Today’s article is about conducting target market research. What am I talking about? Market research, that’s what. So what is target market research? Every business should be doing it, but unfortunately, they either aren’t doing it at all or aren’t doing it effectively. Without conducting detailed research about your target market, your business won’t reach its potential and will more than likely meet its demise. Oh oh, you say!
What is Market Research?
In order to tell you HOW to conduct market research, you must know what market research is. In a nutshell, market research is research that you do in order to determine what it is that makes your customers buy. Because for goodness sake, that’s why you’re in business. To make money right?
Here is a great list of things that you can do to conduct market research that will tell you what your customers want and need so that you can make more sales and grow your business. This is YOUR business purpose!
First, find the question or questions you want answers to. Be as specific as possible so that you have the answers you need. Going too broad may not really get to the answers you are really in search of. For instance, if you are thinking of adding a product to your line, is it something your target market is in need or want of? What would they most likely spend on a product or service such as the one you are asking about?
Methods of Research
Take the questions and get your answers by doing the following:
– Conduct a survey of current and potential customers. – Visit online forums and groups that include members of your market. Remember to build relationships in these groups. Don’t just go to the forums and post your survey or question. – Interview other business owners in your market. – Monitor business trends in your market by reading and watching various media outlets. – Research your competition by being a customer and/or inquiring about their products or services. – Mail or telephone interviews. – For those with online businesses, set up a test page revolving around the product or service you are thinking of offering. Give plenty of time to test the page and the traffic and activity of the visitors.
These are only a few of the ways you can conduct research for your target market. The key isn’t what research you do, it’s the fact that you are doing something to learn more about the habits of that market.
By taking the time to find out more about the people you are targeting, you’ll come to realize that knowing those in your market is one of the best things you can do for your business.
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Today’s article is about, you guessed it, do I really need a business plan and why do I need one? Many people who start a business never take the time to write out a business plan. And that is a big mistake in my opinion.
A business plan can greatly increase your chances of success. And I’m assuming that you want your business to be a success, am I right?
The following are some reasons why every business needs to put a business plan into writing.
It helps to map out your future
If you have decided you are ready to start a business, your first step should be to write out your plans for what you want to do with the business and where you see the business going in the future. You have probably heard the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That is very true when it comes to your business. The more planning you do in the beginning, the greater success you will see in the future.
To secure financing
If you decide to take your home business to the next level, a business plan can help you secure financing. A financial institution will want to see, in writing, the reasons that they should loan you money. Simply walking in and telling them why you know you’ll be a success isn’t good enough. However, if you can hand your lender a document that states your business idea, your business goals, a list of steps you plan to take in order to reach your goals, as well as your estimated earnings, you will be seen as a professional and the lender will take you more seriously.
Determines your Action Plan
Your plan will also help you determine your action plan. Your action plan consists of the steps you plan on taking in order to achieve your goals. This is another task that people usually sidestep. Instead of “just kind of knowing” or “having the ideas in your head”, you should take the time to put them on paper. The reason this part of the business plan is so important is that it literally walks you from point A to point B. While your business plan, in general, serves as a map, your action plan is the “turn-by-turn directions.”
Having a business plan to present to your spouse or partner can also help them to realize your business idea is more than just a passing amusement. This can really help you, especially if they are skeptical. They can see that you are serious and will become more helpful and more encouraging. Having the support of your spouse or partner can really motivate you and help you find success. And that’s what you want your business to be, successful!
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Creating a one-page business plan is the topic of this article. Many small business owners get overwhelmed when it comes to the necessity of writing their business plans. It doesn’t have to be hard you just need to do it.
Unless you are looking for major financial funding from a bank or other loan institutions, a simple business plan that includes answers to the following questions will be perfect for your small business purposes.
The Simple Business Plan
1. Where am I now with my business?
2. Where do I want to be with my business? If you see your deadlines in front of you as you work your business, you’ll be more likely to meet them. Break this answer down into a timeline to make it easier, using 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or whatever times work for your particular business.
If you are looking for a way to get a bit more detailed with your plan or you foresee needing it to request funding later, you may want to devote more time and attention. You can still easily do this by devoting no more than one page to each section of your business plan.
Creating A Detailed Business Plan
Page 1 – Overview
Include your vision for your company (possibilities), the purpose of creating your company (why you started your business), and the mission of your company (plans for achieving).
Page 2 – Business Information
Here is where you would include information about yourself including name, business name, and entity, address, and phone number.
You’ll also want to summarize your business objectives on this page. List your goals and how you plan to reach them. Including what you’ll do to create a profit and what tools and resources you plan to use to do so.
Page 3 – Market & Customers
Answer the following questions in this section of your plan.
Your target market – Who are they? Where are they? How many?
Give specifics about growth and spending habits. Do as much research on your market as you can and put it in this section, including any barriers or hard to overcome issues.
Page 4 – Competition
Who are your competitors? What makes you different and the same as those competitors? How are you competing with them? With price, quality, etc? How will your market feel about you compared to your competitors?
Page 5 – Marketing
This is a bit like your competition section because you’ll want to discuss how you will market your business products or services. What makes your business unique?
No matter which method you use to create your business plan, be sure you are answering each of the questions to make it efficient for its purpose. Whether it’s for you or someone else, the ultimate goal of a business plan is to keep you on track and focused, and working toward growth.
As your business grows don’t forget to update your plan to grow with it as well.
Your Business Plans Effect on Marketing is our topic of discussion today. Some people say you don’t need a business plan, some say you do need one. So, what is the real answer to this question?
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan serves as the guidebook to your business. Your business plan should communicate what your business is, how you plan on growing it, and what steps you are going to take to achieve your success. See? Easy answer! But, when you work online, your business plan might not look like a traditional marketing plan.
Your business plan also has a huge effect on your marketing efforts. Your business plan can help you decide what type of marketing will add value to your business and which types of marketing will simply be time wasters.
By writing out your business ideas and goals, you can determine your target market. Your target market is the group of people that you want to promote your products or services to. Determining your target market is the first step in planning your marketing efforts. See, this is the right answer!!
Having a business plan, and knowing who your target market is, will lead you to create your marketing plan. A marketing plan is similar to a business plan in the sense that it acts as a guide and helps you stay focused.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a written plan of action that communicates how you are going to market your business. There are many ways to market your business, such as flyers, paid ads (newspapers, magazines, online), business cards, speaking in front of groups, becoming a guest on a radio show or television program, pay-per-click campaigns, direct mail, and more.
Your business and marketing plans serve as tools in deciding which marketing ideas will work best with your business and your particular brand. It can be easy to try too many different marketing approaches. Whenever you feel confused about your marketing efforts, take some time to re-read your business plan. This can help you decide if the new marketing idea will actually reach your target market and if it is worth trying.
A Few Ways to Market Your Business
Developing relationships with other business owners that offer complementary products is a great way to market your business. When you know which direction you plan to grow your business, you can start scouting out possible future business partners.
So, for instance, if you have created your own line of organizational handbags and would like to start offering diaper bags, you can start researching the top baby-focused websites and see if they would be interested in helping you promote your diaper bags. Doing your research is critical to figuring out who would be best to help you and your business.
Your marketing plan should also include information on how you plan on keeping your customers after the initial purchase. Some ideas include customer-only sales, backend sales opportunities, customer-only freebies, etc.
Now, what would you include in your marketing plan?
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How to Create a Pattern of Success is today’s topic. If you want to get ahead in your life you must take the information below to heart. Believe me, if you want your business to be successful you will do what it takes to get there.
Once you experience success, you will be able to look back and realize that you achieve all success pretty much the same way. You set a goal, follow through on the tasks needed to be done for achieving results. You keep an open mind, learn from others, track your successes and learn from failure. It’s the same thing, over and over again. And it works.
If you want to create a pattern of success in your life, you can start now by learning the secret that successful people know. Successful people are only successful because they are doers and they follow through. They are not smarter than others; in fact, it is entirely possible you are smarter on paper than they are.
You just don’t follow through!
Listed below are some of the very best actions you can take to make your business successful.
Become a Goal Setting Expert
Start at the top and learn how to craft the best goals for yourself. Know that the goal is something that can be accomplished. And know that the goal is measurable before you finish writing it. Most of all, make sure it’s a goal that you really want to achieve. The benefits of goal setting are #1 in my book.
People who achieve are doers. If you want to get something done, schedule it no matter how silly it might seem to you. If you put it in a schedule at a particular time, and not just on a generic “to do” list, it will be more likely that you get it done. You will eventually gain more time in your day, believe me.
For instance, if you have set a goal to write an 80,000-word novel by a certain date, then you should know how many pages you need to get done each week and which days you can work on it, which times, hours, and how long it takes you to write a page. Successful writers write; they don’t wait for inspiration to strike. They schedule it and do it. The same can be said for anything you want to achieve. You don’t wait until you want to do it; you do it on schedule.
Automate the Mundane
There are a lot of things that need to be done but that can escalate easily into “busy work” which doesn’t get you closer to a goal. Bookkeeping for instance is something that can be accomplished today, with the right software, almost automatically. You can schedule payments to happen automatically; you can also use software that enters everything for you in the ledger. Freeing up time to focus on your scheduled activities that must be done to achieve the goal is a more productive use of time. It will definitely give you a win for the day.
Get Outside Expert Help
To be a success doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. You’re not on your own. The best scientists, professors, doctors, lawyers, and CEOs have assistants who help them look great. You too can hire outside help and contractors to help you do the tasks needed to reach your goals. Other than doing exercise for you and things you must do physically for yourself, there isn’t much you can’t outsource today.
Stop Reinventing the Wheel
In most cases, someone has already done it before you. Someone has already worked out the kinks and devised a plan of action that will work for you too with hardly any tweaks. Learn from other people’s mistakes and realize that you can gain valuable information from what others are already doing.
Never Stop Learning
They say it takes ten thousand hours of reading about a topic to become an expert on any subject. Keep this in mind as you look toward your future and set your goals. If you want to be an expert, you’ll need to start today building up those ten thousand hours. Even if you know nothing about a topic today, you can be an expert in just ten thousand hours.
Know Your Core Values
So, as you set goals to create a pattern of success, it’s imperative that you know what your core values are in terms of family, personal, financial, and physical life. Everyone has different areas they need to work on more than others – you need to know what your areas are to set realistic goals that you want to meet.
Track, Assess, Repeat
Nothing is ever done without the paperwork, as they say. Well, that includes creating a pattern of success. Only by setting goals, then tracking and assessing the results of the goals, and then repeating what works will you create a pattern of success.
In conclusion, creating a pattern of success requires knowledge of goal setting, goal achieving, and in-depth knowledge of yourself.
Starting today you can gain that knowledge and create a real pattern of success in your life.