Friday, August 8, 2008

Contents of a Business Plan

Executive Summary
Vision, mission, objectives
Current state of business
Products and services
Strategy and sources of sustainable competitive advantage
Customer acceptance
Summary financial forecasts
Money required, timing and deal on offer

Basic business information
Contact Information
Document control
Proffesional advisers
Legal structure and corporate data

Current Business situation
Definition of current business and its markets
Corporate history, major events and past financial performance
Current business and market position
Core competencies
Current business organisation and outline business infrastructure

Strategic analysis
Political, economic, social and technical anlysis and impacts
Key differentiators and unique selling points
VRIO analysis
Core competencies
Confirguration of resources
Value add analysis
Value chain analysis
Value system
Resource audit
Operations resources
Human Resources
Organisational resources
Financial resources
Industry life cycle
Industry structure
Competitor analysis
SWOT analysis

Strategic Plan
Vision, mission and objectives
Sources of sustainable competitive advantage
Competitive position
Marketing positioning
Brand Strategy
Portfolio strategy
Business design

Marketing Plan
Market segments, size and growth
Description of customers and customers needs
Target market segments
Product positioning and value proposition
Marketing mix
Description of products and services
Pricing and discounting
Advertising and promotional plans
Channel and distribution strategy
Guarantees and warranties
After sales service and customer care
Comparison with competition
Performance and economics
Marketing forecasts

Physical location
Make or buy considerations
The production process
Facilities, equipment and machinery
Scalability of operations
Engineering and design support
Quality control plans
Staffing recruitments
Sources of supply of key materials

Research and Development

Management and Organisation
Organisation chart
Top Management
Management's ability to deliver the plan
Corporate governance and shareholder control
Labour Relations
Office space and amenities
Employee and related costs

Forecasts and financial Data
Summary of performance ratio
Sales forecast
Assumptions underpinning financial forecasts
Profit and loss account
Balance sheet
Cash flow statement
Evaluation criteria and valuation
Discounted cash flow
Break even
Sensitivity analysis

Summary of operations prior to financing
Current shareholders loans oustanding
Funds required and timing
Use of proceeds
The deal on offer
Anticipated scenarios and strategic responses
Specific risks and risk reduction strategies

Business Controls
Information Technology
Sales and marketing
Other controls

Glossary of terms
Details of market research
Consultants' reports
Product specifications
Marketing collateral
Orders in hand
Organisation charts
Curricula vitae
Detailed financial forecasts

How to find the impact of Advertisement?

Hello friends
Recently, I was reading Marketing Management by Philip Kotler. One topic struck my mind. How to measure the impact of the advertisement?
Just think. With billions in budget, the marketing and advertisement guys do their best to have powerful and memorable ads. But the point, is does it give any results? If yes, then how much?
I am sure, this is the question that bugs every marketing and advertising professional.
So, I asked the following question on one forum.
Hello Friends

When we design the marketing campaign, we focus on three factors i.e. Reach, Frequency and Impact. Now reach, can be obtained through the media agencies like the readership of the newspapers, and the categories of the readership. Frequency, can also be calculated via various quantitative techniques, like you can tail the target customer, and find out the frequency of exposure, he gets to the particular type of media. But, I am unable to understand, how to find the impact Can anybody help me to understand this?


Dear Prabal, I would like to talk about what I understand of the issues that you've raised. When we design a marketing campaign, we do not focus on reach, frequency and impact alone. A marketing campaign adheres to the marketing plan (sample attached). Hence these three factors are only a part of the whole (marketing) plan. Reach, frequency and impact come under the domain of ADVERTISING and/or MEDIA CAMPAIGN. Although roles overlap, reach and frequency are taken care of by media planning agencies. Impact is measured by the media planners, ad agency and even the client. To measure the impact, the media vehicle details (like reach, frequency) are collated from media agencies (say TAM) by the ad agency and the company. The ad agency may or may not do a "Communication Research" in which they do a market survey to "test" and analyze the response of the target audience. The ad agency may do primary research to gauge the public opinion and a secondary research to gauge the response of the critics. Then they arrive at the "impact" of the ad campaign on the brand - whether the ads have succeeded to position the brand in the mind of the customers as intended. The company may or may not do a litmus test on its brand equity to measure the "impact" of the ad campaign on its brand. But as many marketers, and definitely the sales managers, will say - The "real impact" is measured by the ACTUAL SALES as all this effort is directed at only one goal - making the balance sheet look good!


If it moves people to do something (hopefully purchase something in most cases or at least be remembered correctly in terms of brand and message) it has had an impact. If it doesn't, it hasn't. Simple eh? Many things are unless people are getting paid to unnecessarily complicate them.
Messages from Peter Palmer (1):


Agree to Peters views. Impact will be positive as well negative, neutral one will not be considered good from placement as well campaign point of view. To me impact can be as simple as getting numbers/data for Has campaign succedded in reaching potential audience/targets/buyers with appropriate message, with acceptable cost. Has potential audience/targets/buyers started finding more about product/service Has potential audience/targets/buyers started enquiring about product/service at sell points Have they started buying it finally, how much, how frequently, hows feedback so far? Are they buying it again and again and helping brand building through loyalty as well value add to customer. With above data one can check how much your service/product is eating into competition business etc.. Hope this helps. regds- Vijay
Messages from Vijay Kurhade (1):


Impact is the ability to create sales - so measure sales. Or if the advertising is not directly focused on sales, then its increase in something like brand strength or consideration - this can be obtained from market research. Other possibilities for estimates of impact include enquiries, returned coupons, visits to a website.
Messages from Saul Dobney (1):


Impact have to call out the shock in the customer and to encourage him to the purchase product( I say that purchase without the reflection so example the small child ask for next ice cream) not so much the frequency because this can bore but to calculate the cost of attainment to the customer - for the best on the 1000 persons. Effective reach of advertisement good tools for this for example GRP(Gross Rating Points) or TRP( Target Rating Points). I like better to use GRP. I think that impact is the pressure on the customer something in the kind of buy this if you are not you be wrongful - you will fall down about 1 level in social hierarchy, everyone of use wants to boast this stay in our nature. Nobody does want to be beyond of the sociable cream
Messages from Lukasz Urbaniak (3):


You can do some research to measure the effect of your campaign - some metrics such as brand awareness, image, etc. With media you should get a post-buy analysis The best proof is your sales though ;)
Messages from Mirek mirpo POLYNIAK (1):


Prabal, This a very good question. However, what you are describing is not a marketing campaign, but an advertising/ media campaign which is a part of a marketing campaign. A marketing campaign can have two prime targets: - creating brand awareness By which we use mostly mass media (that what you where describing). - creating sales By which we use mostly direct marketing to reach our goals The campaign itself can be focussed on one or the other or both targets. I will leave direct marketing for another discussion and will focus on the term ‘brand awareness’. Within ‘brand awareness’ you again have different possibilities of setting targets, for example: - creating top of mind awareness - creating a certain Public Image - etc. Know we come to your question: “How the measure the impact of advertisement? “ To measure the impact of advertisement directly is very difficult. Their always creative ways to measure a certain part of your advertisement campaign off course, but most often the results are not reliable. A better way is to link the ‘impact’ to the target you have set for the campaign, think of creating top of mind awareness. Before you start your campaign you have data regarding the current situation; simple example is that from a 1000 persons 200 think of your name first during a survey. Know you can measure the impact by holding the exact same survey again after your campaign and compare the results with the previous survey. The impact of your advertising campaign is measured on the comparing of the two survey’s and their results.
Messages from Sebastiaan van Aard (3):


Hi Prabal, I think conversion/ sales would be tangible impact. You could also measure brand awareness, advertisement recal etc pre and post advertisement for impact evaluation.
Messages from Yogesh Bisht (2):


Prabal, When you say 'impact' I'm not sure whether you are referring to sales impact or communication impact. But, reach and frequency are surrogate measures for what a marketer really cares about, sales. If a communication metric is necessary you should look towards awareness because you can make better correlations to sales this way.
Messages from David Adelman (1):


Prabal, It is quite an interesting question, however, the answers are pretty basic. Reach and Frequency are measurements of the depth of your advertisement reaching your target audience, frequency is the number of times your target is exposed to the ad. Impact is the results which moves the consumer to take action. This is measured by sales, visits to the web, tracking, pre and post focus groups, etc. However, remember, that if we all knew the answers all of the time regarding this question, we probably would not be discussing it now :). Fran


Sales of course is a the most direct metric, however that can be constrained by factors like distrbution and pricing. To understand the AD IMPACT ie whether the ad motivated the consumer to consider purchasing the brand the following simple metrics would give you a good idea. - ad awareness - how many people recall seeing the ad - message recall- what do they remember from the ad - Impact on purchase intent and brand image- difference in purchase /trial intent and brand image ratings amongst those aware of ad vs those not aware These metrics can be obtained via primary research.
Messages from Asit Gupta (1):


Prabal- Impact can be defined from a media point-of-view, such as R/F. Media impact is more or less measured by setting some level of effective communications level... e.g. reach at the 3+ frequency level and effective GRP's (a/k/a ERP's). However, a more salient measurement is whether your ad resonates with your audience and does the messaging communicates to them. This can be determined via focus groups, copy testing, etc. Hopefully, this will translate to increased sales and/or increased awareness of your product or service.
Messages from Stan Weinstein (1):


When we traverse Marketing through to Sales and are looking at the success of any campaign - 'impact' is best measured by looking at your order book....It's simple from that perspective Ensure you define specific milestones at various stages along the campaign timeline as this will allow you to trend the success or failure of the campaign. The metrics you create will vary according to the nature and reach of the campaign.
Messages from Sam Thiara (1):

Book Section: Joker in the Pack

By Ritesh Sharma & Neeraj Pahlajani

This is the book, I saw in my friends hand few months back, during the placement season of my college.I came to know that it’s the story about IIM life, and wanted to read immediately. But, as time was scarce couldn’t pick it.

Few weeks ago, I was out shopping, and saw it in one of the windows of the book shop, and immediately bought it.

The story is indeed about the life in B-Schools in general and IIM’s in specific. While reading it was remniscent of my life in general and my B-School life in specific. The dilemma, whether to do MBA or not? Which B School to choose? How to convert the interview call?

Then it further walked me down the lane of ragging, summers, Business Plan Competitions, Co-curricular activities, Placement fight, and of course academics.
To make the story spicy, it had a estranged love story, lot of funny incidents. And the best part was the insertion of ‘hindi’ dialogues.

I would recommend it to any B-School aspirant, student and alumunus.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Easy Cabs: Business Model
Recently I got a chance to come in one prepaid air conditioned taxi ( courtesy my new job ) from airport to my home. The drive was of about an hour.

The moment I entered it, the driver asked me, which newspaper I would like to read. I was surprised, and chose one business paper. Then he asked me, whether I would like to have mineral water, I was even more surprised, and accepted one bottle. Then he asked me, which music I would like to listen, I chose pop music. Then, he asked me if I smoke, and which brand, I courtly gave him my brand, and he offered me cigeratte. Then he told me that, if I need to charge my mobile phone, I told him, he wont be having its charger, to which he replied, that he has five type of chargers. I was simply amazed at this treatment.

( Some of this was cooked up to make the story spicy, but my astonishment was not )

By this time, I was intrigued by the five star treatment. So, I started inquiring him about the business model of the taxi system.

The major highlights :

The taxi was owned by the company, but will be transferred to the driver after 4 years.
There was a call center throughout the National Capital Region ( Delhi and around), with a single no.
The customer calls the call center
The call center, flashes the message to all the taxis in 10 km range of the customer location.
The driver who bids first, gets the order.
The taxi has to reach the customer in 15 mins.
All this is done via GPS (Global Positioning System) installed in each taxi.
The driver is a qualified driver, from a reputed driving institute.
The driver is supposed to pay the company, Rs 750 a day
Rest all the expenses including fuel is born by the driver
Apart from Rs. 750 a day, all the earnings go to the driver
But for this, drivers need to pay Rs 25000/- as deposit, and two guaranters.

What does the company gets?

Presently this company is having around 500-1000 taxis. Just imagine that the company is earning Rs 750x 750 ( average of 500- 1000 taxis)= Rs 562500 a day just for operating a call center. This amounts to be Rs 205312500 ( 205 millions) an year.

What does the driver gets?

Apart from getting the taxi after four years, each driver earns Rs 1500 a day after deducting expenses. In other words Rs 45000 per month. This is rare for even qualified professionals in India.

What does customer gets?

Five star service at reasonable rate.

Isn’t it the cool business model??

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