Marketing research in the development of business plans for commercial enterprises
This article was written back in 2004. Many years have passed and, after reading the article, I realized that little had changed … It is still relevant and published with minor changes and additions.
Entrepreneurs need success. Few people like to lose, and rightly so. But the success of a business requires not only the commitment of the manager, but also constant actions aimed at the development of the company. And development, as a rule, requires financial investments, which, given a favorable situation, can be borrowed from financial institutions. However, with the introduction of sanctions against Russia, it becomes more and more difficult.
One of the components of obtaining financial investments in your business is a well-composed business plan, which includes such a section as a marketing plan. The main objective of this section is clearly, in the language of facts and figures, to show the “success” of both existing and predictable business, as well as the level of professional training of your company’s employees. To show them so that when they read this document, the credit inspector or his boss has them … “a tear has come”…. Primarily from the projected growth in sales and net profit.
This article touches upon some of the features and problems that investment project developers may face when conducting marketing research for a specific investment project.
Trade enterprises as an object of study
Before turning to the “features” of marketing research, I want to focus on the research itself.
What information should we state in the business plan?
What interests the investor first of all?
The answer is simple – it is the possibility of return on investment, the attendant risks and competitiveness of your enterprise in the market, both at the given moment of time and in dynamics: yesterday, today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow (as the project progresses). Well, of course – this is objectivity! That is, the opportunity to implement a project with an estimated profit and in the terms specified in the project! It is important!
Let’s define what is enterprise competitiveness? Competitiveness of any commercial enterprise in principle? Under the competitiveness of the enterprise, we will mean such financial and economic activity, when the company works with profit. When the income of the current or estimated income of the newly created company exceeds the costs.
Of course, there are cases when investments are made in unprofitable enterprises, with the subsequent goal of making them profitable or for resale. There are cases when the owner of the enterprise, develops a long-term strategy, when the company for a certain period of time, sometimes long enough (from 0.5 to 2 years), works at a loss, and then goes to the planned profit.
Cases are different. Special cases when the enterprise works “poorly”, i.e. at a loss, we omit, and adjust to the investor.
We will ask what interests him first of all, what is most important to him? Investors, first of all, need guarantees. Guarantees that the amount invested by him will not be spent on … a fancy car, a bathhouse and frivolous young ladies and after a certain, predetermined time, will return to it with a profit.
Before investing money, he intuitively calculated in his mind how and in what way under unfavorable circumstances he would be able to return the invested capital. With what losses (or profit) and for what period of time. As a rule, pledge obligations are duly executed legally before the provision of investment funds.
The task of the project developer (business plan) is precisely to make it as accessible as possible, using figures, facts and analytical calculations to convince the investor of the realism of your project, as well as intentions.
Place for your business proposal
Here, one cannot hope for any intuition, we need reliable facts, facts, facts … It is these problems that one of the main sections of the business plan is devoted to – plan marketing. True, this section may be called somewhat differently. For example, “marketing analysis and marketing strategy” (TACIS methodic for developing business plans) or otherwise, but this does not change the essence.
Features of marketing research in the preparation of a business plan
Now, you can talk about the features of marketing research in the development of a business plan. What are these features?
In order for the marketing research of a business project to be carried out fairly correctly, it is first necessary to determine which enterprises to compare, and then what to compare and what to analyze.
Here we need tact, correctness and common sense. Obviously, it is impossible to compare the trade stall with a large supermarket or real estate firm with the existing manufacturing enterprise.