When starting up a business, creating a business plan can be pretty daunting.
The thing is, you need to go through that initial pain to make sure that you understand your idea, your proposition and that it is viable.
There are a lot of templates and resources on the internet that offer guidance on the elements of a business plan.
They are all slightly different, but the core principles are the same.
I can show you how to save time and duplication by taking the great work you put into your business plan and converting it into a communications plan.
One of the first things I look to understand when working with clients is their business plan.
Because it is key to building a robust communications plan.
It is essential to understand what the business is all about; to understand their purpose; to understand the goals and objectives.
Otherwise how do we know what we want people to Think, Feel, Say or Do as a result of the communication?
There is generally a section in the business plan that asks you to consider marketing and your audience, but not to the extent of a communications plan.
The communications plan takes it a step further.
The communications plan ensures the necessary pre-work and thinking are done in terms of consistent messaging and desired outcomes, before you start marketing communication activities.
If you haven’t had a chance to put together a business plan or communications plan yet, fear not, this post will show some of the elements you need and the things you need to think about.
When working with clients it’s also vital for me to understand the brand.
The tone; the look and feel; the spirit and character; the beliefs and values. I call it the ‘heart and soul’. I help people work this stuff out if they’re not sure how.
Putting this heart and soul in your messaging is key to connecting with an audience.
The purpose of a communications strategy and plan is essentially to bring your business plan to life. To make the stuff you’ve written, actually happen, in the way it needs to happen.
To turn strategy into action, and to connect people with your brand.
Once in place, the communications plan should connect you with the audience that matter to you, in a way that matters to them, so you achieve your goals.
It also ensures you are consistent in your messaging. Which is important for trust and building relationships.
Putting together a comms plan helps you think through your goals and objectives with your ‘comms hat’ on. It delves deeper into your target audience and how you are going to engage with them.
It looks at outcomes, and what goes in to achieving them.
Having put blood, sweat and tears in to your business plan I can imagine you breathed a sigh of relief when it was complete. Possibly the last thing you want to do now is write another plan!
But really, you have already completed half the work of your comms plan, you just don’t know it yet!