Whether you’re just starting out with a new business venture or you’re looking to improve your existing one, a well devised business plan is the focal point around which everything revolves. We are talking about THE blueprint that lists the way your company does business, how it creates value, how it acquires customers, how it generates sales and of course, how it makes profit.
If you fail at creating a relevant business model, your business will automatically suffer, not reaching its full long term potential. This is why it is very important to know every area of a successful business model and create one that will lead your company to longevity and financial success. Here are the areas that need to be covered in a winning business model:
Identify Your Audience
Your audience is crucial because those are the people interested in what you have to offer. Without properly understanding your target audience, you’ll have a hard time selling to them, so your marketing efforts will always be an uphill battle. Market research is thus crucial to your venture’s success. Find out your target audience’s age groups, what their interests are, the type of products and services they are already using, the type of products and services they dislike and most importantly, WHY. Fully understanding this will enable you to offer your audience the products and services they need and are actively looking for, and they will reward you for it.
Define What Brings Value To Your Products And Services
Now that you’ve identified what your customers want, it’s time to provide them with just that. So what exactly makes your products and services stand out? What do they bring to the table that your competition doesn’t? What convinces your customer to buy from YOU? Work to answer these questions as the answers will help you improve the quality of your services and make them really stand out.
Design The Process Of Operations
Are you selling physical goods over the Internet? Describe exactly how a customer purchases a product, and how that product reaches your customer, every step of the way. The dropship company you’re using, the delivery options and charges, the places around the world you are delivering to. Are you going to have a physical location where you can interact with customers (an offline store)? Write down how many employees you will be required to have in every area of managing the store, what their attributes will be, what salaries are you going to pay, what kind of customer service you want to provide for your clients. Will you accept credit cards, will you use an online merchant account, will you accept checks or will you bill your clients?
Identify All Operating Expenses
Starting a business before understanding all your operating costs is a death sentence. You need to write down everything, and we mean everything. You will likely need some or all of the following: employees, a website, equipment (computers, laptops, tablets, desks, furniture etc), a bank account for your business, a commercial space to rent, a contractor, a delivery service, an accountant, a car(or multiple cars), a marketing budget etc. Write down everything that is relevant to your business and try to come up with a monthly operating expense. This way you’ll be prepared and have a full understanding of your monthly expenses.
Develop Business Relationships And Partnerships
Will your business benefit from mutual partnerships with other businesses? If so why? Identify businesses who you could partner up with, and find out all the ways this type of partnership would be mutually beneficial. Exactly what will you gain from a partnership with company A, and what will they gain from partnering up with you?
Focus On A Marketing Plan
Now that you fully understand your target audience, it’s time to actually target them. Create a marketing plan using the information you’ve collected to get customers in front of your products and services. Whether it’s an online marketing plan or an offline marketing plan (or both), you need to need to get your offers in front of as many interested customers as possible. Decide on which type of advertising would suit you best, create ads, tracking campaigns, identify newspapers, radio shows, online podcasts etc that would better suit as advertising platforms for what you have to offer.
Fine Tune And Adapt
When you’re ready to actually open shop, make note of everything that’s going according to plan and everything that isn’t. In a business there will be moments when things don’t go as planned. You will need to sit down and try to understand why that is, and fine tune your strategies accordingly. Moreover, always look to innovate and improve your customer relationship and the quality of your products and services. Create surveys for customers and try to identify what makes them happy with your company and what frustrates them. Where can you keep improving and what is the best way to do that?
You now have a better understanding of what it means to devise a successful business model. Do it right, and your business will flourish!