Feb 1, 1998 12:00 PM
Designing and implementing a sales and marketing plan is much likeconstructing a building. For builders, the initial step is to create a setof blueprints that establishes the project's overall objective andidentifies key suppliers and the participants' relationships among eachother. Before physically assembling the structure, a proper foundation islaid, thereby ensuring a solid, stable base. Workers, however, can performas expected only when they are fully prepared and given the propermaterials, and ongoing coordination among them is essential to bothefficiency and the prevention of costly mistakes. As the framework iscompleted, the structure begins to take shape, physically foreshadowing itscompleted form. Eventually, the final pieces are added, and the completedbuilding is revealed to the world. Similarly, almost any contracting firmthat enjoys a degree of financial success will have some sort of sales andmarketing strategy, even if it happens to be locked tightly away in variousfragments inside the owner's mind. Rapid advances in technology, along withtheir subsequent effects upon consumer mentality, not only impact theactual systems you design and install, but they also influence the verystructure and organization of your business. Consequently, a written plan,crafted in a multi-stage process, iscritical to the generation of largerprofit margins. In this month's issue, you will find valuable insight intoseveral concepts that should all be considered when you develop your ownplan. Topics range from producing a consistent sales volume to fair pricingstrategies and from business expansion options to competitive intelligence.Constructing a building without the proper blueprints would beunnecessarily difficult if not impossible. Likewise, you should not have tooperate your business and compete without one for your sales and marketingstrategies.