- What does your product/service offer your customer? What problem does it solve?
- What makes your product/service different?
- How and where will your customer use your product/service?
- What does your customer experience when using your product/service?
- How is your product/service branded?
- Where do customers find your product/service?
- Is your product/service available in a brick and mortar store, online, or both?
- Are you utilizing the right distribution channels?
- How and where do you optimize sales? Do you attend trade shows, contact and send samples to retail buyers, use a sales force, etc.?
- What do your competitors do? How can you use their tactics to improve your own?
- What value does your product/service bring to your customers?
- Are there established proce points for products/services in your market?
- How does your price point effect sales? Will a slight price increase or decrease impact your market share? How does that cut into your profit margin?
- Do you offer discounts to wholesale (large order) buyers? How does that cut into your profit margin?
- What price points are your competitors offering?
- How do you communicate your marketing message to your target market?
- How will you reach your target audience? Print, TV, radio, billboards, direct mail, PR, digital marketing?
- How do you time your marketing campaigns? Will you create material based on seasonality of your product/service? Are there upcoming events or holidays that you should capitalize on?
- How do competitors utilize marketing and advertising? Can you learn from their promotional activities?
By evaluating these four aspects of your product or service, you will have a better idea of how to effectively reach your target market.
Q: Do I need a business plan?
Writing a business plan not only helps you map out where you are and where you want to go, it also allows you to conceptualize aspects of your business you may overlook otherwise.
As you start out, your business’s direction may be clear, but as you begin to grow and experience unforeseen obstacles and challenges, a business plan is a good roadmap to look to to help guide you forward.
Business plans help you plan out marketing strategies, define target markets, calculate financials, plan distribution channels, and much more. All of these things allow you to create a solid foundation upon which a successful business can be built.