Sales and marketing plan
Why would you bother to include a sales and marketing plan when selling your business?
After all, the sales and marketing plan is a document that most business owners don’t have time to get around to put together. I’m not sure why that is as it’s more important than the business plan and indeed complement it but more importantly, when the business owner wants to sell their business it can be the difference in the business selling or closing its doors.
Why is it more important than the business plan? The business plan outlines the vision, strategic direction and business and financial goals of the business. The sales and marketing plan breaks down the business plan to show how you are going to get there and the tactics to be used to attract the customers it needs. Or more importantly, the sales and marketing plan is about growing the business and how to maximize the use of precious and limited resources including money, knowledge, expertise and most important of all; time.
The sales and marketing plan can be as complex and with as much detail as you wish to make it. It can include strategies and tactics or a combination of both. It’s important, though, that you understand how to use each idea and importantly, the results each strategy and tactic will bring to the business. There is an old adage in business management: If you cannot measure it you cannot manage it. There is also a famous quote that says “I’m convinced that 50% of my marketing is effective, I just can’t tell which 50%.”
Sales and marketing plan to sell your business
Some of the key items you want to see in your sales and marketing plan includes a profile of your typical current customer, what percentage of business they bring, where they come from and how they found you. If you are planning on growing the business by either more of the same type of customer or a different customer demographic, this needs to be defined, measured and made sure it makes good business sense to target.
Sales and marketing should always be seen as an investment and just like all other aspects of your business, needs to bring a return that you measure or you need to go and try something else or adjust your sales and marketing plan.
If you are looking for different sales and marketing tactics there is simply no shortage of them. Here are a few suggestions. Each one needs proper consideration and research to make sure it’s the right strategy for your business. These tactics include simple things like your business cards, office letterhead and stationery, email signature, coupons or flyers as well as things like your website, blog, monthly electronic newsletter, networking, taking someone out to lunch once a week, social networking media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Other strategies could include TV advertising, seminars to educate customers about your service, trade shows, hiring a Public Relations expert, joining local associations such as the Chambers of Commerce or other local business or trade association groups.
Just like your business plan, the sales and marketing plan needs to be a living and breathing document. It needs to include projections and just as importantly, the results from any activities undertaken so you can tweak and constantly improve.
If you do not have a sales and marketing plan, spend a little time and get one started. It’s always a Work In Progress so adapt and make changes based on successes and failures. Because it’s a planning document, write one for a 12 month period, implement and measure it and then review in detail when you update the plan for the next 12 months.
Reviewing the sales and marketing plan towards the end of its time frame is important. It can be easy to discontinue a strategy or tactic in the belief it’s not working. However, there may be value in understanding what something did not work and then make some tweaks to try it again.
A sales and marketing plan is all about planning and measuring results. The approach does not need to complex. Not all business owners are good at sales and marketing so bring in the right professional help so this critical business need generates the right success the business needs.
Having a sales and marketing plan that shows the strategies and tactics of a business with their results can be a great selling tool to the business owner when they try to sell their business as this is one of the biggest challenges a buyer wants to know and manage and determine if they have the ability to buy and operate the business.
Are you thinking about selling your business? Would you like to know the value of your business? If you would like more information please visit my website Business valuation.
For more immediate help you are welcome to send an email to Andrew Rogerson or give me a call on 916 570-2674.