What's the Difference Between a Business Plan and a Marketing Action Plan?

Back during my short span as a business loan broker, reading financial statements and business plans was a daily affair. But for most business owners, a question that constantly came up was, what's the difference between a business plan and a marketing action plan?

If you've wondered the same thing here's a short answer …

Besides actual content, the primary difference that sets the two documents apart is the purpose of the document.

A business plan is what you create when you want to wow investors and bankers to give you money. A marketing action plan is what you create when you want to wow customers and clients into giving you money.

A good marketing action plan contains specific day-by-day marketing activities. This eliminates the guesswork of what to do today to bring in more clients, sell more to existing clients, and reactivate clients that may have drifted away.

The best marketing action plans contain everything needed to implement the plan. Perhaps there are ready-made ads, sales letters, email campaigns, and so on. All you do is deliver the components to your ad agent, web designer, or fulfillment company or staff. Everything is done for you and already in place to roll out. You just need to get the ball rolling by putting the pieces in play.

If you are looking to create a marketing action plan to increase sales and referrals, the 12 step business growth plan is a free white paper that outlines the steps in detail. The plan shows how any established company can make the maximum money in the shortest time possible.

A business plan lacks this level of day-by-day marketing detail. Instead, common components of a business plan are:

* Executive Summary
* Market Analysis
* Company Description
* Organization & Management
* Marketing & Sales Management
* Service or Product Line
* Funding Request
* Financials
* Appendix

A company might also use a business plan to map out company goals and mission statements for internal use. Aside from these uses, a business plan is pretty much useless. The majority are fluff. And they fail to be action-oriented from a marketing perspective.

You are On seeking the if to get investors are or to creditors , to give you money, visit the SBA's site at Http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/plan/writeabusinessplan/index.html

There are tons of sample business plans just sitting and waiting for you to emulate over there.

But do not expect to use the SBA's business plan templates to attract new sales or clients. You'll need a strategic marketing action plan for that.