Business plans and marketing strategy Series. (Part 2)
The aim of business planning itself is to understanding the purpose, actions and usefulness of resources and their eventual effects.
If we look forward to a certain return on investment for the resources we are intending to deploy into the market place, what steps or plans should we take to achieve this results?
Creating A Clear Aim For Your Business:
Before any sort of planning starts, it is recommended that you create and confirm the aims of the business. If there is any aspect of the business becomes a thing of worry, make sure you tackle and validate the objectives of that aspect of the business. The world is constantly changing. The point of starting a new business is the best time to tackle preconceptions of fundamental business structure and purpose.
The main aim of a business should be stated out in your short, medium and long term goals.
In everything, one must ensure the success and viability of the business in the short term or the long term is merely a paper plan issue. All objectives and aims must be prioritised and as far as possible quantified. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Every organisation or business has its own target market. Knowing the market enables you to assess and value and plan how to engage with it.
For a small business in Nigeria, its market research needs to focus on basic information necessary for strategy formulation for the making of business decisions. Market research should be purposeful. It should be a means to an end, and not a means in itself. Market research produces vital information necessary for positive performance and growth of businesses. This information ranges from useful data, to detail local and technical information, trending industry issues, valuable statistics and existing competition. A proper market research should be tailored for the exact needs of the business.
If the initial market research is inaccurate the analysis result will be un-reliable.
For a small business and all other types of businesses, the elements you might need to understand and quantify are as follows:
- Customer needs, buying patterns, preferences and industry trends.
- Demographic analysis
- Products, services & their related values and trends
- Government regulations as related to industry and legal implications.
- Customer perceptions of prices.
- Market & distribution routes.
- The strengths, weaknesses, products, prices and all other activities of available and potential competition.
Have A Clear Mission Statement:
Every business needs to have a ‘MISSION STATEMENT’. It educates your shareholders and customers on what you are in business to do in a very clear and concise manner. Involving staffs and partners in creating or refining the mission statement of your business provides them with a sense of ownership and responsibility. Making your mission statement public is also a perfect method of focusing attention on the business’s priorities.
Properly Explain Your Products & Services:
The products and services that you provide must be clearly defined and understood by your customers. What your customers stand to benefit and the way you carry out your business activities must be evident in the definition of your products and services.
A good market research will tell you where the opportunities are to increase your competitive advantages. Competitive advantage is increased the more you can offer things that your competitors cannot.