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Questions & Answers

 
 
  • What is a Business Plan?
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  • What is the difference between a marketing plan and business plan?
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  • What is a marketing plan?
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  • What is a CRM?
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  • What is targeting?
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  • Why do I need a Plan? 
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  • Why do I need a website?
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  • What is a Positioning statement?


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     What is a Business Plan?
     A business plan is a key report that summarises all the company's business operations, which includes marketing but also other facets such management, business operations, a detailed financial summary including a profit and loss statement, balance sheet or cash flow projections. Read more about business plans for small business here.

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     What is the difference between a marketing plan and business plan?
     The main difference is that a marketing plan lays out the marketing activities of a company for the next planning period, whereas a business plan encompasses all of a business's operations including marketing. A business plan is often needed when a business is planning to expand via investment or seeking venture capital.

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     What is a marketing plan?
     It is a key report that is written by a business usually to help set out what it's future goals are and what future direction the business' marketing efforts will take to achieve these goals. Included in this report should be key information such as an analysis of what marketing activities were undertaken previously, together with an external analysis of the market where the business competes. Read more about marketing plans for small business here.

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     What is a CRM?
     CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Since the successful management of customers has developed almost into a science, there has evolved within this area a number of tools available to assist with managing customer information and provide contact management solutions, to improve customer service and responses. There are many software CRM programs available now for small business that once used to be the domain of big companies only. Look through IT journals or reviews on the web before you purchase any program as you need to ensure that the program suits your business needs.

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     What is targeting?
     Targeting refers to the process whereby one group or more of specific customers is chosen to be a better fit for the promoted product or service. These groups are targeted for promotion and communications because of their higher likelihood of purchasing the product or service. This increases the chance of success versus communicating or promoting to the entire customer population. Read more about targeting here (link to article EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGY: How to pick the Right Target market)

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     Why do I need a Plan? 
     The old adage of businesses who fail to plan, plan to fail is still relevant for today's businesses. Planning is a basic discipline that is necessary for long term success. A well-prepared business plan outlines what the short and long-term goals of a business are and provides a strategic review of the business that is often difficult to achieve through the hustle and bustle of everyday operations. This strategic review provides a basis for long-term business decisions and allows the owner to monitor performance of the business against the goals. These operating principles often determine the success or lack of success for a business. Read more about business plans for small business here.

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     Why do I need a website?
     While many Australian businesses (as of March 2009) still do not have websites, their small business equivalents elsewhere in the world are fast outpacing them. In many experts' views, having a website for your business is a must. The online world is exponentially increasing. The next generations (Generation X,Y and Z) which will dominate our population, are very online savvy and some have never known a world without the internet. The fastest growing segment of online users is older people 65 years and over. If this is where your customers are going to look for products and services in the future, then your business will miss out if you arenít there.

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     What is a Positioning statement?
     

    A positioning statement is a way of encapsulating in words, how your business (brand) aspires to, through the key benefit it provides, solve your target customerís problem or fulfills their needs (from the customerís perspective). It is a carefully crafted statement that includes 5 key elements and often a sixth:

    1. Who your business or brand is
    2. what market you compete in
    3. who your target customer is
    4. what the functional key benefit is your business delivers (USP expressed as a benefit)
    5. what the emotional benefit is your business delivers

    The last part often included, but not always, is a Reason-to-Believe (also called Supporting Benefits). >Read more on Positioning.


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