All businesses, from start-up to the most successful, should evaluate their process to ensure efficiency in service delivery and process. In order to be successful in business, IFC Advisory Services recommends building and re-evaluating a business model or plan. Entreprneurship.com defines a business model as a framework for delivering products or services to an intended audience. It is important to understand how your business continues to align with your model. Regularly evaluate how your business is running in relation to your model. If the two are not reflective of one another, re-evaluate the model and practice to determine which needs to be updated to reflect the current market. A business model should encompass: population, product or service offered, marketing strategy, and plan for generating revenue.
Know Your Market
The number one most important consideration in business is your customer. Understand who you are marketing your product or service to. The customer and the product should always be interconnected. It’s like the chicken and the egg, it doesn’t matter which comes first, just that they are inter-dependent on each other. Once you figure out who you are marketing to, what is it you want to market, or vice versa? Who is the key demographic that will use this product? How does this demographic access the marketplace? Building a strong understanding of who you are working with helps market your product and ensure the greatest profit. Try looking at your competitors, what sets them apart from others? How can you make an impact in this market that is different from the others? Continue to check your relevance in the marketplace.
Build a Marketing Strategy that works
Building a strategy to promote and distribute your product is how you eventually make a profit and keep your business a success. This plan is your framework for building a business and the skeleton for ensuring your business continues to grow and be successful. List in your plan:
- Where your marketplace will take place,
- How you will advertise your business, and
- How do customers get their product?
Make sure your strategy includes a strong marketing plan to promote your business in multiple forums. According to Mashable, more people own to mobile device than a toothbrush. Try using social media, as an inexpensive marketing tool.
Here you can also save time and money by using efficiency to make the most out of your tasks. You could also, lose money and profit by wasting time and money on process that deter you. Identify how the operational task should be performed- vendors; marketplace; shipping; book keeping; etc. Try making the most out of your investment by relying on quality technology when you can. One simple way is to use gadgets with dual functions, like a barcode and label printer. You will be able to keep track of inventory, effortlessly print shipping labels, and stay up to date with all your business needs without having to rely on antiquated tasks that waste time and money. Shopify offers a good selection to easily find cost effective ways to build efficiency.
Generating a Profit
Finally, your business plan should look at exactly how it will generate a profit and bring in income. This is the time in your model where you can write a market analysis by identifying your major areas in the market related to: current conditions, trends, your resources, and timeframe for implementation. The Small Business Association reports a strong market analysis helps predict and proactively act on costly pitfalls. Use the outline below as a guide.
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The SBA also recommends reviewing your model and comparing it to your current business practice to stay focused and on track. If your practice or model begins to deter, think about the reason this is. Has the market changed, therefore the model needs to be updated? Or did your practice deter and now your profits are suffering and your practice should get back on track? Keeping these aligned will help you stay in tuned with your business and ensure the greatest rewards from your market.