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Programming Growth into Your Business Plan

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Marketing Program Examples in a Business Plan

by Tara Duggan

The business plan may include marketing strategies.

The business plan may include marketing strategies.

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

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An effective business plan defines the marketing strategy associated with the company’s products or services. The marketing program plan includes specific actions for each part of the marketing strategy. A plan typically identifies strategies for conducting market research, identifying the target market, analyzing the competition, promoting the product and setting the pricing strategy. The marketing program plan section of the business plan also defines the customer groups, their needs and the technology required to meet those needs.

Accounting and Bookkeeping

A marketing program plan for an accounting service provides details about how the business provides tax and management accounting services to businesses. It specifies the size of companies targeted, lists the cities and towns served and describes how the business allows customers to save money. For example, an effective marketing campaign includes testimonials from satisfied clients who endorse a company’s services and provides proof that in-house accounting costs more. Additionally, the marketing program plan should state the credentials of personnel and assure clients that the company has expertise in ensuring compliance with tax laws and other local, state and federal regulations.

Training Provider

Training providers produce marketing program plans to state their financial goals in terms of revenue and profit based on opportunities in the industry. By positioning the business as a provider that delivers quality training courses that meet specific objectives, the plan assures investors that the venture poses little risk. An effective training marketing program plan includes comprehensive details about a company’s instructional design approach, such learning objectives associated with specific classes, tools provided by the company to participants, reinforcement resources and the performance measurement strategy. Performance metrics specify how the company intends to prove that the desired change in behavior occurs. For example, by administering online exams and awarding certificates for participants who pass with 80 percent or more correct answers, a training provider validates successful training. Learning management systems can also send clients reports on employees who complete training successfully to receive a credential.

Catering Service

A marketing program plan for a catering service identifies sales goals, strategic goals for the number of events, referrals and website traffic required to maintain a competitive edge. The plan describes the ideal customer, such as a small business, school or municipal department. It defines markets, such as corporate business or nonprofit departments that hold annual events require food, drinks and entertainment or private clients who may hold an upscale event to celebrate a milestone birthday, anniversary or wedding.

Real Estate

Effective realtors generate a marketing program plan to ensure they provide their clients, such as first-time homebuyers, with a positive experience. The marketing program plan typically describes how the realtor intends to build his reputation, attract new customers and eliminate competition. By stating business goals for marketing his real estate company, such as 100 percent customer satisfaction or 1,000 new leads, he establishes a strategic marketing direction. By specifying types of activities, such as speaking engagements and promotional emails, he can indicate how he plans to attract future buyers and sellers.

References (1)

  • Sample Marketing Plans

About the Author

Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.

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Exploring  Developing your Business Plan Program

This is a four week, in-class, advisory directed and peer to peer program. Sessions are scheduled once a week and facilitate collaborative discussions around business plan exploration and development with dedicated incubation space for participants.

In these sessions you will explore and develop:

  • An Executive Summary
  • A Proposed Business
  • An Operational Plan
  • Marketing
  • Financials

Participants will submit weekly drafts and receive advisory feedback as they work towards a completed business plan. Resources such as an instructional guide with business plan and financial templates will be provided.

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Operational planning

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Operational planning is the process of planning strategic goals and objectives to tactical goals and objectives. It describes milestones, conditions for success and explains how, or what portion of, a strategic plan will be put into operation during a given operational period, in the case of commercial application, a fiscal year or another given budgetary term. An operational plan is the basis for, and justification of an annual operating budget request. Therefore, a five-year strategic plan would typically require five operational plans funded by five operating budgets.

Operational plans should establish the activities and budgets for each part of the organization for the next 1 – 3 years. They link the strategic plan with the activities the organization will deliver and the resources required to deliver them.

An operational plan draws directly from agency and program strategic plans to describe agency and program missions and goals, program objectives, and program activities. Like a strategic plan, an operational plan addresses four questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How do we get there?
  • How do we measure our progress?

The operations plan is both the first and the last step in preparing an operating budget request. As the first step, the operations plan provides a plan for resource allocation; as the last step, the OP may be modified to reflect policy decisions or financial changes made during the budget development process.

Operational plans should be prepared by the people who will be involved in implementation. There is often a need for significant cross-departmental dialogue as plans created by one part of the organization inevitably have implications for other parts.

Operational plans should contain:

  • clear objectives
  • activities to be delivered
  • quality standards
  • desired outcomes
  • staffing and resource requirements
  • implementation timetables
  • a process for monitoring progress

See also[ edit ]

  • Integrated business planning

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