Selling a business plan can be a very profitable venture; however, the plan you market must be strong and structured professionally. Whether you are selling a franchise or a simple business plan, it must contain proven success methods and direct reports. It must also be marketed to the correct prospects.
Write a strong plan. Your business plan must be marketable. This means the overall plan must contain proven methods of success. It is, therefore, wise to work closely with an attorney, CPA or marketing firm. These professionals can help you structure your plan so it's relevant to a variety of readers. It should include clear rhetoric and reports, void of confusing industry jargon.
Identify your market. Research your market to determine if there are people looking for an opportunity your business plan will provide. Chances are there are many people in your market with the dream of starting their own business but lack the proper plan. Start with your immediate market first. Compile data and keep a database of prospects. Talk to as many people as possible.
Buy classified ads. Most newspapers have “Business Opportunities” sections in their classified advertising sections. Before buying space, examine the paper’s circulation numbers and demographics. This will ultimately determine which types of people and how many of them will see your ad.
Utilize trade publications. Most industries have their own publications. The investment industry distributes publications to its brokers and customers. There are many automotive-related periodicals. Hunting and fishing publications are also ample. These magazines, newspapers and newsletters all sell display and classified advertising space. They are great outlets in that their readers all have similar, specialized interests. Aside from purchasing ad space, submitting guest columns or stories about your services is often possible. Contacting editors is often all it takes.
Build an expert website. Websites are a great way to sell products and services. For a professional with expert advice and products, the Internet is a wonderful stage to pitch your business plan to millions of prospects. Linking to other sites and selling your products directly on your page is also a powerful way to sell your plan to multiple customers (see Resources).
Use online commerce sites. Websites like Craig's List, Facebook and eBay often serve as effective and specialized forums to sell merchandise (see Resources). Some sites are free, while others charge a fee. Many trade periodicals also have online versions of their publications. Use the free sites first.
Join professional groups. Most industries have clubs and associations made up of professionals in their field. Join an association in your targeted industry. Ask to pitch your business plan as a guest speaker at a regular meeting or networking event. Attending industry conventions and trade shows is also a good way to reach your market.
Always know your market. You won’t sell your product to prospects that aren’t in your market.
Set aside a marketing and advertising budget to promote your business plan.
Consider hiring a marketing firm to help you if you have the capital.
Get paid what you’re worth. Your ideas, proven success and time are all valuable assets. It’s not uncommon for business plans to be sold for hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars. Don’t accept anything less than what you are comfortable with. Consult with an attorney and/or a CPA to help you determine an asking price.