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Opinions of Monday, 27 January 2014

Columnist: Adufutse, William Yaw

Developing the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Ghana Part V

: The Business Plan II

By William Yaw Adufutse, Ph. D.

Few weeks ago, we discussed parts of the Business Plan: The Table of Contents, The Executive Summary, and General Company Description. In this installment, due to space limitations, I will be discussing two sections of the Business Plan which are: Products and Services, and The Marketing Plan.

The entrepreneur is the innovator, and the brains behind the products, or services that are to be created, and marketed. Subsequently the entrepreneur knows, and understands the products, and services better than those who will be reviewing the Business Plan. For that reason the Products and Services section of the Business Plan should be written with clarity without any doubt as to what the products, or services are. The physical characteristics of the products are to be clearly described. For example going back to the Kente example I gave in the previous article, the entrepreneurs has to describe the color composition of the Kente in this section. Will there be black strips, green strips, and yellow strips? Are they going to be woven together horizontally, vertically diagonally? This is a good place to describe the products. If there are going to be services that will be provided, such as floor cleaning, why not state; as a service we will clean floors for our customers. The floor will be cleaned and waxed such that customers can almost see the reflection of themselves on the floor. State how the products will be used, and how different they are from other products, or services on the market.

It is a good idea to highlight the developmental stages of the products, or services. How did the idea come about? How did the idea to produce Kente for wealthy Ghanaians originate. Clearly state this in in this section

One of the most important sections reviewers examine closely is the Marketing Plan section of the Business Plan. This section directly communicates to prospective investors about how the entrepreneur intends to succeed in sales through marketing. As usual this section too has be written clearly. Success of an enterprise depends on how the products and services are marketed. For that reason prospective investors are interested in reading this section to get a good insight into the marketing section of the Business Plan before deciding to fund a project.

The entrepreneur has to define the market in this section. What type of market is the entrepreneur desirous to pursue? In the Kente example I gave, the market will be wealthy Ghanaians as stated in the first article few weeks ago. The entrepreneur has to answer why this market instead of low, or middle income Ghanaians? What are the potential for growth of the chosen market? Strategies to work in the chosen market should be explained. The competition, market research, sales forecast, or projection should come under the Marketing Plan. There are so many items that go into the Marketing Plan section. The items mentioned above are just a little portion of some of the Marketing Plan of the Business Plan. Again as I mentioned, due to space limitation, I cannot go into all the elements of the Marketing Plan. If your organization is about to prepare one and needs help, you can let me know.

Dr. William Yaw Adufutse is from Anfoega in the Volta Region, and a Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change in the US. He can be reached at adufu1wy@yahoo.com