Advice About Marketing Aspects When Starting A Small Business From Scratch
At this point, we assume that you have reviewed your financing options and have concluded that you can get the necessary funds to start your business.
Before any market analysis can be conducted, a business needs to know what it is good at and what it should leverage, and what it is not very good at and what it should monitor. That is where a SWOT analysis comes in.
Before you get too deep into ways to market your offering, you need to create mock-ups of what you plan to offer, and leave the office to get some real-world feedback to validate that what you plan to offer is really something that your customers will value and pay for.
Using the data you received from showing your MVP to potential customers, you may need to pivot from your initial idea. The process that uses MVPs to refine your product offering is know as the Lean Startup Method.
When it comes to market analysis, the next question is related to who the customer is. Are they individual consumers or other businesses? When the customer of a business is an individual consumer, the business is considered a Business to Consumer (B2C) type business. However, when the customer is actually another business, we refer to them as a Business to Business (B2B) type business.
When it comes to understanding the individual consumer, the first step is to recognize the difference between demographics and psychographics.
When it comes to understanding the individual consumer, many libraries license a tool called DemographicsNow that takes both demographic and psychographic information and organizes the population into groups and types. The DemographicsNow manual that describes the attributes of each type of consumer is difficult to locate in the tool, so here is a link to the manual that you can download:
Here is a video demonstration showing you how to use the DemographicsNow tool to conduct market research.
When it comes to understanding how a person’s age translates into buying behavior, there are Demand Curves that were produced by the economist Harry Dent. Below is a post that introduces the concept of demand curves.
You can download a copy of Harry Dent’s Demand Curves document that lists hundreds of products and services consumers buy, based on their age.
When it comes to understanding the attitudes and behaviors of each of the generations, here is a post that looks at what shaped each generation.
When your customer is another business, there are nine things every business customer wants.
It is also important to be able to target the right business with your offering. Many public libraries offer a tool called Reference USA that contains a powerful business database. Here is a video demonstration to show you how to use the business database in Reference USA to find and explore your target business customers.
Regardless of whether your business is a B2C or a B2B, SizeUp is a free tool to help a business understand how their business stacks up with other businesses in their industry.
When it comes to market research, businesses often make leap of faith assumptions. Many of these assumptions will prove to be incorrect, so it is a good idea to identify and test them before you build a business based on them.
There is a big difference between a person promising to buy what you are selling and being willing to exchange hard earned dollars for it. Here is an excerpt from a video lesson from Boot Camp: Steps to owning your business, as well as a post on the lean-startup method that explains why and how to test your assumptions.
Below is a post that documents in a little more detail about the 3-page website as a way of verifying that customers are willing to exchange money for what the business is offering.