*This information is taken from the Small Business Center Network (SBCN), part of the North Carolina Community College System, and full packet, entitled “How to Develop a Business Plan” can be viewed here.
*This blog is Part 2 of a series on small business guidance. Stay tuned for more blogs. Check out Part 1.
Research, research, research, then market! Sounds simple enough, right? NO! A lot goes into marketing a business, especially if it’s a new business or if you plan to market a unique product.
Researching your business’s market space will enable you to know your intended market and how to appeal to potential customers.
How to I conduct market search?
Use published information, such as industry profiles, journals, magazines, census data, and demographic profiles.
And/or, do your own research. Identify competitors, conduct surveys, etc.
*Remember: include your market research and plan in your business plan. Be specific! Provide statistics, numbers, and sources. Also cite to specific sources so that you can easily revisit data, if needed.
Know your business’s economics:
- Total size of your market?
- What percent share of the market will your business have?
- What is the consumer demand?
- Any growth trends, trends in customer preference or in product development?
- What is your business’s growth potential?
- Any issues in the market place, such as high costs, high production costs, unions, etc.?
Now that you’ve conducted market research, it’s time to describe your products and services.
Make sure that you describe all products and services in your business plan.
For each product/service:
- Describe the most important features
- Why is the product/service special?
- What are the benefits?
- Do you offer any after-sale services, such as delivery, warranty, support, refunds, etc.?
*Remember: this list is in no way comprehensive of what to include in your business plan. Some of these tips will work for some businesses and won’t work for others. Use this blog series as a reference guide to help you create a successful business.
Part 3 of this series will discuss your customer base and recognizing your competition.
Contact the SBCN