Very often clients request assistance with a plan that can help move their business forward from one level to another. They generally request help in constructing a business plan when in fact that may not be what they actually require. Some clients want to lift their ideas from a thinking stage to a real life actuality and believe that a business plan is most appropriate in taking the next step. Others want to find investors or financiers who may be interested in partnering with them. Still others require a proposal that can be offered to interested parties and which clearly defines the direction they’re planning on taking their company. Others need a marketing strategy, which clearly maps out the needs and stages of their marketing endeavors. The purpose of this article is to clarify what it is you actually need for your particular project and which steps to take in realizing your goals.
A proposal in essence is an overview of what it is you are planning to present or offer. It does not need to be lengthy nor does it have to contain as many details as a business plan. It primarily gives an overview of the direction you are heading. Suppose you are seeking a manufacturer or a distribution company to either manufacture or distribute your product effectively. You are seeking the right manufacturer or distributor for your company and therefore the proposal can fulfill two objectives. First, you want to stir the interest of the distributor or manufacturer but you’re not ready to give all the particulars just yet. In a word you want to whet their appetites to see if you will get a nibble. Second, you want to be sure that the distributor or manufacturer meets with your standards before commissioning them. The manufacturer or distributor does not need to have all your details at first sight but only needs to have enough to invite further conversation.
Another situation that requires a proposal is if you are preparing to write a book or submit an article. You are eager to find a publisher who may be interested in hearing more about your potential manuscript or interesting article. A query proposal is the perfect tool to use for the initial contact.
A MARKETING STRATEGY
When you construct a marketing strategy bear in mind that you are presenting ways in which you will promote either your own business or that of someone who has hired you. It is precisely what it says, a strategy. As an example, I recently worked with a Real Estate Broker whose company was being considered to handle the selling of a huge new condominium complex. The individuals who were thinking of commissioning him were already confident in his ability but wanted to be sure of his direction and requested details of his methodologies. They weren’t interested in anything more than the strategies he would use in attracting the clientele they were after so a marketing strategy was the perfect document for his needs. As a result a detailed marketing strategy was presented defining every conceivable way he would fulfill his responsibilities. The gentleman that was thinking of commissioning him was impressed with the marketing strategy and the job was given to the Broker. A well put together strategy can be the precise tool you need when convincing someone of your expertise.
THE BUSINESS PLAN
A Business Plan can have several intentions. The first and most obvious is for the purpose of gaining the attention of investors, financiers or loan companies. It is a detailed plan that will show your potential investors exactly where you’re heading. In it you will include an objective, company overview, product or service, competition, target market, demographics, marketing strategies, bios and most importantly financial projections. A business plan is an entire blueprint of your business from the initial concept all the way to the completion of your projected goals.
It can serve another purpose as well, which is providing you the business owner, detailed specifics for your own intentions. As you move forward in the direction of your endeavor, it will assist you in having a plan clearly in place so you don’t veer off in fruitless directions. Even if you aren’t looking for investors, the plan will keep you on track and prevent you from wasting valuable time and effort regarding your business endeavors. When making a decision as to what you require for the next stage in your business enterprise the preceding should help in clarifying your needs. When in doubt, start with a simple proposal. If someone has further interest in your idea, business or product they will request a more detailed business plan.
Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist and Author to her creative efforts as a freelance business writer/consultant. She has successfully helped companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstanding press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plans, resumes, web site content and all other forms of marketing material. To speak with Charlene you may contact her at http://www.allyourwritingneeds.com or write her at email@example.com. You can also call her directly at (310) 514-4844