Business plans are essential for entrepreneurs starting a business from scratch or expanding an existing business. At their core, they are the blueprint that guides you through the hurdles you will face during the course of your business operations. However, in business, plans can be extremely detailed and complicated. In this article, we will outline some of the critical elements you should consider when developing a business marketing strategy.
What is a business plan and what do they include? A business plan consists of five (5) different components: an executive summary, an introduction, a mission or statement, an organizational chart or balance sheet, and a statement of financial expectation or business case. In its most simple form, a business proposal is a blueprint a roadmap for the business that outlines milestones and details how you expect to accomplish those milestones.
What is an executive summary? The purpose of an executive summary is to provide a "highlight" of the full business plan outline. It presents to the readers key points associated with the business and the reasons why those points are important to the company. The summary also provides information necessary to interpret the business proposal, such as the description of the company and what it does. While the executive summary is not the focus of your business plan outline, it is an extremely important component.
What is a mission or statement? A mission statement is typically found at the top of the business plan, or at the very end, if a longer description of what the business is about is desired. A mission statement lays down the vision of the organization and what it is trying to accomplish. Important metrics are included in a mission statement to determine the expected return on investment for a particular business idea.
What is strategic planning? Similar to what was stated earlier, strategic planning is a blueprint of how to make money. However, strategic planning goes even further to define how money will be spent. This includes metrics on how money will be spent and the effects on the company over time. A strategic planning overview should provide a summary of what the company is doing at each stage of the strategy, including what the company is trying to accomplish.
What is a business plan for a specific target market? A business plan for a specific target market is an important aspect of what is a business plan in general. This is where you break down a segment of the target market into a smaller geographic area. This portion of the market will be broken down further into specific areas. Metrics describing the target market should be included in the overall overview.
What is a marketing plan? A marketing plan, as the name implies, is the road map that leads you to your target market. This plan will help guide your business throughout its life cycle. The first portion of the marketing plan may focus on defining your target market. The second portion can include the activities that should be undertaken to reach this market, whether these activities will be on a short term or long term basis. Finally, the third portion of the plan should focus on creating and executing a business model, which is described in the marketing plan.
These four sections are the core components of what is a business plan in general. These core elements when presented in an organized fashion in an executive summary is what a reader is looking for. Executive summaries provide a more informal way of presenting these core elements in a document. They make the reader more aware of what is a business plan and make it easier for them to understand the points being made in the document.