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What Is The Secret To Starting A Successful Business?
In a word, marketing.
Regardless of the quality of products and services you offer to your customers, if you don’t build an effective marketing plan or don’t know how to target a particular market segment, you won’t achieve your business goals. That is why most businesses need to implement an appropriate marketing plan. By doing the research necessary to build an effective marketing plan, you will need to focus on finding the right customers and convincing them to use your services.
What is A Marketing Plan?
It is a written document that explains how to attract customers and get them to buy what you sell. There are three aspects to consider:
Customers/Market: The more specific you are, the easier it will be to produce an effective marketing strategy.
Competition: Study your competition best to determine how to position your business and promote it effectively.
Marketing strategy: A marketing strategy allows you to promote products and services and gain a good share of the market and determine how to do it.
Identify The Market And The Customers You Want To Target
Start creating your marketing plan by considering your products and services’ problems and the needs they help cover. A fence, for example, represents a simple barrier but solves the problems of privacy, safety, protection of children, and protection from prying eyes.
Now, let’s consider the market. How many people buy what you sell each year and how much do they spend on the purchase?
You do not have to make assumptions about this data, but carry out appropriate research using the following tools:
- Online searches allow you to consult statistics on a national basis relating to the size of your target market slice.
- Your local US Small Business Development Center or SCORE office offers free help for small businesses.
Now, outline the characteristics of your prospects. Remember that it is useless to say that anyone can be your ideal customer, not even “all homeowners” or “all businesses in my geographic area”. These categories are too broad. Look for market niches within larger markets, such as older people who travel frequently.
It would help if you also considered whether large companies can distribute your products on a large scale or niche markets, such as those of entrepreneurs who could use your services and appoint you as a contractor.
If possible, talk to your existing and potential customers. Call them, discuss with them on social networks or at industry events. If you already have a customer base to rely on, ask them to tell you what they think of your business, just like Khafif did. If you don’t have any customers yet, give out free samples in exchange for feedback.
At the end of the search, summarize the characteristics of your ideal customers. These will be customers who need your products and services the most, who have money to buy them, and ideally, intend to buy them in bulk or frequently. Initially, you will need to focus on these people.
To win customers, you will have to make sure that you outperform the competition. Please do some research to identify your direct competitors, the market niche they are targeting, the prices they charge, and the marketing strategy they have chosen to make their brand known to customers.
- Search online for terms associated with your business, such as “landscape gardeners in Rome” or “junk dealers” or “sink companies.”
- Browse your direct competitors’ websites, look at the slogans, ads, and images they use to find out which customers they are targeting.
- Look on Facebook, Yelp, and other social media and try to spot what your competitors like and don’t like. By doing this, you can determine what makes your business unique.
Summarize what you find out about the competition, noting names and places and the names of your direct competitors and their competitive advantages.
Develop Your Marketing Strategy
First of all, think about the strategic goals of your business that will have to match the goals of your marketing strategy. Then, assign a priority and a budget to each of them. Your budget varies based on whether you want to keep customers, grab new ones, or boost your business growth.
Now, determine the best ways to reach out to prospects.
Networking, word of mouth, flyers, promotional postcards, email marketing, website, social media posts, advertising, and speeches at conferences or other events are very common marketing tactics for small businesses. To be truly effective, you need to be specific and ask questions such as:
- Which networking groups do your ideal clients participate in?
- How do these customers hear about companies like yours?
- How often will you have to communicate with them, and how long will it take for them to become your customers?
- What tactics can you implement to make the most of your customers remember you repeatedly and cost-effectively? Who will be in charge of these activities among your employees?
The Key To Success
- Need some motivation to get started? At your disposal, many online documents that will help you plan your marketing strategy. Once all the information is gathered, define your budget and get to work. Choose the employee who will be in charge of carrying out the various marketing initiatives and set specific times. Don’t try to do everything together. Choose your main strategies and implement them, ensuring that the tactic you choose allows you to repeatedly communicate with the customers who are most likely to buy from you.
- By always keeping in mind the three main considerations regarding the marketing plan and modifying it according to your needs, you will have all the tools you need to prepare for success in the most effective way possible.