All new businesses start with an idea, and the idea must be translated into a concept or a product that others will want to purchase. Herein lies the challenge because just because you think your idea is a winner does not necessarily mean that other people will have the same opinion. So what you will need to do is become very good at research.
How to conduct your research
If you are a local business, you will need to find out all about your competition. You can begin by using Google, Bing or Yahoo, and enter in the type of business you are contemplating and see who is already in the local market. For example, enter your business, city and state.
The Small Business Administration can be of great assistance in this area, as they have statistics of nearly every community in America.
You should find out what your local reach is in terms of the number of households you will be able to reach. People are very picky about how far they will travel to buy a product so you will want to find out the potential of your product or service within the buying area of your potential customers.
Make a business plan
A business plan is a detailed plan that covers everything from A to Z in terms of starting financing, planning, marketing, legal, accounting and day-to-day operations. It would be a good idea for you to sit down with a local banker or accountant and seek advice in this area. It is very likely that they will have an outline or form for you to follow so you will be able to have a path to run on in the construction of your business plan.
A good business plan will be very detailed down to the day-by-day activities that must be accomplished as far as your start-up plans clear through to the point where your business will be a going concern and profitable.
Spend time with your own survey
One of the most practical and successful methods is to talk to the people in the areas where you have found that are within your marketing area. If you try to talk to as many people as possible over a few weeks, you will probably find out a lot about what people want. You may find different facets of your product or service that fit, you might discover that your product is not at all what people want.
Remember that people will always buy what they want over what they need. They may need to buy healthier food, but they will want to purchase snack foods, candy and other forms of fast food over what they should be eating that is healthy.
Once you have finished your business plan to yourself, your banker and other advisers, you can start your marketing efforts in a major way. This is the main activity that can make or break your business. Traditionally, the utilization of radio, television, and print media have been the major marketing strategies employed. Now, you must also introduce a heavy dose of social media, as that is where the bulk of customer like to find information.
The Small Business Administration