Rough draft of business plan | business policy and strategy


Thanks for submitting this part of the plan, however, the marketing strategy needs more work. You will need to provide details about your pricing strategy, promotion, distribution plan.

Pricing is just one part of a marketing plan, but it is a big one. This is where you detail your pricing strategy with regard to the ways it aligns with the needs of your customers (based on their buying habits and price sensitivity) and how the margins you establish will cover operating costs.

Be sure to frame your pricing structure in relation to your competition, with a focus on direct competitors.

Explain your method or methods of setting prices. For most small businesses, having the lowest price is often not a good policy. It robs you of needed profit margin; customers may not care as much about price as you think; and large competitors can under price you anyway. Usually you will do better to have average prices and compete on quality and service. Some questions you may want to consider in this section include:

● Is your pricing competitive? Is it a competitive advantage?

● Compared to your closest direct competitor, would you be considered a bargain choice or a premium brand?

● Does your pricing strategy fit with what was revealed in your competitive analysis?

● Compare your prices with those of the competition. Are they higher, lower, the same? Why?

● How important is price as a competitive factor? Do your intended customers really make their purchase decisions mostly on price?

● What will be your customer service and credit policies?

About Promotion

Some questions you may want to consider in this section are:

● How will you get the word out to customers?

● Advertising: What media, why, and how often? Why this mix and not some other?

● Have you identified low-cost methods to get the most out of your promotional budget?

● Will you use methods other than paid advertising, such as trade shows, catalogs, dealer incentives, word of mouth (how will you stimulate it?), and network of friends or professionals?

● What image do you want to project? How do you want customers to see you?

● In addition to advertising, what plans do you have for graphic image support? This includes things like logo design, cards and letterhead, brochures, signage, and interior design (if customers come to your place of business).

● Should you have a system to identify repeat customers and then systematically contact them?

About Distribution

Some questions you may want to consider in this section include:

● Will your customers buy directly from your brick and mortar store, or will they be able to shop online as well?

● Will your products or services be available through distributors? How will you qualify distributors to determine if they are a good fit for your offerings?

● Will you use contractors to deliver your services in a licensing or franchising agreement?

● How do you sell your products or services? Retail, direct (Web, mail order, catalog), wholesale, your own sales force, agents, independent representatives, bid on contracts?

● If your business relies heavily on a sales cycle, what will be your sales plan and process?

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