The secret to success in any field or industry is preparation. Professional baseball players do not get paid to close their eyes, swing hard and hope they hit a home run. They spend hours each day, days per week, and months out of a year to prepare to be the best they can be and expect to succeed when the time is ripe. They are paid to play with the best that they've got in order to win. Success may come to a select few in the form of sheer luck or good fortune. But success is almost a given for the ones who choose to prepare for it. If you're a business owner and you want to ensure success for your business – whether big or small, then understand the need to prime your business for what's ahead. Now, you may be good at the main service that your business provides, but you may not need to be a strategic person. Do not go forcing to turn your weakness into a strength – it's called "weakness" for a reason. Instead, while you capitalize on your strength, hire someone who is strong where your water loo is. To get your business to hit the ground running, you will need to prime it for the race. A great marketing plan is almost always the foundation foundation for success in any business – and a great market planner can help you with that.
Market planning will allow you, the business owner, to get familiar with your customer base and the standing of your competitors (their strengths and weaknesses). It will outline ways in which you can attract more customers, and compete with business rivals in a more efficient and cost-effective way.
What does a market planner do?
First and foremost in any project, a market planner will need to do research – in this case (and at the risk of sounding redundant) it's called market research. The work this requires is gathering data and other information that will help yield answers to future potential marketing problems. There are several ways to go about this: telephone survey, door-to-door survey (although this is hard ever done anymore), email and direct mail survey or through focus group discussions. Door-to-door surveys are not only time-consuming but may also be the most expensive of all means because it will entail transportation costs. Direct mail survey, the next cost option, are best when questions are kept short paid-postage reply envelope must be included so that your responses will not be discouraged from participating on the account of having to shell out for mailing charges.
The most cost-friendly option for gathering data during market research is a telephone survey. Respondents will most likely make time to quickly answer a few questions via phone than through a direct mail survey. Focus group discussions are a great option as well because it allows for a more exhaustive response from your respondents. They are free to explain further their answers and even bring up other topics that you or your interviewer may have no touched on but could find helpful or interesting. What you will be spending on are the recruitment fees (some opt to give goody bags or gift checks in lieu of cash payment for participation), the interviewer's fee and the rental of room or venue for the group discussion.
What is in a market plan?
The main parts of a market plan are as follows:
* Executive summary
* Business goal / s
* Your business
* Your customers
* Your service / product
* Your location
* Your budget and pricing strategy
A good market planner will know how to seamlessly construct your business' market plan in a comprehensive yet easily understood structure with all the data collected during the research stage. The data and information that your planner collates is supposed to help you tailor your business in a way that reaches out to your desired demographic in the best way possible. So if you want your business to stand out above the rest, leave no room for doubt that your product / service is the best one there is in the market.
While you may be the brainchild of your company / business, you can not expect to be fully and completely hands-on in every single aspect of your business simultaneously. A fresh perspective is always helpful when it comes to strategizing and conceptualizing your marketing route. This is a part of the business where you will need to be absolutely honest with yourself about whether or not it's a strength of yours because extremely it may make or break your company. A professional market planner knows the ins and out of strategizing and structuring a market plan that will suit various industries. He / she will also have had the benefit of experience to find out which ideas do not work well or may cause more financial damage than help.