Answer a few tough questions
Building a business and marketing plan will teach you more about your customers, competition, direct or indirect, your industry and what other small businesses are doing. You are not in school anymore, so it permits copying.
But, in business planning, you need to answer some tough questions. If you are tackling a plan for the very first time, you need to build a planning and marketing advisor’s team. Select first from your employees. After all, they need to speak up, but please, no punishment from past discretions. Some of your best ideas may come from them.
A QUICK TIP
Some people are best at answering questions when a question comes up during a conversation. Here are a few probing questions to help you get the ball rolling:
Search for Answers
Meet with non-competing business associates you admire and even your customers. Other people to know may be in your local chamber of commerce, junior colleges, a community business association, or in local business schools.
Visit your local bookstore, a university or junior college library, or venture online to find a ton of books, podcasts, and many gurus to check out for help. Keep in mind, your team members may have some ideas in the area. I recommend not to venture here until you visited the pervious suggested people.
1. A situation analysis is a significant start to help you change.
My company analysis involves evaluation of your company’s objectives, strategy, and capabilities. It will enable you to determine the strength of your business model, whether there are areas for improvement. For example, understanding your business capabilities, customer types, business environment, product, pricing, and revenue.
As written above, some people are best at answering a question during a conversation. The situation analysis is a great tool for your company leadership and team members. For example.
* Precisely define your company and your product or service.
* If you offer a product, define what it is, how is the product used, how is it put together, and what are the expected results.
* If you offer a service, tell us what you sell in seven words or fewer, and what a customer receives when they buy it, how the service will perform for the person and who purchases it, and specify the single most important benefit.
* Then, in order of importance, describe which features will appeal to your marketplace.
* In order of importance, define the products/services your company offers. (Be as complete as possible.)
2. Here are example questions I may use to look at Your Organization.
- In one sentence, describe what your company does. Do you have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? If yes, attach it to your answers to these questions.
- How long have you been in business?
- How is the company organized (subsidiary, division, franchise, etc?).
- Are the current product lines or services meeting their goals and objectives? Please list them in importance of their success.
- What is your knowledge about products and/or services information from customers is telling you?
- Describe what you think your target audience knows—and feels—about your company and the products/services, in terms of quality, features, style, brand names, etc.
- Describe what you think or know what your target audience knows and feels about your competition.
- What areas of product (or services) and brand strategy need improvement?
- Have you developed research profiles of each customer segment?
- How is your company presently positioned in your industry? What is your company known for?
In today’s business environment, you need to learn as much as possible about customers, transactions, and who is the next customer to serve. It is not as easy as looking at customers and the products they purchase and to make a mental note of the differences.
A company needs a business model to focus on what customers want and even how they think, recording answers in a database. Do not fall into the trap of building a major campaign on logic or a gut-feeling–it is a formula for disaster.
Join Our Community Forum and Get My FREE Answers to the Questions Above
If you want to get a feel for questions asked and answered, sign up for free today for our Direct2Customers Marketing Community.
Please share with others–except your competition!
Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.
Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are from my experience as a small business owner and a marketing entrepreneur in marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.
Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!
This is what I do and what I love to do.
Thanks again for reading. Questions?
Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608