Yes, your marketing plan fits into your business plan. Understanding the difference between a business plan and marketing plan helps with your strategy and implementation.
What is in your business plan?
A business plan has some key areas:
- The structure of the business
- Goals (short, medium, and long term)
- The macro environment
- The competitive edge of the business
- Financials (which includes break even, budgets, etc)
What is in your marketing plan?
A marketing plan covers these areas:
- Your ideal client
- Brand and messaging
- 12 Month action plan
- Sales forecasts
Your business plan is focused on the planning of the business and competitive edge. Your marketing is executing actions to reach clients and make sales.
Your Business Strategy vs Your Business Plan
A business plan is not your strategy. Your strategy is inside your business plan.
A strategy for a business relates to one key thing: What makes your business different? This difference is the unique advantage the business has in the market. If the is no difference, the business will be seen as the same as all other businesses in the market.
Having a clear strategy and differentiation in the market helps with all marketing activities. This advantage many times helps define who the ideal client will be and what the messaging will be.
Where do you start with your business plan?
The first step is researching the market. You need to know what is happening in the market. This is the macro environment.
From there, have a look at your competitors. Who are they? Where are they based? What is their competitive advantage? Their pricing? What marketing are they doing?
Work on your business structure. Who will need to perform which function (this is the organogram of the business).
Detail your competitive advantage. This could relate to people, processes or technology.
Plan your finances is next. Have details on your budgets, expenses, income, etc. Knowing your break-even is also extremely important. Key financial ratios will also show if all is good.