Small Business Blog: How To Make Planning Easy!

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Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

A few weeks ago, we launched the Small Business Marketing Ideas Podcast with our first episode where we shared three alternatives to discounting your products and services. If you missed it, just subscribe to our podcast in iTunes by clicking on the link in this blog post that will take you straight there.

Today we’re back with our second episode where we demystify the planning process.

Business plan, marketing plan, sales plan, promotional plan – these words are tossed around and can be confusing if you don’t know where to start or what each even means. In a nutshell, the business plan contains your revenue goals and your vision. That’s really all you need to include as long as you aren’t seeking outside funding and investors. It’s truly all about the numbers. It doesn’t need to be more than that!

The marketing plan includes your SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that impact your business) as well as your product mix, pricing strategies, promotional efforts and packaging or distribution plans. It’s really meaty. And it’s fun! The marketing plan is where you make a lot of decisions about your business. You not only look at your competition, but you also look at what makes you different.

The promotional plan, which is a small part of the marketing plan, is how you’re going to get customers in the door. Most small businesses we work with want to jump straight here. But without knowing your numbers (which the business plan helps you determine) and knowing your strategy for what products / services to sell, how to price them and how to distribute or package what you sell (which you uncover when working on the marketing plan), you can’t possibly jump to the promotional planning stage with any success.

Finally, the sales plan helps you determine what products to sell, at what price, to hit the numbers you have previously determined in the business plan. It breaks those financial goals down into small, achievable customer interactions so you know how to hit that revenue goal you laid out for yourself in the business plan.

Sarah and I explain all of these four plans and more in this episode of The Small Business Marketing Ideas Podcast this will give you tons of marketing help. Subscribe today in iTunes and make sure you leave a rating in iTunes so we can make the show better for you!

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