What a Sample Sales and Marketing Plan includes
The plans are used not simply for predicting profits, but also to compare to the real figures when they come out. When plans are off by a high percentage, managers know that someone over or underestimated.
There are several reasons that your predictions need to be accurate. The first is to provide information for your shareholders or investors. You are basically telling them how much of a return on their investment they can expect to make each quarter.
Another reason has to do with creditors. Many creditors require that plans be submitted in order to keep your line of credit open and flowing.
But, what if you have a small business with no creditors and no investors? The purpose of these plans is to help you focus.
While creditors and stockholders are only concerned about the bottom line, a small business owner can include more information concerning where the business is expected to go, how profits are expected to grow and the steps that will be taken to ensure that happens.
The typical sample sales plan will include one row at the top of the page for total sales. Five columns will be included; one for each quarter and one for the year end total.
The number of rows beneath the total row will vary depending on your business. The categories will vary as well. For example, a small business selling 10 items would have 20 rows, two for each item. The top row would include the dollars sold. The second would include the units sold.
A sample sales plan for a large company selling hundreds of different items might include categories rather than individual products. For example, a department store might have a row for health and beauty aids, another for clothing or jewelry and so on.
Some plans include the percentage of the market share for each product at the bottom of the form. This helps managers identify where most of their business comes from. It may be necessary to cut out certain products or departments if they are not making a significant contribution to the total company income.
You can make your sample sales and marketing plan as simple or as complex as you would like. The primary purpose of writing the plans is to get an idea of how you are doing, before it’s too late.