How to Start a Business; Writing a Business Plan’s Marketing & Sales Section

Good morning or afternoon, depending on when you arrive here. The next section we need to talk about, in your business plan, is the Marketing and Sales section. Here you will simply answer the question, “How will you market your product”? I will build it and they will come back is not going to work here.  In this section, which I happen to believe is one of the most important, you will outline your plan for reaching your target market. It’s the most important because of you have a fantastic service or product, it’s useless if you have no one to buy it.  So, let’s find your customers. In the the Marketing & Sales section, we will detail your product/s and/or service/s, the prices, the place,  promotion, & the people. You’ll begin by reiterating your product description. Write each section so that they can sort of stand on their own, in the event someone only wants to go straight to that section.  Price. How will you earn a profit. Here you will discuss fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs don’t change, such as rent, and variable costs, vary, obviously. You need to estimate your product cost, of course, but the price you will sell it at, mostly. How does it compare to competitors? Is it higher or lower? If higher, How do you justify the higher price? Is there an added benefit? If it is lower, how will you make a profit or generate the product in a less costly way?  Place. Where will you sell the products or services. Will you have a store front? Online only? Will you have a 60/40 combo of both?  Will you use an existing eCommerce site or build your own? How will you get the product to your target market? Delivery costs should be discussed here. Talk about the actual transaction process & any return policies.  Promotion! How will you network? How will you advertise? What form/s of advertising will you use? Old school direct mail, business -to-business, door-to-door sales team, Google Ads, eCommerce marketing tools blogging? Will you use social media? How much will it cost? Will you use coupons? These are all things to consider.  Lastly, the people. We’ve already discussed your target market but you can recap that here. On the flip side, who are the people that will handle the Marketing & Sales? Will you have a sales team? Will they need training? Will they receive incentives? How about customer service? How will you gage customer satisfaction? All these questions answered will form your Marketing & Sales section. As you write this section, keep the wheels turning. Consider what how you will measure what works & what doesn’t. Be prepared with backup plans or multiple strategies and you’ll do great! 

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