These two interactive plans epitomize your consultancy. While both plans portray your vision and outline your path to success, these two critical plans have different purposes.
In the marketing plan, the consultant articulates the company vision and establishes a marketing path to accomplish that vision. The business plan lays out the financial and operational structure that accomplishes the consultant’s mission statement. Most investors will expect an accurate and updated consulting business plan. Consultants should maintain accurate plans that depict short and long term projections and profitability overviews.
The marketing plan sets the company vision and articulates the consultant’s mission. Like the business plan, the marketing plan should include short and long term goals. The marketing plan focuses on the strategy that will result in the achievement of the vision. As the consulting practice emerges, the path may require adjustment, but the long-term vision should not deviate. That vision is the passion that drives the consulting practice and is at the core of the consulting firm’s culture.
Developing your Marketing Plan
Determining and identifying your consultancy’s USP and vision will take time. The plan should be impressive, well thought out and must reflect your passion for your consulting practice. Remember that as your practice expands, new employees will be reading and most likely scrutinizing your marketing plan. Deliver your vision articulately and concisely. Make sure you have created a consultancy culture and environment that would appeal to you if you were applying for a consulting job.
Begin structuring your marketing plan by defining your impassioned vision. From that end zone, look back and envision the field you must cross to reach the goal line. This exercise will help the consultancy anticipate some, but not all, of the obstacles that will come into play. Build the plan backwards from the goal line to your own one yard line.
Six Tips to Help Develop Your Marketing Game Plan
- Determine and state the types of servics you will provide
- Explain the need for these services
- Analyze the competitive structure of your market
- Explain why you are the preferred competitor and why your service is unique to the marketplace
- Explain the benefits the client will receive from your consultancy
- Identify the profiles of clients that will benefit from your consulting practice.
After you develop your marketing plan and have foreseen some of the obstacles on the playing field, you should also identify certain first down markers along way. Your short term goal is to make first downs. Your long term goal is to build upon that record of first downs and cross the goal line. You may miss a few first downs but you may also make some long gains en route to the goal line. Be prepared to adjust your strategy, but never lose sight of the end zone.