I wrote this several years ago and ran across it last night. It was a request from someone that wanted me to create a marketing plan for them. My response is below. I did attach a PDF of the Business Model Canvas with it.
Thank you for the interest. You have a fantastic business idea and I can contribute significantly to the success of it. My question before you spend money creating a sales and marketing plan is asking, “Are you ready for a marketing plan?”
Have you confirmed that your idea will work in the marketplace? You may find what is actually needed is totally different from your original thinking. Your first orders are a result of someone asking them, we know you do this but can you do this? The customer reframes the problem you are trying to solve. They articulate the problem in their terms.
Your idea sounds fantastic. However, you or I are not buying the product. The solution you are offering needs to be framed in the customers or users perspective. That is my first step in the process of developing a plan. I believe we can validate your “hypothesis” and build a sales and marketing plan together in less than a month. The plan is the easy part. The hard part is getting through the first 4 questions.
- Have you talked to actual customers/users about your idea?
- Have you experimented with your business model in any way?
- Have you created an outline of your business model?
- Has anyone spent any money to validate your idea?
I can see how your idea will work. I could create a marketing plan from your description. I could demonstrate how you could scale your business and franchise or develop a coaching plan, for others to replicate what you are doing around the world. However, the truth is that the first phone call you take may throw your plan right out the window. You may find out that people or organizations will not pay for your services or have other alternatives that are government subsidized or some other possibility. In your description, it was all about the things you will do. In marketing, it needs to framed in the context or the outcomes you produce for your customers. Review the enclosed layout the left side is the internal side of the business and the right side is the external.
Your sales and marketing idea should be an extension of your business plan and business model. That way it is properly funded. Not only in monetary means but also resources and the skills needed to carry out the plan. This all may sound overly complicated, but it can be simplified and done quickly if you have the time to put into it. It is not much different than putting a coffee stand in the middle of a mall before renting space for a coffee shop.
Would enjoy working with you. What are your thoughts? Are you ready for a marketing plan?
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