Marketing Plan Outline - Budgeting
Our marketing plan outline now moves on to 7. Budgets. It’s all about the money! You need to know your figures!
But don’t panic. If you have never produced budgets before there are a number of free template sources available. You need look no further than Microsoft. Click here to view their vast array of budget sheet options.
To give you a good head start. These free templates take all the initial hard work of setting up the columns and headings that you can tailor-make to suit your own business. Then it’s just a question of inserting the appropriate figures.
Generally speaking you will find most budgets produced will have a summary sheet behind which is the more detailed breakdown. Budgets are a critical part of your business plan and even with all the best intentions, detailed descriptions of your business, your USPs, your sales and marketing plan outline looking like you have a business that the world (would they know it) have been waiting for, if your figures don’t add up then the whole project collapses like the proverbial pack of cards.
I’ve lost count of how many people who I’ve asked in the past how their business is doing, reply “Well, my turnover is x thousands of dollars.” I then remind them of the adage “Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity”. So, when you are producing your budget figures don’t fall into the trap of thinking that high turnover leads to profit. It frequently doesn’t!
Ultimately be honest with yourself. Don’t exaggerate to make the business look artificially good, the truth will quickly find you out.
As a very rough guideline set your budget out so that anticipated income sources top the budget sheets and sub-total these, then follow with a section specifically related to your ‘direct’ product/service costs – purchase prices, distribution etc. Then show your more general ‘indirect’ costs – wages, premises etc. Add the direct and ‘indirect’ to produce a sub-total. Then have the profit (or loss) shown as a result of taking the sub-total costs away from the sub-total income.
Depending on the nature of your business you will then have to allow for applicable taxes.
Once you have produced a draft set of budget figures then you will best be able to see the viability of your business. At this stage your marketing plan outline and overall business plan tell a tale. If the figures stack up then all well and good but if they don’t well it’s either back to the drawing board or you need to analyse your figures. Ask yourself pertinent questions. “Can I reduce any of my overheads? Do I need all those members of staff? Can I buy my goods at a better price elsewhere? Do I really need those big, expensive premises to begin with? So on and so forth. Until the figures make for viable reading. Again, don’t panic! No one will expect you to make ‘loads of money’ in your first month of operation. It takes some businesses years to break into profit – so long as when they do it’s been worth all the hard work and heartache to get there.
Recommended further reading:
Budgeting for Better Performance Super Series - Fourth Edition (ILM Super Series) [Paperback]Institute of Leadership & Mana
The First Steps In Your Market Planning Strategy
Definitions Of Marketing
Preparing Your Small Business Marketing Plan
Small Business Marketing Plans Stage 2
Small Business Marketing Strategy
Direct Business Marketing Plan
Sample Marketing Plan – SWOT Analysis
Marketing Plan Example For Price And Brand Positioning
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