After reading some tutorials here on marketing where some I agree with, some I strongly disagree with, I've taken it upon myself to help those startups, and marketing impaired oldies. Take a seat, in the class taught by the one and only Inogenius, on everyones favorite subject, marketing. You're only homework is to take the knowledge I pass to you and put it to good use. Class participation is encouraged, and marketing debates are wanted.
For our first topic today, we're going to discuss developing a business plan. Before startup, there's nothing more important than doing a critical market analysis in order to come up with a realistic business plan. Part of your business plan however, is how you're going to market your company. This is where you're marketing plan comes into place.
What should a business plan contain?
It really depends actually. There is no set format for a business plan. I can't give you an exact template to follow to write your business plan, however it should accomplish several tasks. In theory though, your business plan will be made of a several different plans. I've come up with a couple of different suggestions that you could use.
1.) Marketing Plan
2.) Financial Plan
3.) Service Plan
4.) Personnel/Human Resources Plan
Aha! You thought that's all I was going to comment on business plan wise, didn't you? I fooled you!
Actually though, I'd be a horrible Professor if I stopped there. Perhaps I am though, I never did take a English writing class to put my cluttered thoughts onto paper, or any class to help explain those cluttered thoughts of mine. Getting back on track, before writing any parts of these various subsections, you need to come up with several objectives you wish to accomplish with this business. Financial, customer wise, market wise. They're all topics you can and should cover with your objectives. When determining these objectives, there are somethings you need to keep in mind.
1.) Don't be afraid to fail ... just kidding. The real thought is, don't be afraid to think BIG! Just because someone else isn't doing it, doesn't mean there isn't a market for it and it sure as hell doesn't mean that it's not possible.
2.) Keep your eyes on the price. You know where you want to be, and don't ever let it leave your site.
3.) Your objectives should be realistic. I know you're probably thinking this contradicts the first one; it doesn't. Just don't be afraid to work hard to reach for the idea you have, and any one of your objectives are realistic.
Now that I've rambled through these areas, I think it is pretty obvious what you need to write in these various subsections of your business plan. How you're going to reach these objectives that you've outlined. In future classes, I've discuss some ideas so that you're able to reach these objectives. Networking, Motivation, Branding, all sorts of fun stuff.