SCORE Small Business Blog

7 Helpful Tips for Understanding Your Market
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Do you know who your customers are and what they need and want? Do you notice trends in what people are buying, or how and where they are buying those goods?

Determining the marketability of your business is done when writing a marketing plan. This valuable exercise helps you to explain the products and services that you are selling, who your customers are, what the overall market looks like, who the competition is, and your strengths and weaknesses. You will also include how you are planning to promote your products and services in your marketing plan.

This requires research. Here are some ideas that will help you identify who your target market is and why they will buy from you and not your competition.

1. Consider whether your business offers a new solution to an old problem or complements an emerging trend. Always think of ways to increase your business by knowing what your customer needs and wants.
2. Understand who your customers are and why they will buy from you. Identify all of your potential customer and make sure your company is visible to them.
3. Understand the benefits that your product or service offers. How much money will a customer save by buying from your company? What do you offer that is different from the competition? Knowing the benefits will help you generate ideas for all promotions. If gives your customers a reason to buy from your company.
4. Understand the industry and determine if there is a growing demand for your products or services. Are their economic factors that may impact your market? All publicly held companies have annual reports that are public information that can be found on their corporate website. You will find out what the annual sales are in that particular Industry. You can also find information online from the trade associations and government agencies.5. Consider how realistic is your pricing. Customers want the best value for the price. How can you position your products or services to potential customers so that it appears to be a good value, while still allowing a healthy profit margin? You need to know your competition.
6. Contact your competition and know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Know where they are located, how long they have been in business and what they are charging for their products or services. You may find that this exercise is unethical asking the competition for information but understand the sooner you know the answers to these questions, the faster you can create your position in the marketplace.
7. How are you going to promote your business? Products and Service? The quickest and easiest way is with face to face promotions, networking, handing out business cards and word of mouth. Referrals from happy customers can be your most profitable business. If you pay for promotions always track the results to make sure that you covered your costs.

This information is essential in understanding your market niche and will be included in your marketing plan. For more information www.knowthis.com.

Julie BranderBusiness Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business.
www.scorenewhaven.com | @juliebrander | More from Julie

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Discussion (2) Comment


  1. TaVisitor

    Numerous thanks

  2. Thank you very much for your tips. You certainly offered practical tips to improving my venture into internet marketing. Of the seven tips, I am still struggling with understanding the industry. I am into online writing and heaven knows how many freelance writers are there in the internet horizon trying to get whatever writing jobs are available. I also have trouble with pricing because there are many online writers, especially the newbies, who are willing to offer their services at a very low price. Developments in the information technology industry have provided amazing ways in promoting products or services in the internet.

 

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