|Strategic Planning Information|
Do You Have A Customer Identity Crisis?
The trick is to determine what uniquely identifies your best customers. Fortunately, deriving this information is not difficult, and in many cases can be obtained from innocuous questions. Consider a manufacturer of baby goods and the fact that families with new babies often purchase multi-passenger vehicles. This manufacturer could build an effective mailing list by surveying recent car purchasers and noting which respondents had traded in sports cars for SUVs. Your information gathering technique of course will vary, but the identifying information always comprises the same three pieces -- demographic information, geographic location, and purchasing history. Demographic Information
Consumer behavior varies with age, sex, education, income, occupation, marital status, and family size. These demographic parameters are typically used to describe consumers, but they're not an exhaustive list. Perhaps the current brand of car or credit limit would more accurately determine your customer base, which reveals the dark side of demographics -- choosing which demographics to discard may be occasionally difficult. You may find yourself fighting the urge to know every minute detail about your customers. Bear in mind that too much information can be just as paralyzing as too little, and remember to choose wisely, because demographic information is the foundation of your customer analysis. Geographic Location
Trends in apartment renting and home ownership have proven the old adage "birds of a feather flock together," amazingly correct. Geographic location analysis paired with demographics reveals clusters of people with similar characteristics living near one another. This type of analysis creates maps where your customers live, which can yield additional clues on where to look for new customers. It's also worth noting that purchasing behavior is remarkably consistent within specific geographic areas, reflecting shared lifestyle traits. Market segmentation studies can build upon geographic analysis to produce studies of various customer types as well. Purchasing History
When did your customers last make a purchase? How often do they buy? How much do they typically spend? You can use these questions to assign a value category to your customers. If you're a consumer goods and services provider, you have all the purchase information you need right in your sales records. If that's not enough, or if you run a different type of business, you can find generalized purchasing history in census data.
Using what you know about current customers to identify likely new customers increases your chances significantly of finding new best customers. That in turn generates sound data to guide your product offerings, promotional programs, and overall marketing strategy.
Catenate, LLC is a web-based provider of detailed easy-to-use targeted geodemographic reports, through the Catosphere (http://www.catosphere.com) and related marketing services.
How to Grow Your Business by Clearing the Way to Growth
Is your business growing as fast and effectively as it could, or is it stuck at the same level it has been at for years? Research (Larry Greiner, 1972) has discovered 5 specific stages of business growth. Most business never grow beyond the second level. At this level, the business is characterised by a small group of owners (if not a sole owner), supported by a small team of people at an operational level. This describes the 90 plus percent of businesses, which have 10 or fewer staff.
Communication Strategy During A Time Of Strategic Planning
"Rubbish!" shouted the large, aggressive man in the red-striped shirt (we had to pay attention to him because he owned the company).
6 Changes You Can Make to Increase Business Profits
I read once that something like 30 percent of all drinkable water gets wasted on the way to the consumer by leaky pipes. Likewise, your business may be letting potential revenue drip away, to be lost forever, all over the place. Use this checklist to make sure you are taking best advantage of all the opportunities for earnings that would be arriving safely if you only plugged up those holes.
Dayton, OH; Why your Company needs to expand there
In Ohio: besides the 3-Cs you should look at Akron, Dayton, Canton, Toledo, Youngstown and their suburbs. We have been serious studying these areas quite intensely for quite a while, here is what we found; Dayton OH, is looking up after the recent GM Plant received high ratings for productivity being able to beat the Domestic Averages for time to build cars and SUVs, it's SUV Plant was amongst the top performers in the Country for time to build at an average of 20.7 Hours, much better than the Ford Plants all expect F-150 and Taurus Models. Many new projects are happening in Dayton;
What Every Service Provider Ought To Know About Writing A Business Plan
It's easy to lose sight of what needs to be communicated to prospective investors when writing the various sections of a business plan. Successful business owners/entrepreneurs use each section of their business plan to work up interest, to present arguments and, most important, to build trust and confidence.
Dotcom Business Plans Archive Project
One of the most important initiatives in the domain of business documentation is that of professor David Kirsch from the University of Maryland, who thought of a dotcom Business Plan Archive - , a project that consists of collecting business plans for posterity. The project was started in 2002, through the Web portal businessplanarchive.org. The site was built by Webmergers.com and the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, in collaboration with the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.The project received financial support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a New Home Business
I love the excitement of starting up a new home based business. I enjoy trying out new ideas and approaches with the new venture. I dream the big dreams and hope to obtain some of them (if not all of them). I am sure you have those same feelings as well. Organization is imperative when starting any business. Some say that a well funded business has the best chance to sustain losses until it's profitable. However, if you are on a shoe string budget like me, money management is the key.
Art of Succession Planning
Succession planning, like any business acumen, is both an art and a science. That is to say, there are many proven strategies that can and must be followed so that successful transition can occur.
How to Write a Business Plan in Five Steps
People often ask "What makes a good business plan? Or, "How do I make my plan attractive to lenders and investors?".
Business Problem Solving
Is there really anything as a problem? Does chaos or challenge mean you have a problem? I am under the belief that such things as other call problems are indeed the life-blood of opportunity and the louder it knocks the greater the gain. Embrace chaos. In my many years in business I loved a good challenge; let me recommend a good audio book incase you find yourself embattled with what you believe to be insurmountable problems:
The Power of Planning
I am surprised how few sales professionals, independent consultants, and small business owners take the time to plan the strategy for their business. Most people spend more time writing out a grocery list or planning a vacation than they do planning the direction or outcome of their business. Many will determine a vague or general idea of what they want to accomplish but very few actually identify the specific action steps they will need to take in order to achieve their goals. I'm not suggesting you create a 25-30 page business plan like a good friend of mine writes every year, but I do recommend that you begin outlining the goals you want to accomplish and how you plan to get there.
Microsoft Great Plains in Advertising & Publishing ? implementation highlights
Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Dynamics is excellent fit for service oriented business and in this small article we'll give you magazine publisher and advertiser implementation and reporting scenarios. The system we describe is not real, we are putting together industry specifics, based on our consulting practice. In the case if you do not see some unique features of your publishing business ? this just means that publishing industry is diversified and say, regional newspaper publishing is quite different from magazine with narrow specialization.
Corporate Venturing For Emerging Growth Companies
The boom of the dot-com era in 1999 brought the emergence of corporate venture capital as a major source of funding to the private equity markets. Corporate venture investments peaked in the third quarter of 2000 with 608 deals totaling a combined $4.9 billion. A few of the top corporate venture capital investors of 2000 included Nokia Corporate ($500 million), Oracle Corporation ($400 million), Intel Corporation ($300 million), Sun Microsystems, Inc. ($300 million) and Daimler Chrysler ($100 million).
Vendor Relations Strategies Sample Outline
One of the quintessential parts to any business is your supply chain. To insure that the supplies are there when you need them; in this new day and age of "just in time" distribution where very little sits on warehouse shelves until you order it you will need excellent vendor relations. Without the help of your vendors a small customer need turns into a astronomical problem and if you cannot solve it or serve your customer, you will indeed lose that customer to someone else who will. Someone who has constantly maintained a close relationship with their vendors in fact and can get what they need quickly with a simple phone. You say; "you wish it was that easy!" Yes, I hear you, yet I have seen over the years that with the proper vendor team, you can do anything, build anything, create anything and move forward faster than any competitor ever dreamed of. How do I know? Well, I built a multi-state franchise company with no outside investors from the smallest of small businesses, that's how.
Creating a Vision That Achieves Results
How important is a vision statement to your company or division? Well, have you ever thought about embarking on a journey without knowing where you are going? The same can be said about running a company, without a vision statement you are going places but who knows if it is in the right direction or even if you want to go there.
Vision Getting Dim?
A recent conversation started with a typical question, "How's business?" The reply was equally typical and prefaced by a sigh, "You know (another sigh), same old / same old."
Don?t Just Talk About the Weather, Use It to Advantage
A well known, national chain of restaurants discovered that certain weather patterns substantially impacts their business. They have studied it and found that more people go out to eat dinner when there is a series of beautiful days. So they measure the weather quality at their stores across the country. Managers report the weather quality daily. A weather predicting system is then employed to determine the quality of subsequent days. When the model predicts a higher customer count they reduce or eliminate sale items and include higher priced or higher margin specials on the changing daily menu. While they can't control the weather, they know that their customers respond to it. Knowing that, they work to take advantage of factors that can predict changes in business activity.
Innovate Today for Great Leaps Forward Tomorrow
How often does your company make a quantum leap forward? My guess is that, on a scale from "frequently (10) ? to ? never (1)" the answer is much closer to "never" because few companies have a process to innovate or think creatively. Very few attempt to formally think through their business model, their relationships with staff, clients, and vendors, and their product / service offerings.
Are You Aware of Planning in Business?
Human beings are rational agents. Rationality endorses one to take up planning in every sphere of life from shifting to a new house to marriage, as well as business. A business plan is the first and most significant premise to reach and run a successful business. It is not just that capital that makes a business successful but it is also planning done in a prudent manner that plays a crucial role.
Making a Decision to Outsource: Strategic Constraints
Many companies are reluctant to dive into outsourcing ocean because of various reasons of strategic nature. As far as strategic goals are touched upon, managers are concerned with the following issues:
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