Essential Components of a Marketing Plan
The Executive Summary section of your marketing plan allows you to introduce your company and explain the major points of your plan "in a nutshell." A number of people lack the time and interest to read your entire marketing plan; nonetheless, they need to be "on board." The Executive Summary is for them.
You'll need to write it after the other sections have been written, since it's a summary of their major points. Some of the key points to cover are listed below:
1. Introduce your company by briefly describing the nature of your business and the products or services you offer.
• If your business is already in operation, state how long you've been in business and how long you've been at your current location. Describe your business activities including sales and customers. Highlight your accomplishments and successes.
• If your business is not yet in operation, describe the experience and training you have that qualifies you to operate this type of business. Include similar information for business partners or key managers of the company.
2. State your founding philosophy-often called a mission statement-and company objectives.
• Mission statements are relatively abstract, such as "to provide quality day care for children."
• Company objectives are more specific, such as "to be the child care provider of choice in the Tri-County area and to increase enrollment by 25 percent in 12 months."
3. Introduce your management team. (This may be you — wearing many hats!)
• Describe the organizational structure of your business. Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation?
• List key management. Include copies of their resumes in the supporting documents section.
• Disclose management salaries and ownership, management assistance and training needs, and supporting professionals (such as a bookkeeper or lawyer).
• List the board of directors.
4. Close the executive summary with a brief statement of the main marketing objectives and strategies contained in the plan.
A Snapshot of Your Current Situation
In the Current Situation section of your marketing plan, you'll provide information about your location, target market and competitive environment. You'll briefly describe the competitive environment and key issues your company faces in this section; more detail is provided in the Competitor and Issue Analysis section.
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