Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When Preparing A Business Plan, Find Your Niche

Identifying a target market and why this group is interested in what your business offers are initial steps in the business planning process. The market you serve should be the most-aligned with your service or product. Prospects and customers should understand how dealing with your company benefits them and these benefits should meet their needs. These aspects make it easier to build a niche that makes the business plan unique.

Clarifying what your business offers helps customers and yourself. You sell a product or service, but what else? Environment, value, and a brand experience all come into play. For example, restaurants sell food but each type targets a different customer base or need. A fast food restaurant provides basics to busy customers, while an Italian restaurant offers homemade regional cuisine in a themed environment.

Discover what makes your business different from the rest. Promote these differences and the associated benefits. Keep the focus narrow, offering specialized products or services to a specific group of people. Trying to be a jack of all trades often results in you being a master of none and for a small business, this is a death sentence.

A small business should have a niche, identified through market knowledge or prospect surveys. Entrepreneurs should identify the areas well-served by the competition, areas that competitors are ignoring, and potential opportunities. By creating a niche, a small business owner contributes to success of the venture.

Whether they are interested in a work at home business or having a physical location, entrepreneurs should spend time planning the endeavor. Clarifying what the business offers, identifying the correct target market, and creating a niche are essential components of the business planning process. Doing this homework helps the company distinguish itself from the competition, capturing the attention of prospects and encouraging repeat business.

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