Becoming a small business owner has many challenges and rewards that might not be applicable to all aspirants, the rewards will be based on your drive to succeed, discipline towards your goals, and the right idea on how you could expand your empire, while the challenges are fixed and out of our control.

One of the hardest parts in putting up a business is knowing the facts on how to build one, it needs more than enough of information and ideas in order not to rattle when things start to kick up. Some considered the crucial part of the process as the hardest one, but what makes it even harder is not having the idea on what that crucial part is.

The most common confusion for business starters is not having any background regarding the difference between Business Planning and Marketing Plan, and in the end they decided to eliminate one.

What’s The Difference

Business Plans tackles the entire business from the financial planning, studying target markets, deciding on the products and services to be offered, sales quota, how to cope up with business responsibilities and operations, and the overall strategies to be used.

Marketing Plan however, does not cover the overall aspects of the business. It focuses on the marketing aspect only; marketing strategies, desired target market, marketing mix to be used, programs and promos, methods of reaching out to the target market, and everything that is needed in selling a product. Though setting budgets and being keen on cash flows are important in every business; Marketing Plan does not include it on their planning (or rarely would it happen that it would be included), the main goal for Marketing Plan is to sell and generate sales but not on business processes.

What Should Be Prioritized?

Most of the business starters focus more on the Marketing than the Business Planning, complacent of their products and services; they prefer to focus on selling more and deal with the business flow later on when they generated their income and reach their quotas.

However, in order to ensure the growth of your business, having these two is more advisable. Your Business Plan will aid you on everything with regards to the internal and external matters on your business, but it does not put emphasize on Marketing which does the responsibility of selling the product and service. Imagine having a stable and well-organized Business Plan partnered with an effective Marketing Plan, it would surely protect your business even when there’s a sudden shift on the market.

Marketing Plan

Five Things To Consider

Business Plan includes everything that is needed in running a business. When you’re about to make your Business Plan, take in to consideration these important matters first:

  • Determine your Purpose – What’s your company’s vision? Why does your company exist? What is your goal? How will you reach your goal? These are only few of the things you should know first before deciding to put up a business. If you are deciding to attract investors or potential business partners, it is important that you have these shown to them. This will best represent the frame of your business.
  • Visualize the Long-Term Existence of your Business – when you imagine your business to exist for a long time, you would build a business plan that focuses on long-term goals and continuous success.
  • Clarify your Financial Model – running a business needs enough resources. It is important that you put up reliable financial projections, but also include potential trend shifting and probable scenarios to determine if your Financial Model will work out.
  • Know all the Legalities – from the brand names, legal documentations, up to the required documents needed; get yourself educated regarding these matters. You don’t want to put up something that would soon be turned down just because of some issues regarding your authenticity.
  • Do Some Research – Put it into test, see if your business plan may be appealing to your consumers. Ask experts or those who have gone through the same business as you are, study businesses who has similar plot, or even get directly answers from potential clients.

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Marketing Plan focuses on selling and making sales. Though there are many things to be pointed out, here are the most important ones summarized into five:

  • Know your Business – create a list of your product or services’ strength and weaknesses. Put everything applicable on that list then analyze; what should we emphasize and what should be improved. When you determined what type of business you are in and what are your fortes, it would be easy for you to create a marketing plan since you already know how things work on your business.
  • Keep an Eye on your Market – outline your opportunities and threats, both internal and external. Take into consideration the factors that you can’t control but will try to predict, put possible solutions or answers on those matters.

Understand the trends your target market is into; how will you reach out to them or what catches their attention. Be active on the change of their preference and incorporate it when you are making innovations on your Marketing Plan.

  • Formulate your Strategies – take your list of fortes, the outline of opportunities and threats (with possible solutions), and the information gathered regarding your target market and merge them in to a Marketing Strategy. Find the connections between the three or if possible try to generate a line to connect them.
  • Set a Checklist for Updates – set specific dates on checking on the effectiveness of your strategy, is it still working or does it need a boost? Have weekly check and monthly updates, it is important that you are in track of the things that are going around the market. Strategies won’t work forever, you need to align it with the sudden changes that are unpredictable.
  • Look Back and Innovate – It is important that you always improve your marketing strategy. Your Marketing Plan should continue to evolve along with your business, the way you look at the market may vary overtime as well as how the consumers view your product. Revise if possible the parts of your strategy that doesn’t work well anymore.