format or the mediums that they are going to use?
It is important to figure out the marketing mediums that is going to reach the most of your target audience. In order to do this, you need to know who your target audience is and what their preference is.
The advertising must be subtle – it does not do to invest too much on advertising that will interfere with the audience to make its presence felt. Also, enabling a viral component to your marketing works more than organic marketing. Remember, word of mouth, from one friend to another, is considered to be more dependable than any amount of advertising that you can invest in.
That being said, it does not do to focus too much on the marketing plan and too little on the Story and the Sales Plan either. Every element must be balanced out to strike that perfect harmony that will sing out your business idea in all its glory.
The sales plan
Your story, your marketing plan, all leads to this. The true test of a business is sales. And without the sales, no business idea is considered as successful.
Who is going to buy it? Where are they going to buy them from? Will there be partnerships or joint ventures? Will there be discounts? These things need to be decided and set in stone.
There should be plan for selling your product. However brilliant your product maybe, if the customer cannot reach it, cannot have easy access to it, the product would have never been introduced at all. This is where a proper and complete sales plan come in.
Poorly written business plan
So you’ve got all your elements in tow – the story, the marketing plan, the sales plan. But if your writing down of it and presentation of your business plan is not up to the mark, the chances are that you are getting nowhere with it.
Poor spellings, wrong punctuation marks, bad grammar, spellings, style and sloppiness of presentation are bound to let down the most amazing of business plans. Your potential investors aren’t looking for a literature masterpiece but once they spot these little bits of let downs, they are going to wonder what else you have been sloppy about, what else is wrong about this business. You may have spent months working on your business plan, but investors would not give more than 10 minutes. And within this 10 minutes if you fail to capture their attention, they may be lost forever.(image courtesy: apa.org.)