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Build your Plan in Three Stages
1. Where are we now? (Market & Sales Review and Situation Analysis)
This is an analysis of the current status of the business, product or service both in relation to its rate of sales growth and profitability and potential for future growth. This requires analysis of your sales records and accounts.

The next step is to determine where your business, product or service lies in relation to the market in which you compete. Are you in a growth or declining market? Are you favorably placed to grow your share of market? Are you going to create an entirely new market segment? What opportunities are there to take advantage of? This process involves completing a review of the market in which you compete.

2. Where do we want to go? (Marketing & Sales Objectives)
This step involves the determination of the direction in which you want to steer the business. It follows the analysis stage, which has led to you to make certain conclusions about opportunities and feasibilities. At this point you define your sales and marketing objectives. In many ways this is the most difficult part of putting your plan together as it requires considerable thought in regard to what is both practical and desirable and making a commitment to achieving set goals and targets.

3. How are we going to get there? (Marketing Strategies, Financial Statements and Implementation Controls)
Now that you know where you are and where you want to go, determining how you are going to get there becomes much more straightforward than just having a vague idea in your head about what you need to do to get the desired results. This stage of the plan requires devising and implementing the strategies you need to achieve the set objectives and the financial and human resources you will need to put the selected strategies in place.

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