Monthly Archives: August 2013
Common Marketing Mistakes can kill your business, do you doubt it? Well lets see!
- Using only secondary research. Relying on the published work of others doesn’t give you the full picture. It can be a great place to start, of course, but the information you get from secondary research can be outdated. You can miss out on other factors relevant to your business.
- Using only web resources. When you use common search engines to gather information, you get only data that are available to everyone and it may not be fully accurate. To perform deeper searches while staying within your budget, use the resources at your local library, college campus or small-business center.
- Surveying only the people you know. Small-business owners sometimes interview only family members and close colleagues when conducting research, but friends and family are often not the best survey subjects. To get the most useful and accurate information, you need to talk to real customers about their needs, wants and expectations.
More Mistakes and solution : Trying to Serve Everyone
The blessing and the curse of many entrepreneurs is that they’re good-hearted, and really want to make world a better place.
The blessing part is easy to figure out… but the curse? By trying to help everyone with their product or service… They often end up helping no one.
Having too broad of a target market is probably the single most common marketing mistake people make. In order to stand out in the crowd, you need to be really specific with which sub-segment of the population you’re targeting. The narrower your niche, the better.
Now you’re probably thinking… “Ahh, but what about all these other prospective customers I’ll be giving up on?” I get that.
You have to think about it the other way: get excited about how well you’re going to be able to serve the specific customers you’re going after. By focusing on a specific group, you’ll be able to serve them much better and have a more profound impact on their life.
Let’s go concrete with this. When you’re describing your ideal customer, you should be able to get highly descriptive of that person, both on a demographic and psychographic level.
For example, “Men between the age of 25 and 40” is a lousy target market. Instead, it should be something like “Professional men between 25 and 40 who live in major cities, are passionate about the outdoors, who struggle to find time for their hobbies, and are afraid that their best years are passing them by”. Now we’re talking. This is a target you can really help… and make a lot of money in the process.
Solution: Write down the main characteristics of your ideal customer. Describe their frustrations, fears, and aspirations. Get as deep and as personal as you can. You want to able to put yourself in their skin and feel what they feel, think what they think.
- Market Research Basics (biztalksblogs.wordpress.com)
- Reaching Your Target Audience (enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com)
- Marketing Ideas for Small Retailers (displaybay.com.au)
- 3 Most Common Marketing Mistakes Young Entrepreneurs Make (and How to Fix Them) (under30ceo.com)
Marketing research can give a business a picture of what kinds of new products and services may bring a profit. For products and services already available, marketing research can tell companies whether they are meeting their customers’ needs and expectations. By researching the answers to specific questions, small-business owners can learn whether they need to change their package design or tweak their delivery methods–and even whether they should consider offering additional services.
“Failure to do market research before you begin a business venture or during its operation is like driving a car from Texas to New York without a map or street signs,” says William Bill of Wealth Design Group LLC in Houston. “You have know which direction to travel and how fast to go. A good market research plan indicates where and who your customers are. It will also tell you when they are most likely and willing to purchase your goods or use your services.”
When you conduct marketing research, you can use the results either to create a business and marketing plan or to measure the success of your current plan. That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions, in the right way, of the right people. Research, done poorly, can steer a business in the wrong direction. Here are some market-research basics that can help get you started and some mistakes to avoid.
Types of Market Research
Primary Research: The goal of primary research is to gather data from analyzing current sales and the effectiveness of current practices. Primary research also takes competitors’ plans into account, giving you information about your competition.
Collecting primary research can include:
- Interviews (either by telephone or face-to-face)
- Surveys (online or by mail)
- Questionnaires (online or by mail)
- Focus groups gathering a sampling of potential clients or customers and getting their direct feedback
Some important questions might include:
- What factors do you consider when purchasing this product or service?
- What do you like or dislike about current products or services currently on the market?
- What areas would you suggest for improvement?
- What is the appropriate price for a product or service?
Secondary Research: The goal of secondary research is to analyze data that has already been published. With secondary data, you can identify competitors, establish benchmarks and identify target segments. Your segments are the people who fall into your targeted demographic–people who live a certain lifestyle, exhibit particular behavioral patterns or fall into a predetermined age group.
No small business can succeed without understanding its customers, its products and services, and the market in general. Competition is often fierce, and operating without conducting research may give your competitors an advantage over you.
There are two categories of data collection: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative methods employ mathematical analysis and require a large sample size. The results of this data shed light on statistically significant differences. One place to find quantitative results if you have a website is in your web analytics (available in Google’s suite of tools). This information can help you determine many things, such as where your leads are coming from, how long visitors are staying on your site and from which page they are exiting.
Qualitative methods help you develop and fine-tune your quantitative research methods. They can help business owners define problems and often use interview methods to learn about customers’ opinions, values and beliefs. With qualitative research, the sample size is usually small.
- Types of Research (clairemacnamee.com)
- Research Analyst | MRA_Group (getjobsonline.org)
- Quantitative VS Qualitative. Which does what? (mediafort.wordpress.com)
Creating a Plan B?
While it’s not fun to think about what could go wrong, it helps to have a Plan B. As you consider the possibilities, here are some items to keep in mind:
- What can you cut? Look at your budget. While you don’t necessarily need to trim the fat right now, it’s a good idea to consider what you can do if you need to start pinching pennies later. Identify the first items that need to be cut from your budget, so you know what has to go when you run into trouble.
- How big is your emergency fund? Consider your emergency fund. Is it large enough to support you as you try to make your business venture work, or as you look for a new job? Can your emergency fund help you meet your deductible payments in the event of a medical catastrophe?
- What skills do you have? Complete a skills inventory. Look at your skills and knowledge, and think about how you can apply it to different career settings. In many cases, it makes sense to look at how your skills would translate to a different career field. Don’t assume that you have to keep doing the same thing over and over again.
- How divorced is your income? Don’t forget about your income diversity. Consider developing other sources of revenue so that you aren’t in complete trouble if one revenue stream is significantly reduced.
You need to know that you have options to fall back on if something goes wrong. It makes sense to think about what’s next, and whether you have the resources to meet it.
More on Troubles
Do You Have a Plan B?
While attending Rochas Foundation College, I listened as one of my instructors talked about the importance of reading on thursday morning.” He explained that preparing for an alternative future was vital if we wanted to maintain true life integrity.
My instructor Dr Ken Ketas was talking about picking up your pieces irrespective of failing the exams.He was indirectly talking of plan B. However, the concept also applies to creating a Plan B that you can call on in your financial life.
You Don’t Know What’s Next
Friends life can sometime be unpredictable. You don’t actually know what’s coming. Now pick up a newspaper or turn on the television and you will find what passes for news is usually bad news, real bad news like a monster bombing a gathering center. Don’t mind me, that’s my way of saying terrorist. They are one of the most popular bad news. People want to hear bad news. They want to hear that you were sacked or out of business. They want to hear that Billy Bates is down crashing and you know the most annoying thing? They are happy or showing false remorse.
My point is you need a plan B. So as an entrepreneur or a worker or even a babysitter, you need plan B because even babies could be weird at times. Mothers you know what am talking about, like arming yourself with fifteen diapers and twenty feeding bottles. That to tell you how important plan B is for even your business plan
You don’t know what’s coming. No matter how well you plan, or what promises have been made, things can change just like that. And you need to be ready for it. Every business plan ought to have plan B. What will you hang on if the business doesn’t go well? Do you have other businesses to rest on? Are you going to acquire extra skills in case the fire goes out? Are you going to cut expense to increase profit when competition is high? What is actually your plan B? Do you have an alternative plan? If you lose some of your income, or if an opportunity you were sure about fails to materialize, would you be in financial trouble? In order to avoid or reduce mockery or even going bankrupted, Do you know that you need disciple to set your PLAN B.
I will write next on creating a PLAN B……. Bye and don’t forget to like our Facebook page or follow me on twitter.