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Step 4 - Sales and Marketing

In this part of the business plan you must:

  • Come up with the cleverest and most realistic sales and marketing initiatives
  • Let the reader understand that you know how to approach your customers

Contact customers

In this paragraph in the business plan, you are supposed to describe how you will get in contact with the customers you have identified.

Experience shows that the most difficult thing about starting a business is to find a sufficient amount of customers - customers who are willing to buy your product or service.

Business plan questions

In the business plan template you will be asked to relate to the following issues:

Family network

Maybe your father, uncle or cousin can open doors for you. It is very helpful if, beforehand, a relative can introduce you to potential customers. Customers will listen more carefully to your offer if they know someone in your family.

Can your family members open doors to sales?

Network

Reach out to old school friends, study friends from College and University, colleagues from former workplaces, buddies from football or cricket, roommates from your study-year abroad and maybe relatives you only met once at a wedding.

Who in your network will you approach?

Business logo

To make your communications look professional, you should have a logo on your business card, on your website and next to any important information about your company.

Do you a need a graphic identity?

Business card

When you have chosen a logo this can be used on your business card. A business card is one of the most essential communication tools you have. It introduces you to potential customers and it gives the people a chance to remember you when you have left.

Business cards can be bought online at reasonable prices, or for best results, contact a graphic designer.

Business paper

The business paper can be used for letters as well as for invoices. Again, you can use your logo on the business paper together with your name and address.
The business paper will often be a template on your computer. Then you can print letters on demand.

Website

Even if only a few of your customers have access to a computer or a mobile device with internet, you will need to create your own website. If websites are not yet the main communication tool for your line of business, it will be in a few years.

Is your domain name free and do you know how to design a website?

Sales Letter

A sales letter to a potential customer must be written in a way that catches the reader’s interest right away.
A sales letter is a powerful and direct way of communication.

Are you going to use a sales letter?

E-mail

Email as a sales tool must be used with the utmost care.
Spam mail is unacceptable. Email sent to hundreds of strangers shows the receiver of the email that your company is not a serious one.
You can send an email talking about your company to the people you have already had some contact with.

How will you use e-mail in your marketing?

Telemarketing

A telephone is an important marketing tool and is a relatively quick and cost-effective way to approach customers. Whether telemarketing is the right thing for you depends on what you want to achieve with the telephone call, your skills as a telephone marketer and other certain aspects of your product/service.

Will you use telemarketing in your sales work?

Offline Advertising

There are many places where you can put in an advertisement. It is normally rather expensive for a new business to use traditional advertising because the response is usually poor. One advertisement does not make a response. You have to put in several advertisements before the readers start noticing them.

Will you give offline advertising a try?

Online Advertising

Maybe online advertising is better suited for your business? It is often cheaper and gives you better value for money using specific websites as your advertisement platform. Google and Facebook have ads that only display if the user is interested in the product or service you sell. If a user clicks on your ad, you will be charged a certain fee.

What will your strategy be with online advertising?

Active on social media

Another way to promote yourself and your business is to be active on the many different social media platforms. If you are skilled in a specific topic you should talk about it in forums or on a blog, or create your own Facebook page where you can discuss and interact with customers.

Will you be active on social media?

Signpost

If you have a restaurant, a shop, a car or other public show possibilities, then these have to be used to their optimum. They will be free of charge and will hopefully attract the customer.
You could also hire a man to carry a sandwich sign showing the way to your restaurant or to your website.

Which signposts do you need?

Presentation folders

Before the invention of the internet, folders were the main way to present many products. Today it is quite common to have printouts from the internet, presenting the product or service, or even just wording on the business card stating that all information can be found on the company´s website.

However, some companies - depending on the line of trade - must produce four coloured presentation folders. If not, the company will not be recognized as a professional trade partner.

Do you need flyers and presentation folders?

Radio and TV

A powerful medium is TV. Depending on the product or service, radio is also an option. If you buy airtime on television you will reach many people at one time.
However, it is expensive and a new company very seldom has the kind of money that is needed to buy air time.

Do you want to use TV or radio in your marketing?

Trade fairs

Sometimes a trade fair is the best place to display ones product or service. There are many different kinds of trade fairs. There are trade fairs for computers, garden furniture, bamboo products, convenience food, farmer equipment, toys and baby products. Each line of trade probably has their own trade fair.

Should you participate in a trade fair?

Public Relation - PR

The very best marketing you can get is a presentation in a newspaper, magazine, radio or television. It makes your company very trustworthy that a journalist has interviewed you and written about your product or service, or about you as a person.

Do you have any good angles to your PR?

Reception at business start

It can be a good idea to gather friends, former colleagues, family, business associates, the press and others to an opening ceremony. You can make a small event at your new premises or make it into a big happening at the local stadium. It all depends on you as a person and in what line of trade you are in.

When is your opening reception?

Sales Management

Various business operation parameters must be utilised to influence sales, and you and your helpers will be the ones who decide which parameters to use. Read about the 15 parameters you can work with to optimise sales.

Download business plan template

Go to Download Center and find the template in which you can write your own business plan.


The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.
- from the movie American Gangster

Download Business Plan templates
9 Steps to Start a Small Business
Step 1 Entrepreneur /Team Resources
Step 2 Product or Services
step 3 Description of the Market
Step 4 Sales and Marketing
Step 5 Organising your Company
Step 6 Business Development
Step 7 Budgets
Step 8 Financing
Step 9 Business Concept
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