Pick up two service business marketing plans and one thing becomes immediately apparent. A “service” can include everything from dog grooming to financial planning. There are hundreds of business opportunities in every sector of every industry so the ultimate goal of the marketing plan is to leave no doubt as to the how the company plans on reaching the targeted customers and what the company plans on offering. Whether an errand business, software developer, or home based cleaning service business, the marketing plan and strategies should be as thorough as the rest of the business plan, like the financial and operational components.
A service business is a commercial enterprise offering specific work delivered by staff members to consumers or other businesses. In a service business, the products are intangible which presents challenges in terms of marketing. Since there are no products on shelves or in warehouses, it is important to concentrate on the qualities and characteristics of the services that are deliverable to customers. How will the services be delivered in an efficient, cost effective, and reliable manner?
Defining the Value Offered
The marketing plan for a service business accomplishes the following goals:
• Clearly sends a message as to how the service meets a market need or delivers a solution to a problem
• Defines the marketing objectives
• Explains the value offered and how it is unique compared to the services offered by the competition
• Demonstrates careful planning of the marketing mix which includes pricing, service distribution, advertising, and customer service
• Defines the targeted audience which can include the service end-user or those who may purchase the service for others to use, i.e. gift buyers, caregivers, household consumers, corporate headquarter staff, etc.
• Defines the type of marketing strategies that are used online and offline which can include websites, social media, television and/or radio advertising, newspapers, trade shows and conventions, and so on
• Provides a clear explanation of the state of the industry, including a market analysis of the competition, potential customers, trends, service gaps, and market needs
• Offers a completed SWOT Analysis (or something similar) to show the entrepreneur has thoroughly considered all aspects of the business
The service business marketing plan will also cover financial objectives and the marketing budget. The enterprise needs to find an acceptable balance between the marketing budget and the financial plan for all operations. Every marketing dollar needs to be spent in a way that brings maximum results, and that is only possible if thorough marketing research and analysis is completed.
The marketing plan is a critical component of the business plan and will have a major influence on whether potential investors will choose to financially support the startup or expansion. Investors will expect to see reasonable and justifiable numbers for the sales forecast and the expense budget. In addition, there should be a monitoring plan that assesses marketing progress.
OGS Capital is expert in the formulation of marketing plans and strategies for business growth and for incorporation in business plans. Send an online message to OGS Capital by submitting your name and other contact information, using the contact form provided. Let the marketing professionals know you are ready to develop a quality marketing plan for a service business.
Illustrative business plan samples
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