So you have this great idea for a business, you’re a little new to business so where do you start and how do you find customers? What good is an idea if you can’t market it? This article gives step by step instructions on how to develop a plan for your new start-up business, refine your product, build value and create loyalty with your customers.
Have a plan – Might sound like a no brainer but some people try to sell their business with no thought out strategy. You must have a plan of what you want to accomplish. Set this as your goal then develop a strategy to achieve those goals. In the process of developing your strategy you will begin to notice challenges and identify limitations of your strategy. For example, let’s say your goal is to sell 1,000 widgets and your strategy was to make these widgets at home. Now analyze your strategy and think about your challenges and limitations. A few questions that might pop in your head are will I have the capacity to make 1,000 widgets at home? Where will I store them? How will I get these widgets to my customers? So now maybe you will need to get a commercial location to make and sell your widgets. Now you must consider rent expense into your business plan. You see what I mean? As you create your plan it will help mold your strategy.
Focus on the product – When you are starting a new business, you need to put plenty of focus on the product or service you are selling. Focus on quality and creating value. Your product should be good enough to sell itself. I hear of people focusing on the expenses they will be able to write off from their new business or how they will just have sales people selling their product for them. That approach is wrong. As a new business, you should focus on how your product solves problems. If your product cannot solve a legitimate problem and have its valued easily identified your business will not sell.
Benefits over features – As you focus on your product, consider the benefits that your product provides for your customers. The fact that your product comes in 5 different colors is just a feature. Stuff your product full of benefits and you can add a few features. Some people waste their time trying to convince their customers that a feature is a benefit. A benefit communicates to the customer’s emotions and has more lasting effects than features.
Keep them coming – Now you’ve developed your strategy and packed your product full of benefits but you must not forget the true definition of marketing which is to build and maintain profitable customer relationships. See first you build then you must retain them. Think about Microsoft and the computer industry, how are they able to get customers to keep buying computers. It’s because they give you a product but as they are selling you this first one, they’re already in the process of making a better one and a better one. They will continue to do this and the customer continues to buy because each new product has better benefits and features as the previous one. Once you’ve created a great product you can’t stop there, continue to look for ways to reinvent your product and add more value to it. As you do this, you will create loyalty for your product and you will begin to build your brand. As long as each new product continues to exceed expectations, you will be in business for a very long time. Good luck!