The Marketing Plan: The Entrepreneur or Team

A strong individual or team at the helm is essential to the success of any business.  Every Business Plan should set out the skills, experience and resources of the management.  These assets form part of the premise that the business will succeed.  Often, when investors or lenders are involved, the pedigree of the key players can float or sink the enterprise before it gets beyond the planning stage.

The qualifications of management will demonstrate how prepared they are to address the business vocation and the marketplace.  A management team consisting of a successful serial entrepreneur, a talented, celebrated chef and a restaurant operator with a successful track record will be a surer bet in a bistro start-up than a retired school teacher who loves to cook.  Honestly defining the qualifications of management on paper is a good way to validate the entire business plan.

The description of the entrepreneur or management team will demonstrate the depth of their skills and experience and how their talents will play in the marketplace.  Are they more qualified and experienced than the competition?  Do they have expertise in a product or service which is under-served in the market? Will their charisma draw customers and talented new employees to the business? Will their talents make the start-up more of a sure thing?  Do they have exceptional skills and financial resources to ensure success?

In a service business, accounting, law, architecture, HVAC service, landscaping, a web development shop or an advertising agency, projecting the Team as part of the product is smart marketing.  Generally, people like doing business with a “team” that brings a range of skills to the client’s project.  There is a sense of a richer product and greater value-for-money.  Just make sure the “team” really does add value and is not just a group of pretty faces surrounding the one person who does the actual work.  Make the skill sets part of the firm’s story, along with a corporate personality.  If you’re a web development shop, a little nerdy could be the theme.  A home renovation crew could be guys and girls with a no-nonsense look who know their way around sharp tools.  This team conveys confidence and a “get-‘er-done” approach.  In real life and marketing, perceptions are important.  Just make sure you deliver exactly what the image implies.

If your business is you, then you’ve got to sell you.  You are your product, your image and your message.  Think hard about how you come across and how people perceive you.  In the interest of truth in advertising, be yourself.  Remember that trust is a key element to one-on-one business encounters.  Sell your competence, reliability and trustworthiness.  Always, make sure that the product lives up to its advertising.

Dave Hands


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