A business plan is an important document guiding the operations of a business. In most cases, it is the first step taken when one intends to venture into business. It entails the environment, industrial, past data and the projection of the market that enables the business to make and adjusts its decisions in order to stay relevant in the market. In this business plan, there were a lot of missing components that were essential for the business plan. Failure of addressing the components clearly and intuitively makes the business plan inefficient for real-life applications. As a result, the critical missing points in the explained sectors of the business plan are mentioned and explained below.
Description of the Venture
Describing your target by age is not the correct thing to do in a business plan. Since age is a fixed, variable that can disadvantage the operation and success of the business. This is because people of the same age do not have the san tastes and preferences, their satisfaction and demand vary. As a result, when segmenting a market, it is important for the business plan to identify the gap in the market since in real world; there are no air flights specified for adults above 55 years of age. Using this variable to center your operation will make the business to fail in practical terms since not all customers aged 55 and above will have the same tastes and preferences. In my own opinion,, the business plan ought to identify some characteristics missing (gaps) in the Airline industry that it will address and deliver to the consumers. In order to maximize the profit, narrowing the segmentation of the target market to 55 years will only narrow the profits, therefore in my opinion; the company should have diversified in the needs identified in the segment of interest.
Industry Outlook, Forecast, and Trends
Under this section of a business plan, it is important to highlight the critical issues that will influence your business. The business plan for United Airline lacks important issues like what are the major economic, technological political and legal trends in domestic and international levels. This question is important to enable the business to integrate its operation in different jurisdictions. Since it is an Air flight business, it is important to note and consider major legal, political and economic trends in different areas or regions that the business will operate. This aspect will also prevent unnecessary operational friction in the United Airline.
Apart from this, the business plan did not contain the sales or consumer demand of the service for a certain period, for example, a span of 5 years. In my own opinion, this aspect is important in analyzing the industry outlook since it enables the investors to see the customer demand projection for a given period of time that will assist in predicting the future trends in the Airline service. In the business world, data of the past transactions are essential for decision-making and evaluation of the current and future market. As a result, omitting this aspect from the business plan makes it incomplete and descriptive rather than intuitive. Through the past data and current survey of the industry, the business plan should be able to address the anticipated uptick in service consumption by the consumers. This is a major component lacking under this section.
Under competitive advantage, the business plan should be able to distinguish between absolute and comparative advantages the business will have over the competitor. Absolute advantage, in this case, will be the services the Airline will offer at a relatively cheaper cost but still make the desired profit than its competitors offering the same service at a higher price but do not get the desired profit. Comparative advantage, on the other hand, will entail the services the United Airline will have to abandon due to low-profit generation and utility satisfaction of the target groups compared to the competitors who offer the services and still get profits.
Competitive advantage should entail direct and indirect competitors in the business market. These aspects will enable the investors or the business owners to devise innovative methods of attracting the largest market share in the business. Direct competitors will enable the Airline to crosscheck the services to be provided and those provided by the other Airline companies. According to my own opinion, this section should be able to explain possible ways the United Airline will compete with the direct and indirect competitors in the market. I suggest that the business plan should have had some mechanisms proposed in competing with these companies. For instance, the extra services offered to the target customers in order to attract more, means and styles of marketing and many other.
Marketing plan or strategy usually describes the main three components Segmenting of the market, Targeting and finally positioning. In other marketing plans, there should be the elements of pricing, market research evidence, promotion, controls besides product forecast. However, this business plan does not have three elements of the marketing plan. These include the marketing research evidence, product forecast, and controls. In my own opinion, these three components of the marketing plan are essential for a business plan to be feasible since the controls will help the business in measurement, monitoring, and evaluation of the performance of the services provided by the United Airline to see if the operational plans are on the right track. This will enable a time-to-time evaluation that will enable the business to stick to its line of operation or segment and to continue staying relevant and competitive than its competitors. Marketing research evidence enables the STP strategy to be more realistic. It enables one to learn the needs of the market and the business meets the how consumer's expectations. This will enable the business to identify the size, needs, and competition of the market.
In conclusion, a business plan should have an intuitive explanation of the marketing, competitive advantage and industrial outlook since these segments contain valuable information that is crucial for the business. In my own opinion, missing or omitting the four parts in the business plan makes it not applicable in the real world since important data for market analysis are missing. Therefore, it is advisable for the business plan to include the above sections and explained comprehensively in order to capture the past, current and projections of the future market. One can only invest in a business if the future of the industry is promising in terms of profitability and expansion of the market share.
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