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Business planning - market research

Uncovering your best customer
by

Futurpreneur Canada

on 14 November 2013

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Transcript of Business planning - market research

It provides the background to determine how you will market and operate your company.

It highlights how the industry works, its history and its projected future.

It identifies your key competitors.

It creates an understanding on your customer, specifically your BEST customer.

Think like a detective.

Identify the key questions you want answers to.

Constantly evaluate the information you’ve gathered, what are it's implications to your business?
When you’ve found information you think is relevant ask yourself “So what?”

Define the immediate market you are going after.

What is its geographic scope? It's important to define regardless of delivery (online or physical).
This will help create focus for marketing and sales to contribute to business success.

Determine how many customers are in the local market.

Think of this as the ‘lowest hanging fruit’; the easiest customer to capture first.

Identify the industry best practices for marketing to customers.
Is it through online networking?
Word of mouth referrals?

Pinpoint operational requirements that are crucial for success.
Do you have enough inventory?
Are you licensed?
Is the store front appropriate?

Find out how to establish credibility with your customers.
How much credibility do you need?
What associations do you need to join?

This is the most common and easiest to do.

In this instance there is no legal difference between you as an individual and the company. This means that you are personally liable.
SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP
Don't let the fear of liability stop you. You can always change your company structure later as needed.
TIP
This is when two or more people jointly own and are liable for the business.
PARTNERSHIPS
This is a completely separate legal entity from you as an individual. This requires papers of incorporation and involves more steps to setting up the business.

Check out the [LINK: Guide to federal incorporation] for more information.
INCORPORATED
Beyond the sections we’ve gone through there is one more item you may consider including in Market Research. A
customer survey summary
.

Get out there and take the time to share your idea with
potential customers
Collect insights, feedback, and reactions from ‘real’ people

Get focused. List out the questions you’re looking to answer before you start and keep referring to them.

Set deadlines. Avoid being sucked into the research rabbit hole by establishing a timeframe to conduct research.

Don’t be shy. Invite competitors for coffee to gain industry and market insights.

Use the Business Plan Writer as a guide for writing your plan. It comes complete with examples!
https://www.cybf.ca/bplan
“Market research never ends. You are always discovering and fine tuning your product or service.”
Dominik Loncar
Take our survey and help us get better:
https://cybf.wufoo.eu/forms/survey-market-research/
Don't assume everyone who needs your product will purchase it, instead, really consider the above question about who will spend money on it.
TIP
"SO WHAT"
ANSWERING THE
Look for information that provides evidence or a rationale to support your claim.

Seek out specific information.
Be aware of making ‘leaps’ in logic when making deductions from available information.
Example of a leap in logic: "The economy is doing well therefore my business will do well."
QUESTION
Online ads?
Strategic alliances?

Identify your 4 – 5 closest competitors. They may be the same size or within your niche.

Conduct a
SWOT
analysis for each:

Strengths:
what can you observe that attracts customers and sales?
Weaknesses:
what limitations can you observe? Don’t be judgmental. Be specific.
Opportunities:
what are they doing or not doing that you can take advantage of?
Threats:
what could they do or not do to make it difficult for your company?

Try to make your answers for each competitor as specific as possible.

Strengths
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Threats
Good reputation
Well established
Online Presence
$145 diagnostic test required
$390 for 8 sessions
No fee diagnostics
May decide to waive diagnostic fee
Offer online tutoring
TOP TUTORS
Familiar with local community
Will need to rent
Make learning exciting for students

High schools may begin to offer in-school tutoring
Competitors
S.W.O.T ANALYSIS
WHAT INDUSTRY
WHAT INDUSTRY
ARE YOU IN?
Identify the industry your company is in.

Develop a profile of the industry to answer the following questions:
How does the industry work?
How do existing companies reach customers?
Who are the competitors?
Is the industry fragmented or are there only a few key players?
Is the sales cycle seasonal or cyclical?

Be cautious about using market research to prove WHY the business works.

Use market research to show under WHAT conditions the business works.
TIP
WHERE IS THE INDUSTRY
GOING?
Political/Regulatory
Environmental
ARE YOU IN?
Identify if your product/services is going to focus on:
Your business plan will need to include a description of your 'best customer' (consumer) OR your 'target market' (business). You do NOT need to include both in your business plan.

Consider industry best practices for marketing to your audience.

B2C
B2B
OR
SELLING TO CUSTOMERS
SELLING TO BUSINESSES
WHO IS YOUR
BEST CUSTOMER?
When selling to consumers your business plan needs to include a description of your 'best customer'.

Establish 8 – 12 common traits of your customer across the following categories:

Demographics:
age, gender, income, education, nationality;
Lifestyle/Psychographic:
hobbies/leisure activities, values, what do they like to buy;
Behaviour:
what’s the purchase trigger? Timing?
Scope:
what’s the local market?
List out the final traits as statements. This helps to clarify the audience for marketing and pricing strategies.

TIP
WHO IS YOUR
TARGET MARKET?
When selling to businesses, your business plan needs to include a description of your 'target market'.

Establish 8 – 12 common traits of your target market across the following categories:
Industry:
industry, specialty/niche, customers they attract;
Business size:
amount of sales, number of employees, budget size;
Organization:
flat/hierarchical? For profit/Non-profit?

Innovative/Conservative? Committee decisions/Sole decision maker?
Scope:
what’s the local market?
Decision Maker:
who are you contacting?
WHAT DO YOU ASK?
CREATING CUSTOMER
SURVEY QUESTIONS
Provide customers questions with several answer options.
Don’t make them think.
Set a framework for them to answer within by providing multiple choice questions.


Questions to include:
What is important to you when purchasing?
When would you buy?
How would you want the product/service delivered?
Where would you go to buy this product/service?
What is the maximum you’d pay?
Who are you?
WHERE DO YOU
GET ANSWERS FROM?
COLLECTING
INFORMATION
Collect information from primary sources through a direct survey or focus groups.

If this isn't providing you with a great deal of insight, consider secondary sources, such as:
Libraries
Google: Industry Canada, Gdsourcing, directories, 66 faces of Canada, Environics analytics

Analyze what you can do with the information collected to move your business forward. Consider:
What strategies can you implement based on your results?
Make sure to include the full results in the appendix. In the body of your business plan include an insight summary and reference the appendix for more details.

TIP
ZEBRA TUTORING
Socio-cultural
Economic
Technological
WHERE IS THE
INDUSTRY GOING?
Briefly outline the history of the industry.
How could past trends impact your predictions?
What does this mean for your business?

If the following factors have an effect on your business, identify them and what effect they have:
EXAMPLE
Full transcript