What's the difference between a business plan and a marketing plan? Tim Berry discusses how they fit together.
Beth Haselhorst: When starting a business we hear about marketing plans business plans. Are they one in the same? Does one contain the other? To answer these questions for us, there’s a man known as the business plans coach, Tim Berry. He’s not only a successful business author, but also founder of Palo Alto Software which produces the nation’s leading business planning Software. Tim has given seminars on business planning for entrepreneurs in 15 countries on four continents. And he’s here with us today. Welcome to SBTV.com Tim. Tim Berry: Thank you, Beth. Beth Haselhorst: Is the marketing plan a separate plan entirely from the business plan? Tim Berry: Well, sometimes it can be. There can be some people who don’t need or want the whole business plan just the marketing plan, but what’s important here is you never really want to think there could be a business plan. It doesn’t have a marketing plan at it’s core really the heart of a business plan, the core is an interaction between the market, what people want. You’re identity who you are as a company, how you’re different and the focus where you figure out how to bring those two things together and what you’re going to do. So that in a way some people could call a marketing and it’s really the core of every business plan. I just can’t imagine a business plan that doesn’t have a marketing plan built in. And then you go from there in the business plan to find, how am I going to then take that step by step and make that into a successful business? Beth Haselhorst: Are there common components to a marketing plan? Tim Berry: Yes, definitely. A marketing plan really—the order it doesn’t matter exactly, but I hate to think of a marketing plan that doesn’t start with understanding what the customers whether that’s a company of people or whatever, but what they really want. You know for example, my company sells business planning software well, our customers don’t want the business planning software where they want business planning, and we have to remember that Ted Levin, Harvard Marketing guru once said, “Something and on this qoute, but it was along the lines of people don’t buy quarter inch drills because they want the drills. They buy quarter inch drills because they want quarter inch holes.” That starts the marketing plan it starts there. And then from there you want to go into—I like to think if it’s hooks or levers that we could built to focus in on key elements of how are we going to be different and then what the message is and I could go on, but let’s leave it like that for now. Beth Haselhorst: Okay, it sounds to me like when you start putting together a marketing plan you’re going to discover things you haven’t thought about. Tim Berry: Absolutely, and that’s why I go back to this and my hands, but market identity and focus because there is the interactivity ultimately you need to focus on that certain subset, so then you can talk about message and where do I find them which we call media. Note, there’s a lot of MBA buzz worths that end up being this real core common sense of how are we different? Who wants what we’re selling? And how do we tell them that we’re here? Beth Haselhorst: It’s a great advice. Thanks a lot Tim for being here today. Be sure to visit www.TimBerry.com to learn more about Tim’s books, his work and his blog. And you can find more segments with Tim Berry in the small business growth series here on SBTV.com where small business is our only business.