The sheer number of available marketing channels and sales strategies can be mind-boggling to a new business owner. The sales and marketing section can be a huge help by offering options and allowing you to lay out a strategy in advance. Hit the ground running instead of feeling overwhelmed by choice.
Why Do You Need a Sales and Marketing Section?
This section offers focus and a direction. Instead of trying out untested options, you can use the plan to invest your money and time in the most impactful way. As a result, your time and funds are more likely to go to the most productive channels – and as a small business owner, every extra minute and rupee counts.
Using Your Business Goals as a Guide
To get the most from your business plan’s sales and marketing section, use your business goals to guide the strategy. For example, if your goal is to build a following among customers aged 60 and older, a social media marketing campaign might not be the best choice. Instead, you could opt for a phone-based sales strategy and a series of ads in local newspapers.
As you write the section, it’s a good idea to focus largely on the short term with an eye toward the future. You’ll have a long-term goal in mind, but have the flexibility to account for unexpected changes in the market as well as new communication options.
What Should the Sales and Marketing Section Include?
While there is no specific format for this section, it’s helpful to include the following subsections:
Target Market: This section should describe the customers you want to reach. Where do they live? How old are they? How much disposable income do they have? It’s also useful to include factors such as profession, buying behaviours, and points of contention. Be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “Our company’s customers are parents,” say, “We’re targeting mothers between the ages of 30 and 45 who have full-time jobs. They’re college graduates and come from dual-income households, and they’re happy to pay for products that give them more time to spend with their children.”
Branding: Discuss how you plan to position your company. Are you eco-friendly? Do you offer the lowest prices? This is also a great place to show your logo and describe your brand visuals. You could say, “We plan to use pink and yellow as our primary brand colours. Each piece of sales and marketing collateral will use bright, vibrant tones to communicate a fun, youthful vibe.”
Marketing Strategy: This section explains how you plan to make your target customers aware of your products. It’s helpful to lay out your marketing and advertising budget, then identify the marketing and advertising channels that are most relevant to your customers. For each channel, you can explain the campaigns you want to use. For example, “Facebook: We will post a photo or share an article daily, and spend ₹2,000 per month on targeted ads.”
Sales and Pricing: This section explains your pricing strategy and how it compares to competitors. You can also detail your sales plan: Are you using marketing to drive online sales or are you cold calling? If you run a brick-and-mortar business, you may discuss employee upselling or general demeanour.
By the time you’re finished with the sales and marketing section, you should be ready to start promoting your product. With a plan to guide you, it’s easier to spend your time and money wisely.