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THE
ESSENTIAL
MARKETING
PLAN

8 STEPS TO BUSINESS SUCCESS FROM


THE MILLIONAIRES MENTOR

turn ideas into


action and make
decisions that
count

www.BevJames.com

Bev James

Do It Marketing Plan:Layout 1 26/06/2013 17:20 Page 2

THE
ESSENTIAL
MARKETING
PLAN

www.BevJames.com

First published in 2011 by Bev James


Copyright Bev James, 2011
The author has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
This ebook is supplied subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's
consent, and that the content shall not be reused, copied or otherwise reproduced without the permission of the publisher.

www. BevJames.com
Gable House, 18 - 24 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, London, W4 1QP
Produced as a free download for use with
Do It! Or Ditch It by Bev James

Virgin Books, 2011


ISBN: 978-0753539996

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Contents
1. Marketing Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
1.
Executive summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
2 Situation Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
2.1
External situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
2.2
Competitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
2.2.1 Who are they? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
2.2.2 How do you compare? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
2.3
Customer analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
2.3.1 Target market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
2.3.2 Market communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
2.3.3 Market change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
2.4
SWOT analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
2.5
Personal SWOT analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
3 Marketing Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
3.1
Short-term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
3.2
Long-term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
4 Marketing Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
4.1
Market segments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
4.2
Target strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
4.3
Product life cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
5 Marketing Programmes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
5.1
Marketing mix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
5.1.1 Product . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
5.1.2 Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
5.1.3 Price . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
5.1.4 Promotion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
5.2
Loyalty programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
5.3
Customer service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
5.4
Market research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
6. Implementaion Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
6.1
Action plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
7. Performance Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
7.1
Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
7.2
Customer profiling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
8. Financial Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
8.1
Profit and loss statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
8.2
Break-even calculator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
9. Contingency Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
10. Appendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
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Marketing Plan
Writing a marketing plan is a thoughtful process. Do not rush this stage of your business
because having an accurate and well-researched plan will put you ahead of many other
businesses. It shows you have a clear understanding of your product and how large market
demand is. Also, because it is a working document and not set in stone, things can change as
you progress with your business. So remember to adjust as necessary.

1. Executive Summary
This is your plan in a nutshell. It should give an overview of your goals and how you will
achieve them. The summary is written last so you can refer to your notes. Ideally, limit
your summary to just a few paragraphs.
Focus on: Who (is your company and target audience), What (is the product or service
offered), Where (is your market located), When (will your plan be implemented) and
How Much (how many sales, how much profit and expected return on investment).

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2. Situation Analysis
2.1 External Situation
Your business will operate under constraints entirely outside your control, so having an
understanding of them and how they could impact your business is critical.
Perhaps the Government plans to amend manufacturing emission levels which would
increase your factorys operating costs, or the Council is about to create a traffic diversion
which would increase foot traffic past your store-front.
You might not be able to influence the changes but being prepared for them means you
can adjust your business to maximise or minimise their impact.

Market Characteristics
Market size. Growth rates. Market potential. History of market. Level of competition.
Trends in supply and demand.

Trends
Major industry trends. Drivers of change. Changes in use of product. New product
categories. Seasonal demand. Special occasions and worldwide events.

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Political and Legal


Environmental regulations. Taxation. International trade. Consumer protection.
Employment law. Competition regulation. Government spending. Stability of Government.
Political climate.

Economic
Economic growth. Government spending. Exchange rates. Inflation. Consumer confidence.

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Social
Demographics. Aging population. Lifestyle changes. Attitudes to work and leisure.
Education levels. Consumer trends. Living conditions. Changes in disposable spending.
Degree of rural migration and development in rural areas.

Technology
Government spending. New discoveries and technologies. Rates of technology. Ecommerce. Energy use and costs.

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2.2 Competitors
To understand your potential market share, you need to know your competition. There will always
be demand for your customers dollar, so knowing who you will compete against is crucial.

2.2.1 Who are they?


Locate them through online business directories, visit trade shows, walk around the
neighbourhood where you will open your business, review business and industry websites.
Consider their goals, their beliefs, their current strategy, how adaptable they are and what
moves they might make in the future. Also, how are they going to react when you enter the
market?
Once you know what they offer, you can identify your point of difference and ultimately use
the information to provide a unique point of difference.
Consider their goals:
Can you find out their financial goals?
What are their attitudes towards risk?
What are their economic or noneconomic organisational values and beliefs?
What is their organisational structure?
Do they have incentive systems in place?
Are there any regulatory, antitrust or social constraints on the firm?
.

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Consider their beliefs:


Do they have strong historical or emotional identification?
Are there cultural, regional or national differences affecting how they assign significance
to events?
What do they appear to believe about future industry trends?

Consider their current strategy:


Which customers are they targeting?
What are they trying to deliver to their target market?
What price are they asking for?

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Consider how adaptable they are:


What are their core capabilities?
How quickly could they grow or adapt to trends?
What is their staying power?

Consider their future:


Are they happy with their current position?
What could be a probable move for them, and are they serious about it?

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Consider their defences:


Are they in a vulnerable position?
How effectively could they react to threats?

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2.2.2 How do you compare?

2011 Bev James - Do It! or Ditch It

Competitor 8

Competitor 7

Related Products

Competitor 6

Competitor 5

Potential entrants

Competitor 4

Competitor 3

Indirect Competitors

Competitor 2

Competitor 1

Direct Competitors

Website

Product or service
description

Product Price

Marketing
Strengths

Marketing
Weaknesses

Threat level
(High, Low, Medium)

As an overview, choose your top competitors and analyse yourself against them. Then look
at new entrants and companies making similar products who might be looking to expand.

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Drilling down even further

2011 Bev James - Do It! or Ditch It

Financial resources

Strength of distribution

Strength of management

History of innovations

Past, present and future


strategies

Brand loyalty

weaknesses

Strengths and

Size in terms of market


share, sales, customer
base

Product offering

Competitor One

Competitor Two

Competitor Three

Then find your top three competitors and analyse the data further. The more information
you have at this stage of your planning, the greater chance you can enter the market at a
desirable level.

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2.3 Customer Analysis


So who is your target market and what do you know about them? Obviously the more information
you have the better prepared you are to meet their needs.

2.3.1 Target market


Who are they?
Age / Gender / Social status /
Occupation / Religion / Ethnic group /
Income / Social class

How do they buy?


Motivation / How often / Types of buying
/ Who makes the decision to buy

What do they believe?


Lifestyle / Attitudes and beliefs /
Perceptions / Personality / Are they
eager for new products or resistant?

How do they connect to products?


Brand loyalty / customer satisfaction /
How do they chose between competing
products / Familiarity with brand

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2.3.2 Market communication


So now you know who they are, how will you connect with your customers?
Will it be face-to-face or by post, telephone or internet? Describe how close you want to
become with your customers, how often you will communicate with them. Remember their
feedback is vital so how often will you ask for it?

2.3.3 Market change


How secure is your target market? Are they likely to change, grow or adopt new
behaviours?
Identify predicted changes in their needs and buying behaviour. How would that impact
you?

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2.4 SWOT Analysis


A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) can be done very quickly as a way of
assessing whether to Do or Ditch an idea immediately; or it can be done with a great deal more
thought and preparation as an essential step in your business and personal planning process.

Strengths
List what you feel your business is good at, and
what you feel makes it better than your
competitors.
What resources does your business have?
Do you have a strong brand or reputation?
Do you have a particular expertise?
What want/need does your business
offer/solve?
What key personnel are in your business?
Who are the top performers within your
business?
Do you have strong systems/procedures (leadgeneration, sales, follow-up strategies)?

Weaknesses
List the challenge areas you may have within the
business.
What limits your business growth (finance, skills,
machinery, personnel)?
Is your perceived reputation solid?
Is your brand strong enough?
Is there a perception that your business/ product
gives value/ reliability?
Do competitors have the edge?
Do you lack expertise in any area?
Are your team self-motivated?
Do your team care about the business/clients?
Is there a negative culture within the workforce?
Is the location of your business good?

Opportunities
List the things you can do to improve upon your
challenge areas within the business.
Are there untapped networking opportunities?
Are there developing markets that you are
aware of (internet, overseas)?
Are there any new products or services about to
launch?
Are there any mergers, joint ventures or
strategic alliances that would strengthen the
position of your business?
Are there any changes in legislation that could
be advantageous?

Threats
Itemise anything that may restrict your business
growth, development, or success, if not
addressed.
Do you rely on certain individuals too much?
Do one or more team member/s hold valuable
information in their head?
Might key team members join the competition?
Is your database secure?
Are there any forthcoming changes in legislation
that may affect your business?
Is your business under threat from competitors?
Do you foresee any financial/cash flow difficulties?
Do you rely on one or a limited number of
customers?
What obstacles does your business currently face?

Please turn over to complete a SWOT for your own business.

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SWOT Analysis Template


Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

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2.5 Personal SWOT Analysis


The Personal SWOT analysis is designed to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in relation
to your ambitions and potential. Ask yourself:

Strengths
In this box, list what you feel you are good at and the
skills you would like to strengthen. Dont be modest
or shy about this part.
What experience (or qualifications) do you have?
What skills do you possess?
What do you think you do better than anyone else?
What influential contacts do you have?
What achievement are you most proud of?
What are the strong points about your
character/personality?

Weaknesses
In this box, list your weak spots and areas that are a
challenge. These are the areas you would like to
address and overcome. Dont worry you dont have
to show them to anyone else.
What do you avoid doing?
What limits you?
What fears do you have (conflict, failure)?
What skills do you lack?
What knowledge do you lack?
What personality traits hold you back?
What vulnerabilities do you have (health, finance,
relationship)?
What negative traits do you have (easily stressed,
quick to anger)?
What might those around you see as a weakness?

Opportunities
In this box you will need to list the things you can do to
improve your skills further and overcome your
challenge areas to develop yourself for the future.
Are there any courses you can attend?
Are there any self-development programmes?
Do you know someone who can be a mentor?
Is there a coach who could help you develop?
Do any of your current strengths open any
doors/make you even more useful?

Threats
In this box you will need to itemise anything that may
restrict your development if unaddressed.
What obstacles might limit your personal
progress/development?
Could any of your weaknesses lead to threats if not
addressed?
What lack of skill or ability holds you back?
What self-limiting belief holds you back?

Please turn over to complete a SWOT for your personal analysis.

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Personal SWOT Analysis Template


Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

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3. Marketing Objectives
3.1 Short-term
What are you plans for the following year? Make sure you goals are measurable and
specific so you know when you have achieved them.

New clients (example)

Current position

Growth / Time period

Four clients.

Secure 200 new clients in 6 months

Brand awareness
Customer loyalty
Customer satisfaction
Sales targets
Marketing costs

3.2 Long-term
Describe how you want your business to look in the long term. Establish specific goals
which you plan to achieve in three and five years.

Competitor clients

Current position

Growth / Time period

Secure 20% of competitors


clients in 4 years

Brand awareness
Customer loyalty
Customer satisfaction
Sales targets
Marketing costs
Distribution partnerships
Sponsorship opportunities

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4 Marketing Strategy
So you know who your target market is and where you want to be in five years... now how do you
get there? The marketing strategy is the how-to part of this plan.

4.1 Market segments


Identify how you will segment the market. Will you go nationwide with your product or
service, or limit it to a local offering? While its tempting to say Lets sell it to everyone!,
in reality some people will use your product or service more often than others. So why
waste money on infrequent users: Stick to the 80/20 rule. Spend 80 percent of your time
targeting the top 20 percent of your customers.
How will you segment the market?
Geographical area / city / county / preference for social events / sports interests / media
usage / political views / leisure activities / level of product consumption

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4.2 Target strategy


Now you know who they are and why youd like to target them... the next issue is how you
will get your message to them.
Mass marketing: go after the whole sector in one big swoop.
Differentiated marketing: tailor your offer to a smaller market.
Target marketing: pick a niche or sub-section market and offer a tailored product.

4.3 Product life cycle


When you have chosen the method of contacting your target market, youll need to decide
what you will tell them. Where your product is in its life cycle is crucial to how you tailor
your advertising. If you product is new, you will need to explain its benefits.
Pioneering stage: Aim to educate about your product and change habits.
Competitive stage: Aim to establish your superiority over other competitors.
Retention stage: Aim to reinforce your products qualities.

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5 Marketing Programmes
5.1 Marketing Mix
Getting the marketing mix right is critical. The mix is about getting the product or service
right, offering it to the right people and having it meet their needs. If you get the mix right,
you have a successful and desirable business.

5.1.1 Product
This is about what you product looks like, and what it does:
What does the customer want
from the product?

What need does it satisfy?

What features does it have to


meet those needs?

What does it look like?

How will customers experience


it?

What size / colour etc will it be?

What will it be called?

How will it be branded?

How is it different from your


competitors?

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5.1.2 Place
Where will people find your product?
Where will customers look for
your product? Boutique shop /
high street / supermarket /
online / catalogue
What distribution channels will
you use?

Do you need salespeople /


to attend trade fairs / to send
samples?
What are you doing different
from your competitors?

5.1.3 Price
How much will it cost and how much are people prepared to pay?
What is the value to the
customer?

Are there standard prices


available at the moment?
How price sensitive are your
customers? Will a small
change send them elsewhere?
How does your price compare
to your competitors?

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5.1.4 Promotion
What will you do so people know about your product?
How can you reach your target
audience? Press / TV / radio /
billboards / mailings / online etc.
When is the best time to
promote? Morning / winter /
weekends etc.
How do your competitors market
their products?

Will you use emotional (appeal to


love, humour, fear), factual
(facts, evidence), Imaginative
(art, imagery) or comparative
(comparison to competitor)
messages in your advertising?
What reach and exposure do you
want to achieve in promotion?

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List Each Marketing/


Promotional Item
Below

Create a 12-month plan for your marketing/promotions (ie Print/Radio/Events/Online/Social


Media/Email Marketing/PR/Joint Ventures/Exhibitions/Direct Mail etc):
Describe outcomes ie. The number of website clicks, name of event, location of billboards,
frequency on radio station, social media feedback.

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5.2 Loyalty programme


Offering a loyalty programme can entice your customers to stay loyal to your brand and
product. Research the options and find one that suits their needs.
Programme

Description

Reward programme

Reward repeat purchases in the


form of gift certificates / points which
are redeemable for other products

Appreciation programme

Reward loyal customers with perks


or treats i.e. random spot prizes

Partnership programme

Collaborate with another company


to offer increased discounts to your
customers

Rebate programme

Provide a discount or reward once


customer reaches a certain level of
purchase

Affinity programme

Align yourself with a local cause,


event or charitable organisation

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Yes / No / Not Suitable

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5.3 Customer service


How will you offer spectacular customer service? Remember the customer is king!
Opening hours

Response time for complaints

Staff performance levels

Type of customer service offered


face-to-face, online etc

Time required to fix products

Customer service training for


staff

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5.4 Market research


How will you identify your customers needs? Explain how the information will be obtained,
stored and updated.

6 Implementation Plan
Before you launch your venture, do you have all the information you need?
Technical requirements

Does the product need to change?


Do you have the resources to make the product?
Create a plan for testing of product

Outsourcing
requirements

Will you need external help? If so, what?

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Product pricing

Do the figures stack up? Detail the new product:

Sales material

List all the sales material that need updating


List all the database that need updating

Staffing

Who will look after the marketing?


Who will be in charge of the branding and corporate look?
Who will measure the success of the advertising?

Advertising

What will be done in-house and what will be out-sourced?


Establish schedule for advertising

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Loyalty Programme

Who is in charge of monitoring the database?


What else needs to be done to make it successful?
What will you give away?

Sales force

Will you need one? If so, how many people and where?

Market research

How often will market research occur?


What type of research will occur? I.e. Surveys, sales reports etc.

Distributors

Have you confirmed your distributors?


Are they clear on your brand and product?

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6.1 Action plan


Key results area

Annual key
performance indicators

Major actions

Cost

Responsibility

Timeframe

Product Design
& Development
a.
b.
c.

Sales & Marketing


a.
b.
c.

Distributors
a.
b.
c.

Staffing
a.
b.
c.

Additional
a.
b.
c.

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7 Performance evaluation
7.1 Advertising
Campaign:
Sales figures

Percentage of growth compared before / after campaign: %


This percentage: did not meet / met / exceeded financial expectations
Increased sales are from: new customers / old customers buying
more / both
Other reasons for increased revenue excluding advertising, i.e.
economic growth:

Marketing Goals

Did you achieve the goals you set for the advertising campaign?

Advertisements

What did they convey to customers? Did they fulfil their purpose?

Media:

Creative Process

Number of enquiries:

Number of sales:

Where the materials delivered on time and/or budget? Yes / No


Ideas for improvements:

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7.2 Customer Profiling


Now that your product is selling, do you know which customers are your best buyers?
Customer profiling can direct your funds so you get most bang for buck.
Information to store

Demographics / where they are located / what did they buy /


frequency of purchase / response to ad campaigns

Customer feedback

Focus groups / secret shoppers / phone surveys / feedback at


point of purchase

2011 Bev James - Do It! or Ditch It

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8 Financial Information
8.1 Profit and loss statement
Pessimistic
Sales revenue
Cash sales
Credit sales
Other revenue
(A) Total revenue
LESS Direct cost of sales
Stock/Raw materials
Direct wages
Commissions paid
Other direct costs
(B) Total direct cost of sales
(C) GROSS PROFIT (A-B)
LESS Overhead expenses
Selling expenses
Promotions
Freight
Royalties
Commissions
Other selling expenses
(D) Total selling expenses
Administration expenses
Depreciation
Insurance
Lease costs
Power
Rent / Rates
Repairs and maintenance
Salaries
Stationery
Sundries
Telephone
Travel
Vehicle expenses
Other admin expenses
(E) Total admin expenses
Financial expenses
Bank charges
Interest
(F) Total financial charges
(G) Total expenses (D+E+F)
NET PROFIT before Tax (C-G)
Less Tax

% of sales

Realistic

% of sales

Optimistic

% of sales

NET PROFIT AFTER TAX

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8.2 Break-even calculator


Use the information from your profit and loss forecast template.
A. Sales last year
B. Gross profit last year
C. Gross profit percentage
D. Total fixed expenses
E. Desired profit
F. Required sales level
G. Required sales level units per year
(divide by 52 for weekly)

D+E divided by C%
Units

F divided by average
unit price

9 Contingency plans
The contingency plan often gets overlooked. But if things do not work out as you expected
(whether its a natural disaster or financial crisis), having a plan is critical in getting you
back on your feet and trying again.
Make sure you list the symptoms of failure which could occur and how you would
compensate for them.
Symptom of failure:
Events that significantly lower sales
volumes or increase required spend.

2011 Bev James - Do It! or Ditch It

Alternative strategy:
What resources do you have available
to mitigate failure?

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10 Appendices
Include any additional information:
Product brochures / market research data / surveys / past advertising campaigns / product
photographs / media coverage / break-even analysis / cash flow statements / balance
sheets

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NOTES

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35

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NOTES

2011 Bev James - Do It! or Ditch It

36

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