Today's Top TipOnline business plan scams are alive and doing very well. There's even a new wrinkle: the "crowd funding". Trust me, no one makes money but the promoters in this scheme.
Stop by any day for a new Top Tip of the Day
Creating effective marketing plans for your small business loan can be a daunting task. The key is to lay a foundation of strong statistical information that is targeted to your specific market. Whether you are looking for angel investor networks or a first time business loan, the marketing aspect is critical.
It's this part -- laying the foundation for the marketing plan -- that trips up most entrepreneurs. For instance, a shoe designer may have her sights on an exclusive boutique in Beverly Hills, or on an international market with established distribution channels. The SBA might be targeted for one market; a venture capital investor for the other. The marketing approach to each is quite different, and that difference must be reflected in the marketing plan.
Generally speaking, here are the levels of research needed for strong marketing plans:
Local business. Demographics on local clientele, broken down by zip code AND information on the industry in general. The "local" area may be one zip code area or a whole metropolitan region, depending on your client base.
Country-specific business. Demographic information on that country AND information on the industry in general.
International business. Demographic information on countries being targeted for sales AND information on the industry in general.
Internet Sales. The increasing prominence of internet sales is mucking up any reasonable stats that anyone ever thought they had, and they pose a real challenge in presenting stats.
"Creating a marketing plan" reeks of weeks and months of eye-straining over statistical reports and web sites printed in really small fonts.
For most entrepreneurs it needn't be so hard. I'll let you in on a professional secret: BizMiner.
BizMiner is the starting point for nearly all market research projects. The range of coverage that BizMiner offers is astounding: over 900,000 industries, with full industry analysis, statistical summaries and narratives. (That's not a typo -- it is 900,000!)
BizMiner has been known for years by some of the top companies and institutions in the country, such as Accenture, Black & Decker, Business Week, Cambridge College, Capital One, Cingular, Dell Computer, Dellitte Touch, Ernst & Young, Expedia, Federal Express, Wharton School, Yale University and thousands of others.
The information that BizMiner provides is now so "user friendly" that anyone can find what they need:
Without doubt, this is information you can literally take to the bank. It is knowledgeable, current, and respected information.
If a business plan writer researches this information for you, she will charge you literally thousands of dollars. I know -- I did it for many years. Doing it yourself via BizMiner is an incredible cost saver, as well as time saver.
You may be able to stop here. The information provided by BizMiner is very comprehensive, and often suffices. If, however, you elect to customize your marketing plan even more, take a look at Marketing Plan -- Online Resources. (But before you go, do take a look at Creating New Markets -- its a cautionary tale for many entrepreneurs.)
Every so often an entrepreneur comes along who has a NEW IDEA, something that has never been tried before, something that will break open new markets, whole new industries. And, he wants to be The First One to Market, the First to show the concept/product, the First to place ads, The First, THE FIRST.
Trust me, being The First isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Being The First means that gazillions must be devoted to simply selling the idea, and then gazillion more need to be spent to get people to buy it. By then, there is a Competitor. The Competitor doesn't have to spend gazillions to promote the Idea -- The First has already done that. The Competitor just needs to show that hers is better -- at a fraction of the cost that The First spent to sell the idea originally.
In fact, it is typically very helpful to have competition. Imagine if there were only one company that could make CD players -- the music world as we know it would be stuck in an eight-track world.
All of the advertising combined created the demand for CD players, not the advertising of one company.
So it is likely to be in your industry.
Now head on over to Marketing Plans -- Online Resources to check out other resources for the marketing plan portion of your business plan.
If you are comfortable with your market research at this point, begin writing your business plan.
There were two kinds of people who almost always
bought subscriptions to the [newspaper]: people who had just married
and people who had just moved into new houses or apartments. .. After
asking around, I discovered that when a couple wanted to get married,
they had to go to the country courthouse and get a marriage license.
.. Then I found out that certain companies compiled lists of people
who had applied for mortgages. ... This is my first experience with
what I would later call "segmenting the market," one of Dell's most
significant strategies for success..
Founder and CEO of Dell Computers
Whether your clients hip hop or waltz, create a plan that will create your studio.
Grow your own skill, and those of others, as you grow your personal training business.
Capture the energy in your youth with your own children's gym.
You've worked for others for years. Now is the time for your talent to shine.