Carefully analyze and define your market clearly. Provide demographics on who the major customers for your product or service are, where they are, and why they buy. Are you offering a seasonal product or service? What is a geographical coverage of your market?
Your markets refer to the people at whom your products and services are aimed. In marketing terms, it is your “target market” or the customer that are the target of your sales efforts. You may have more than one target market.
For new businesses, your target market may be people currently buying similar products or services. If you have an existing business, your target market maybe current customers; it may also be people you have not yet reached. In either case, finding your target market often requires some experimentation of trial and error.
Target markets are described in terms of their share characteristics. For example, if your product/service is aimed at individuals, you can describe them by age, income, geographic location and lifestyle. If your product/service is aimed at organizations, you can describe them by number of employees, sales, geographic location and industry.
It is very important for you to choose a particular segment of the market and concentrate on its needs, with your products and services. No product or service can call its target market everyone. It is not enough just to produce the product or offer the service. Customers are constantly bombarded with sales to buy products and services. You need to aim at a particular market and inform the market that your product or services is meant for them and why. To do this effectively, you need to know who your market is and what their other choices are.
It is important to write a clear, concise description of the products and services you offer, for yourself as well as for others. The process is helpful in clarifying what you offer; identify the number of products and services offered, and for planning changes in product offerings.
How are you going to scale your product/service, if so how?
How will you sell your product or what is your channel of distribution?
Is a product? Do you need or have you chosen a co-packer?
Have you considered licensing your product?
The most important reason for describing your products and services is to help you communicate with your customers, suppliers, ad visors, employees, and provide focus for your business.
If the focus is unclear or too general, people cannot identify what you do, and therefore, do not know when to call you or come to your place of business.
For example, a retail clothing store offering expensive, high – quality dresses and suit, plus bargain-basement plastic shoes, would have a difficult time communicate its different product lines. Potential customers might be confused, not trusting the quality.
If the focus is too narrow, you risk losing business to more full time service businesses. For example, a janitorial service offering only vacuuming and dusting services and no window-washing, floor scrubbing, or waxing services risk losing business to others offering more.
Have you heard the term, location, location, location? Location is everything when it comes to business. Think through how IMPORTANT location will be for the success of your business. For location is the most critical decision you will make. For other business, location may be important in order to project a particular image. See it through the eyes of your customers. Do they shop online, why or why not? Many businesses choose to be online only and others only want a physical location. The recommendation is to have both, an online and offline presence in the marketplace. For some business, choice of location is important. Remember to be aware of any local zoning regulations that may affect your business.
Adapting your business to meet changing market needs is challenging, but necessary—especially if you have achieved great success in your current business model. Modifying existing products or services, or creating new ones, is a great way to stay relevant while achieving greater growth. Just ask companies such as Blockbuster, which neglected to adapt to new business models that emerged from technological advancements and, as a result, has all but disappeared. Technology is constantly evolving; every 12–18 months, computer capabilities increase exponentially, as do the information technologies.
Most seasoned business owners know that regardless of appeal, a product or service won’t sell itself. Rarely will products or services see success without a business model that relieves customer pain points, meets customers in their place of convenience, and does so more effectively than the competitor’s model. Ultimately, a business model can be an opportunity—or the end of a company. Understanding changing technologies is paramount to ensuring that your business falls at the end of the spectrum marked “opportunity.” Here are some ways to stay abreast of changing technologies within your industry.
#1: Follow the trends.
——Simply catching technology buzzwords in the news will not be as impactful as identifying a few consistent, credible news sources reporting on technologies in your industry. Sources should follow niche-specific trends and changes, such as new online purchasing platforms or methods, but also keep a finger on the pulse of overall technology changes outside of your industry.
#2: Tap into a team of advisors.
——After assessing and identifying trends that can be a threat or an opportunity, look within your network to see who is already familiar with similar technologies. Provide them with an understanding of your business so they can help you decide where to make business model adjustments. Try not to be defensive about new pathways, but instead, take advantage of opportunities.
#3: Test the waters.
——Deciding to implement new technologies can be expensive, but you can explore options that let you pay as you go, or pay in smaller increments during the testing phase. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software”. This service can allow you to try things out for less money up front.
#4: Adapt to change.
——As you research and follow changing technologies, be sure to digest and distinguish between technologies that are overhyped and the new ideas that you foresee impacting the industry. Do you remember the Net PC? Likely not. But we all certainly remember the introduction of cloud computing. Don’t just jump into the hype. Take your time to assess the viability of new trends.
After assessing new industry trends, make business model decisions to maximize your return on investment, perhaps by meeting your product or service’s distribution needs. The following technology-based business models are thriving in 2017.
Direct online sales.
——The e-commerce business model is well known for eliminating the middleman, and can even do away with the need for wholesalers in retail industries. Service industries also benefit from this model, using a variety of websites that enable skilled professionals, from therapists to editors, to serve as quick-turn consultants. One of the greatest benefits of this business model is the direct business-to-consumer interaction that can help you garner information about your customers, allowing you to tailor and enhance their buying experiences.
——Also in the realm of e-commerce, this service offers added convenience for consumers and clients with a recurring revenue stream by allowing them to skip a repetitive checkout process. Subscription services provide automation enabled by advanced technology platforms. Services can be modeled after companies that use monthly commitments, such as Netflix, or annual commitments, as with Amazon Prime.
The ever-evolving technology industry can seem overwhelming, but learning how to stay abreast of change is half the battle. As you notice new trends and technologies, take time to assess how your business might benefit from them, and what business models will support such changes.
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Exchange of goods and services – All business transactions are directly or indirectly involved the exchange of goods and services for money (profit).
Profit is the Main Goal – Businesses involve numerous transactions that are done with the sole aim of earning a profit. Profits are the rewards that businessmen get for delivering goods or services to their customers.
Risks and Uncertainties – Businesses are subject to uncertainties and risks. Risks like theft and loss due to fire are common in many businesses but fortunately, they are insurable. However, certain uncertainties like fall in prices or change in demand and supply are not insurable and the cost is fully the responsibility of the businessperson.