Nevertheless, templates still make planning easier, as well as, save a lot of money. They are less expensive alternatives to actually hiring professionals to make planning business work. An individual can choose from the many types of available business plan templates. Aside from appealing designs, the suitability of the plan template to his business must also be taken into consideration. In other words, if his business is about crafts, then, a business template for baking will clearly not work. Similarly, if the operating system of his computer is Windows, he should select a template that is compatible with Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. Then, standard business plan templates typically have parts that need filling up. They are mostly about ratios of operation, marketing and strategy plans, cash flow statements, and balance sheets. In addition, executive summaries are extremely vital. And these may seem really difficult for individuals who have never transacted any business in the past. Fortunately, business plan templates will efficiently guide these individuals through each document.
The first section of the marketing plan is the SITUATION ANALYSIS. In this section you look at your challenges, your competition, and how you are unique in the marketplace. The situation analysis lays the foundation for your goals, strategies and tactics. This is accomplished through a thorough analysis of your self and your specific situation or market. In this section you create your Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.). The second section of the plan defines your TARGET AUDIENCE. Here is where you uncover who has a NEED for your product or service. This involves profiling you existing customers and finding common attributes. The purpose of the exercise is to ultimately create an "ideal customer profile". In the Target Audience section of the document you decide which customers you are going to approach with your marketing efforts.