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.
A business plan is useful in establishing credibility for your business, if you need to borrow money from individuals, such as your family, or a bank, or other credit institutions. The business plan demonstrates that you are a serious business person, who has reviewed all aspects of your business, and established reasonable objective for it.
The business plan gives you the opportunity to objectively look at your business in its entirety. It forces you to analyze the market and your competition. It enables you to develop prices based on reliable data and information you have gathered.
“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.” –Vince Lombardi
We try not to put total responsibility in writing a business planfor the purpose of raising capital, but also to give the business owner some direction and planning. It is important to use your business plan for your day-to-day operations.
The preparation of the plan forces the potential entrepreneur to consider each facet of the business and its role in accomplishing the company’s overall strategic goals and objectives.
The business planshould be as concise and understandable as possible, while still covering all key issues, especially if it is to be handed over to an investor. The final version of the plan should include a title page, a table of contents, an executive summary, company overview, marketing, management, financial information, and capital requirements.
Unless you are approaching a traditional banking institution for a loan, starting a business does not require a fifty-page business plan. If you are making one for only your eyes to view, whether it’s fashioned as an abstract dream board, or written up as a formal document; the important thing is to be clear about your vision and goals. Your business plan is your blueprint for action.
#entrepreneur #smallbusiness #networking
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.