Many business plans include things like mission statements, values, demographics, competitors and market share data. Those are important but too often they are given more weight than the three critical components of any effective business plan:
1) The Story
2) The Marketing Plan
3) The Sales Plan
What is your story? What is the story you are telling the people who buy your product or service? What is the story they are telling themselves? What is the story they are telling their friends, neighbors or family? Who else is going to be there? What are they going to experience?
Your story gives you the chance to tell your customers why this is a dream come true for them.
The Story feeds…
The Marketing Plan
How do people find out about it? How do you reach them? How does it spread? Who is talking about it? Why are they talking about it? Who are they telling? How often? In what format?
The Marketing Plan is a road map for how your story will spread.
There are three primary mistakes are made with The Marketing Plan:
1) Too much of the overall business plan is devoted to The Marketing Plan, forgetting about The Story and The Sales Plan.
2) The Marketing Plan is too focused on buying advertising to interrupt and yell at people…
3) instead of focusing on building and enabling the organic, viral component necessary for the idea to spread. Remember, a friend passionately telling ten friends about your product or service is more valuable than a thousand billboards on the busiest highways.
The Marketing Plan leads to…
The Sales Plan
Sales exist when the money changes hands.
Who will buy it? Where will they buy it? From whom? Are there coupons? Discounts? Joint ventures?
Just like your business plan should never contain the statement, “And then a miracle happens…”, your sales plan shouldn’t contain the statement, “And then someone will want to buy it.”
Is your business plan complete?