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Marketing Planning Checklist

Before you launch a marketing campaign, answer the following questions about your business and your product or service.

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Marketing Planning Checklist

Use this checklist to ensure effortless implementation on a well thought out marketing strategy.

Instructions:

Make sure you have covered all your bases by getting good answers with quality data for each of the following questions.

Haveyou analysed the market for your product or service? Do you know whichfeatures of your product or service will appeal to different market segments?
In forming your marketing message, have you described how your product or service will benefit your clients?
Have you prepared a pricing schedule? What kinds of discounts do you offer, and to whom do you offer them?
Have you prepared a sales forecast?
What type of media will you use in your marketing campaign?
Have you planned any sales promotions?
Have you planned a publicity campaign?
Do your marketing materials mention any optional accessories or added services that consumers might want to purchase?
If you offer a product, have you prepared clear operating and assembly instructions? What kind of warranty do you provide? What type of customer service or support do you offer after the sale?
Do you have product liability insurance?
Is your style of packaging likely to appeal to your target market?
If your product is one you can patent, have you done so?
How will you distribute your product?
Have you prepared job descriptions for all of the employees needed to carry out your marketing plans?

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Worksheets

Start-Up Costs Worksheet

The following two worksheets will help you to compute the initial cash requirements for your business.

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20-feature-image-start-up-costs-worksheet

Start-Up Costs Worksheet:

Instructions

  • These two worksheets list the things you need to consider whendetermining your start-up costs.
  • The first worksheets includes the one-time initialcosts needed to open your doors.
  • The second worksheet covers ongoing costs you’ll face eachmonth.

Capital Requirements: One-Off Start-Up Expenses

Start-up Expenses Amount Description
Advertising Promotion for opening the business
Starting inventory Amount of inventory required to open
Building construction Amount per contractor quote and other
Cash Amount needed for the cash register
Decorating Estimate based on quote if appropriate
Deposits Check with utility companies
Fixtures and equipment Use actual quotes
Insurance Quote from insurance agent
Lease payments Fee to be paid before opening
Licenses and permits Check with city or municipal offices
Miscellaneous All other
Professional fees Include CPA, attorney, etc.
Remodeling Use contractor quotes
Rent Fee to be paid before opening
Services Cleaning, accounting, etc.
Signs Use contractor quotes
Supplies Office, cleaning, etc. supplies
Unanticipated expenses Include an amount for the unexpected
Other
Other
Other
Total Start-up Costs Amount of costs before opening

Capital Requirements: Ongoing Monthly Expenses

Start-Up Expenses Amount Description
Advertising
Bank service fees
Credit card charges
Delivery fees
Dues and subscriptions
Health insurance Exclude amount on preceding page
Insurance Exclude amount on preceding page
Interest
Inventory**
Lease payments Exclude amount on preceding page
Loan payments Principal and interest payments
Office expenses Payroll other than owner
Payroll taxes
Professional fees
Rent Exclude amount on preceding page
Repairs and maintenance
Sales tax
Supplies
Telephone
Utilities
Your Salary If applicable for first three months
Other
Total Ongoing Costs
Total Start-up Costs Amount from preceding table
Total Cash Needed

*Include the first three months’ cash needs unless otherwise noted.
**Include amount required for inventory expansion.

If inventory is to be replaced from cash sales, do not include here. Assume sales will generate enough cash for replacements.

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Worksheets

Conduct a Personal Evaluation

Thinking of starting a business, but not sure which path to follow. Take a few minutes to do a personal evaluation of your goals and resources.

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ConductPersonalEvaluation

Take a few minutes to do a personal inventory of your goals and resources. Think about what it is that really lights your fire. Passion is a driving force in our lives, and that’s never as true as in business ownership. If you have a passion for your work, it’ll carry you far.

If you need help assembling this personal evaluation information, sit down with a trusted friend, an advisor, your spouse or someone you know with business experience, and outline your resources, strengths and weaknesses, as well as your financial resources. Talk through the concept and listen carefully. You need a reality check here. Don’t necessarily accept what you hear, but take it into account.

  1. What type of business activities play to your strengths?
  2. Can your advisor see you pursuing a certain type of business?
  3. Would you be better suited for a business-to-business sales situation or a retail setup?
  4. Are you good with people, a good public speaker?
  5. Are you detail-oriented?
  6. Can you afford to run a business?
  7. Can you afford to fail?
  8. What’s your level of risk tolerance?

This information will be very helpful when you start to narrow your business search. By maintaining a clear focus on your fundamental interests, you won’t be pulled off-track by the distractions you encounter during your quest.

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Worksheets

Competitor Analysis Worksheet

This worksheet will help you define your competitors, pin-point their present position and outline their strengths and weaknesses.

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Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis Worksheet

Competitors are companies that make products or perform servicessimilar to yours (e.g. you deliver complete dinners, and so do they),make products or perform services that can be substituted for yours(e.g. delivery of pizza or Chinese food), and make products or performservices that are analogous to yours (e.g. ready-made deli take-awaysfrom supermarkets).

Instructions:

  • Fill in the following table aboutyour competitors.
  • You may need to create additional tables to haveenough room for all your major competitors.
Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C
Where is your competitor located?
What are your competitor’s annual sales?
Who are the major managers and members of the board?
Is the company owned or in partnership with any other corporations?
What are the competitor’s strengths?
What are their weaknesses?
What is the company’s product line?
How do the products compare to yours, in terms of functionality, appearance and any other criteria?
What is their price structure?
What are the company’s marketing activities?
What are the company’s supply sources for products?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of their sales literature?
Is the company expanding or cutting back?

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