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Conducting Target Market Research

Conducting Target Market Research

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.

 

 

If you a struggling with how to figure this out, book a call with me, and let’s work on it together. Book Now

 

Creating a One Page Business Plan

Creating a One Page Business Plan

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?

What do you need to know about them?

Why do they need your service?

Is the market growing?

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?

 

In Conclusion

 

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.

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Business Plans Effect on Marketing

Business Plans Effect on Marketing

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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Networking and Connecting 

Networking and Connecting 

 

Networking and connecting in business are super important. Just as in life, you cant go it alone. Its said that none of us are islands, but if we were, each of us would form a vast and interconnected archipelago. Bridges and boats would stream traffic between all these islands and that traffic is largely information. If you cut yourself off from this flow of information, either purposely or by mistake, you do so at your own peril. 

Why is it so important to make connections with other business owners? This topic of networking and connecting comes up often so why is it so important?

Here’s one reason why. If you don’t, the island next to you is going to make those connections you’re making and the information they provide and use it to his or her advantage. What are am I even talking about? Let me explain in further detail below.

Why You Should Network

Networking is an essential element of every successful business. It provides you with contacts, leads, clients, partners, suppliers, and much more. It will carry your name and your business reputation farther and more efficiently than most advertising will. Most importantly, it is an endless source of profit, ideas, collaboration, and support.

The IFS and the BUTS

If you are networking, you should do more. If youre not networking, you need to start. If you dont network, your business will stagnate and die. But why should I do this you might ask? Aren’t people just going to find me online searching for me? After all, I have a website! Ha…so does everyone else! 

Networking Tips

When youre networking you need to keep a couple of important points in mind.

First, every social or professional engagement can provide you with an opportunity to network. Theres often nothing more formal about it than an exchange of information and follow-up connection. Remember, as a business owner youre always on the clock, so to speak. Be ready to take advantage of a potentially lucrative networking situation should the opportunity arise. 

Second, when you are networking, treat people naturally, the way youd want to be treated. Offer no-strings advice. Often solving a problem for free generates more long-term profit than the cost of the advice or service. Also, listen more than you talk. Silence really can be golden when you take the time to hear what another person is saying. 

Finally, always remember that honesty is the best policy. Dont promise something that you cannot produce. Dont be someone youre not in order to close a deal. Be yourself and watch those connections grow! 

Connections & Business Collaborations

Networking and connecting with other business owners gives you the opportunity to collaborate with others also. You never know what you might teach each other or you might just find someone you can partner up with. Some of the most interesting aspects of your business might be just around the corner. So, remember that when you’re connecting with others.

 

Content Marketing Plan – Part 4

Content Marketing Plan – Part 4

Planning Your Content

 

Continuing on with our Content Marketing Plan, this time we are discussing how to PLAN your content. One thing that’s very important, if you plan to leverage the power of audio, video, and text, is to have a comprehensive content marketing plan.

Here’s a little checklist that might help you do that.

Setting Your Goals

Step 1: 

All your content creation should have a purpose and that purpose should not only benefit your readers but benefit your business as well.

 

Some purposes might be:

 

    • Search engine traffic
    • Word of mouth and viral effect
    • Pre-selling and warming up the audience to a product
    • Establishing credibility and authority
    • Reader satisfaction
    • Boosting your opt-in list subscribers
    • Boosting customer relationships
    • Selling your products

 

Just remember, the goal or purpose of each content piece is aligned with your overall marketing strategy. This may also help you decide whether content should be in audio, video, or text format. For example, if your goal is to boost customer relationships, you might choose a video of yourself to do that.

 

When you do your content marketing plan, make sure your content includes a call to action that supports your goal. For example, “For more information about how to manage debt, grab our free report 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt in 12 Months.” – tell them what you want them to do next.

 

Research

 

Step 2: 

 

Carving out time for research is very important. From brainstorming topic ideas to finding supporting information for those topics, there is plenty to be done. You also want to research potential places to distribute your content as well.

Here are some things that will make your research easier:

 

  • Keep a list of content ideas throughout the month.

 

  • Use the following to generate content ideas/topics:
    • Social networking
    • Keyword research tools
    • Blog comments
    • FAQs
    • Client interaction
    • Brainstorming

 

Review the analytics and results of last month’s content and evaluate which pieces generated the most interest or results. Know which pieces your audience responded to and use that information to create content topic ideas for this month.

 

While you’re researching topics, take note of interesting articles, statistics, and other items you might reference later as you’re creating your content.

 

Keep your eye out for places where you might publish your content. Connect with other website owners who might publish for you. Connect with them by subscribing to their sites, on Facebook, Twitter, and more.

 

Creation and Distribution

 

 

Step 3: 

 

Here are some things to plan and keep in mind, so your content gets out there to your audience.

 

  • How much content will you need? Will you write it all yourself, hire a writer, or use PLR? If you’re using a writer, ensure they have all the information they need well ahead of time, so they can meet your deadline.

 

  • Have you created your content publishing schedule? Plan ahead, so that you can match content topics with products you’ll be promoting. Decide where each piece will be published and which pieces will be published in multiple places.

 

For example:

    • Autoresponder
    • Blog
    • Guest blog
    • Website
    • Social networking page
    • Article marketing site
    • Video sharing website (ex. YouTube)
    • Audio sharing website (ex. iTunes)
    • Other

 

Repurposing

Part 4: 

 

The best way to make the most of your monthly content is to find ways to reuse it and repurpose it. However, when creating your repurposing strategy make sure that you’re still focusing on your goals. Each repurposed or reused piece of content still needs to serve a purpose and support a goal.

 

  • You’ve created a plan to reuse or repurpose some or all of your content. For example, an article published on your blog can be rewritten and published on an article marketing site. Or an article that resonated with your readers, could be made more visual and viral by turning it into a video.
  • Each piece of content that is repurposed or reused content has a goal/purpose. You should always keep benefiting your business (and your audience, of course) in mind.

 

It may seem overwhelming to have to plan all this content in a variety of mediums, but over time you’ll learn what your audience responds to and where you should focus your efforts.

And remember, quality is more important than volume, so focus on delivering quality.

 

This ends this series on Content Planning. Hope you enjoyed it and found it useful.

 

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