|Small Business Information|
Analyzing Customers in Your Business Plan
The Customer Analysis section of the business plan assesses the customer segments that the company serves. In it, the company must 1) identify its target customers, 2) convey the needs of these customers, and 3) show how its products and services satisfy these needs.
The first step of the Customer Analysis is to define exactly which customers the company is serving. This requires specificity. It is not adequate to say the company is targeting small businesses, for example, because there are several million of these types of customers. Rather, the plan must identify precisely the customers it is serving, such as small businesses with 10 to 50 employees based in large metropolitan cities on the West Coast.
Once the plan has clearly identified and defined the company's target customers, it is necessary to explain the demographics of these customers. Questions to be answered include: 1) how many potential customers fit the given definition? is this customer base growing or decreasing? 2) what is the average revenues/income of these customers? and 3) where are these customers geographically based?
After explaining customer demographics, the plan must detail the needs of these customers. Conveying customer needs could take the form of past actions (X% have purchased a similar product in the past), future projections (when interviewed, X% said that they would purchase product/service Y) and/or implications (because X% use a product/service which our product/service enhances/replaces, then X% need our product/service).
The business plan must also detail the drivers of customer decision-making. Sample questions to answer include: 1) Do customers find price to be more important than the quality of the product or service? and 2) are customers looking for the highest level of reliability, or will they have their own support and just seek a basic level of service?
There is one last critical step in the Customer Analysis -- showing an understanding of the actual decision-making process. Examples of questions to be answered here include: 1) will the customer consult others in their organization/family before making a decision?, 2) will the customer seek multiple bids? and 3) will the product/service require significant operational changes (e.g., will the customer have to invest time to learn new technologies? will the product/service cause other members within the organization to lose their jobs? etc.).
It is essential to truly understand customers to develop a successful business and marketing strategy. As such, sophisticated investors require comprehensive profiles of a company's target customers. By spending the time to research and analyze your target customers, you will develop both enhance your business strategy and funding success.
As President of Growthink Business Plans, Dave Lavinsky has helped the company become one of the premier business plan development firms. Since its inception, Growthink has developed over 200 business plans. Growthink clients have collectively raised over $750 million in financing, launched numerous new product and service lines and gained competitive advantage and market share.
The Perilous Franchise Agreement: What Did You Sign?
Purchasing a franchise has become one of the most popular avenues for individuals looking to escape the rigid work day of a 9 to 5 job and take the leap into the world of independent business owner. After all, who doesn't dream of being their own boss and controlling the limits of their own financial future? For anyone looking to act on their entrepreneurial spirit, franchising can indeed offer many attractive qualities that can provide excellent growth and earning potential, as well as satisfy that longing for independence. On the other hand, individuals that jump into franchising too quickly without adequate planning can find themselves mired in financial and legal problems. Even the most sophisticated businessperson can fall into this trap and be left scrambling to understand exactly what they signed.
Your Ideal Client ? A Key Concept for Solo and Small Business Marketing
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."--Bill Cosby
A Business Tail: Veterinarian Foams at Mouth, Chases Tail, Learns New Tricks--Case Study
Many self employed professionals find themselves overwhelmed, frustrated, and confused when it comes to running their businesses. The deep skills they have in their professional field do little to prepare them for the dog-eat-dog world of running a business. The following is a case study from the client files of small business expert, Caroline Jordan, detailing a typical professional's experience trying to run a business without foaming at the mouth.
How To Start A Blind Cleaning Business Quickly And Easily
Starting the blind cleaning business is one of the best marketable business ideas you could latch on to. If you give the requisite amount of time and dedication, there will be no cap on your earnings. No wonder, there is pleasure unlimited in being one's own boss. A lot of ambitious people like you have made successful entrepreneurs of themselves, as they mastered the principles of a successful blind cleaning service.
Successful Small Businesses Use PR
It's obvious when a small business has accepted the fact that its most important outside audiences need lots of care and feeding. They do something about it.
Boat Hull Cleaning Procedures for Owners and Detailers
For really tough boat hull cleaning you will need to break out the acid. Muratic acid is the best for this. You'll want to have a 50/50 mix of muratic acid of 6-8% concentrated (12% is the highest concentration you can legally buy over the counter), water and a good strong sprayer. You can purchase muratic acid at Wal*Mart, K-Mart, Pool Supply Stores, Home Depot, Lowe's, Van Waters and Rogers Chemicals. Sears Craftsman makes a nice strong sprayer or try a local store for another brand of commercial pump-up sprayer.
Old Data in Database Marketing Software
Database Problems in Marketing
Eight Key Steps to Selling Your Business and Cashing In
This year, some 700,000 American businesses will be sold. Most will be small and mid-sized businesses like yours. If you, too, are thinking of selling, consider these practical steps for making the process go smoothly.
Franchise Rule to be Revised; Why?
The FTC, Federal Trade Commission, is considering modifying the franchise rule. So far it has be a ten-year process; just imagine working that slow in your business? In 1995, 1997 and 1999 when the comments were first considered and taken in, which spans a ten-year period. When you combine those comments with this current rule making period they may have broken the record for the longest rule making session since voting on the slavery issue; one heck of a long rule making period by any means.
Small Business Stress Buster: Completion not Perfection
Completion not Perfection Five Keys To Doubling Your Productivity and Boosting Your Effectiveness
Business Owner--Educate Thyself!
Remember the training programs, seminars, and workshops you had to attend when you were on the corporate side of the table? You were expected to complete course after course for professional development and skill enhancement. Well, where do you get your training now that you are on your own? Do you learn from your clients? Are they the best teachers? What about your competitors?
Street Wars Between Mobile Car Washers and Mobile Auto Detailers
There is much competition in the mobile auto detailing business. There are two different lines of reasoning emerging as to how the business should be run. One is go for volume and discount and wash the world. The other is go after the high end customer which is 10% of the market, do exceptional work and charge as much as the market will give. These two principles are the reason for a war between mobile auto detailers and mobile car washes. Mobile car wash companies are often seen washing the Honda car for the single mom in an office complex. While the auto detailers would not touch the car unless she was a total babe and they thought they might get a date out of it.
Creating Time the Virtual Way
Time. As a small business owner, it's the commodity you covet most but never seem to have enough of.
Pressure Washing Business and Post Fire Cleanups
Many have not experienced a fire up close. One year about 15 years ago I almost lost my house as did our neighbors to a wild fire. It moved so fast and the sky so black, with cinders everywhere and soot like a nuclear fallout horror movie. Luckily our neighborhood was spared except for a couple of homes. The fire fighters did a good job that day, others living further down the path of the fire and lower in the canyons did not fair so well, a few people even lost their lives. From that day on, I take fires seriously and you should too.
Small Business Grants - Tips from the Pros
Every business starts with an idea or a dream. To implement this idea or to turn your dream in to reality you require finance. A grant supports the business ideas and turns the dreams of an entrepreneur in to reality.
Aircraft Washing Business Tip - Interior Private Jet Cleaning
Aircraft Interiors of personal and corporate jets have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested. We have had an opportunity to speak at length in Tucson, AZ recently about the special custom interiors the weight they cost in performance and the needs in cleaning. There is a large company there that specializes in putting in new aircraft interiors for several large biz jet manufacturers and also does custom work for nearly anyone in the world who wants it right and perfect;
How to Curb Antique Shop Theft Inexpensively
If you have ever had your antique shop or mall ripped off, you understand that it's very hard to detect. There are simply so many items to keep track of, and an item can be missing literally for months and you may not realize it.
Creating a Paperless Office
When working from home, it is usual to find that you have your office in an area that is not very big, such as a box room or even in the corner of the kitchen. When your business really takes off, you will begin to discover that your work area starts to get swamped by paperwork and that you are running out of storage space.
Challenging the Gospel of Growth -- Must Business Grow to Survive?
A cherished business doctrine is that growth must be a primary business purpose: "grow or perish" is a mostly unquestioned truth. At South Mountain we favor certain kinds of growth, but not expansion for its own sake, which author Edward Abbey described as "the ideology of the cancer cell." We embrace growth to achieve specific goals, but always with consideration of the consequences: it may disrupt and endanger treasured qualities. We look for ways to develop and thrive without enlarging, thereby holding to limited growth. When we grow, it is by intention rather than in response to demand. We think about "enough" rather than "more"-enough profits to retain and share, enough compensation for all, enough health and well-being, enough time to give our work the attention it deserves, enough communication, enough to manage, enough headaches.
The Key to Small Business Growth? Buyer Alignment
Unfortunately for all buyers, each selling organization and their individual sales professionals are unique and often require immense amounts of energy to build a relationship with. This keeps buyers guessing, which in turn keeps the sales organization guessing. It's a constant game being played out across offices across the country.
|home | site map|