The purpose of this section within a business plan is to give a short overview of the marketing elements to include in your business plan.
The details of the marketing elements can typically form part of a more elaborate Marketing Plan that can be include as an addendum at the back of your business plan. For VA purposes, the following elements are sufficient to include within the body of the plan.
Industry and Market Analyses
Give a description of the virtual assistant industry as perceived by you. You can provide general highlights and conclusions of any researched data that you have collected.
It is valuable to do some research on the following:
- The growth in demand for VA services over the years.
- Projected growth of the VA industry for the future.
- Where does your business fit into this industry.
- Do a competitive analysis. Determine who are your competitors?
Tip: An industry and market analyses is important to provide you with vital information on the trends within the virtual assistant industry. It will help you to define your competition and assist you to find your unique spot / niche market that will benefit most from your services. This knowledge can give you a competitive advantage when starting your business.
Your niche market is simply the group of clients to whom you want to provide your services.
A common pitfall is that aspiring VAs often set their target to wide. To serve a niche market, means that you only focus your attention on a smaller, manageable portion of the total market. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be everything to everybody.
In this section, give some information on the unique characteristics of your niche market.
- Who are they?
- What are their needs and how will you address those needs?
- What is the geographic location and demographics of your market?
- The potential size of your target market. How many potential customers do you intent to have?
It is the process of attracting customers; and customers are the lifeblood of your business.
There is no single way to approach a marketing strategy. Your strategy will be unique to your business and will be an ongoing process.
Aspects to include in your business plan are:
- How will you reach your potential clients?
- How will you grow your business (e.g. expand your service delivery and/or expand your customer base)?
- Provide a timeline for achieving your marketing goals
To do a market and industry analyses and writing a strategy might sometimes seem very time consuming. I can however, assure you the effort will definitely be worth it. You can have the best services to offer, but if you do not know to whom (your target market) to offer it, and do not have a solid marketing strategy, nobody will be interested in making use of it.
Elements of a Virtual Assistant Business Plan
It is beneficial to include all these elements in your business plan.