Your Competitive Edge Can Be a Detailed Marketing Plan

You have just been offered a great business opportunity. Now what do you do next? First you need a business plan; a business plan is a blue print to follow as you build your business. It must be flexible but yet stable. Next there comes the marketing plan; your marketing plan is the foundation in which you are building your business. It must be detailed, smartly done, and pleasing to the consumer. I hope to cover four significant points that should be addressed in a successful marketing plan. The first is the geographical region chosen for your clientele. The second is identifying your target market. Third is your competitive advantage, if any, and finally, if you as a business owner have completed a formal marketing plan and you had to change it along the way, why?

You might ask yourself what a geographical area has to do with establishing your target market. This is the beginning; ask yourself whose needs are you trying to meet? Are you trying to keep it local, or are you trying to reach out nationally? With the location you have chosen what type of competition do you have, and how diverse is that competition? You need to know what will pull the costumers in, and what you can do to convince them that your business is the better choice. This knowledge comes after narrowing down your target market.

 

Let us take a look at your target market; you need to make sure it is not too general. The needs of the customers must be determined. This is accomplished by conducting a market research. Market research can be accomplished in many ways. It must have a clearly defined objective and one-on-one data must be collected. The way this data is collected can be as easy as a survey, focus groups, or simple daily transactions. After the data has been gathered and analyzed then any competitive advantage should be clearer. “Most of the restaurants in this area sell pizza and are not open for breakfast”, said a deli own in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He recently opened a small town deli serving both breakfast and lunch. He feels his competitive advantage is that his deli is open for breakfast and his menus are more diverse than the local pizza restaurants. What is a competitive advantage you might ask? It is anything that a business may do, offer, or implement that their competitors do not. This should give them an edge over their competitors and help them to find their niche in that particular market. Joseph had also mentioned that he began with a detailed marketing plan, but it was flexible enough to help him alter it when he needed to, in order to overcome unforeseen obstacles that might occur. The key point here is that it is crucial to have a detailed marketing plan. Do not forget it must be flexible and if possible have a back up plan. Proper planning is the key to success when opening a business. As I said earlier, your marketing plan is your foundation to build on, but it is up to you to wisely choose your tools to aid in your success.

Pat Mackaronis Describes How to Be an Entrepreneur

The following is a post from Brabble director of business development Pat Mackaronis. Pat is a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of entrepreneurship and startups, and has been a self-starting businessman for years.

Over the past year I have came across many people who want to become entrepreneurs but fear became their biggest obstacle. To have success as an entrepreneur is nothing more than a different mindset from your present mind. You are programming your mind to object the reality of going from crib, to cubicle, to casket. We all have experienced seeing some invention or idea and thought to ourselves, “I had that same idea” The difference was the other person mindset was in action as yours remained in fear. I will share with you some attributes that you can put into your life to start programming the way you think.

The first thing first is how you define what an entrepreneur is. The definition I like to use is simple as, a person who solves other people problems. All you have to do is ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes to solve someone’s problem?” Once you have the answer to that question you move into the next step.

Brainstorming is a way to start taking action and begin putting all your thoughts down on paper. Not caring about structure but writing non-stop about what you have to offer to solve someone else problem. I recommend not even thinking too much about what you are going to write down. Like the slogan for Nike say, “Just Do it.”

After you have brainstorm and wrote all your ideas and visions down on paper, take a quick break just to say, ” I am on my way to fulfilling my dream.” Feel great about taking action, because if you are feeling fear or overwhelmed, then maybe you might want to reexamine your passion or idea.

One simple step is to organize that same piece of paper you brainstorm on into a business plan. There are websites like; www.score.org that contains business plan templates and my favorite site is www.myownbusiness.org, which will walk you through the whole process of starting up a business.

Let me take a break and state that you should not have money on your mind right now. It will come a time you have to relax and just concentrate more on your goal. There are two outcomes after you have your business plan, either you will have an affect on your environment or your environment will have an affect on you. Please repeat what I just said because this is what is going to push you forward to get your idea going. You have to be the one to control your environment. You don’t believe in yourself then no one will believe in your services or product you are trying to offer.

The best attribute I can offer is read as much material on what you are trying to accomplish as possible. Successful entrepreneurs educate themselves in their field. While majority of people are sitting on the couch stuffing there minds with false reality of T.V., successful entrepreneurs are at the bookstore and library soaking up all the knowledge that they can endure.

Being an entrepreneur is the new reality. People are tired of going to work for hours out the day for a single pay check, which the government takes 25% of. The economic recession should be a wake up call to people who have the desire within to unleash their true potential. Look at the economic recession as a blessing because you can provide other people with jobs if you use what talent you have and bring it into existence.

To be an entrepreneur means getting over the fear and knowing that you are beyond powerful and well capable to create the life you deserve.