Small Business Marketing – The Power of a Market Review

Conducting a market review is one of the most important steps in the small business marketing process as it provides together with a business review the information you need to create a dynamic marketing plan. All big businesses conduct these reviews as they know it can save time and money for their business.

A market review does not have to be complicated and a lot will depend on what information you can source. The important factor regarding a market review is to understand the key elements of your market and how these elements can affect your business now and in the future.

The key elements you need to look at when conducting a market review for your small business include:

Size of Market
Your market is simply the overall industry in which you compete. For example if you sell juice then you compete in the Beverage Market. If you sell holidays as a travel agent then you compete in the Tourism Market. Analyzing the size of your market can tell you whether it is growing or declining, help you to identify growth opportunities and for a new small business can determine if the market is large enough to compete in and operate a profitable business. There are many sources you can use to gather information on the size of your market and these include trade magazines, industry associations, search engines and local government websites and resources.

Market Segment Analysis

Segmentation is a process that looks at the total market and then divides the products or services into broad groups that have similar characteristics. In the examples above, whilst the total market is beverages, the segment that is the most important to a juice manufacturer is the Juice Segment. Looking at the total beverage market today throughout the world the leading soft drink manufacturers have entered many of the market segments such as bottled water to expand their business. Market segment analysis also helps you to determine where your small business marketing efforts should be concentrated.

Distribution Channel Analysis
A distribution channel is the way in which your product or service is made available to your customers so they can purchase it. Examples are supermarkets, personal selling (face to face selling), distributors and the internet. Analyzing the sales of each distribution channel in your market enables you to identify which channels are the most important for you to compete in to grow your business.

Market Trends
A trend is any significant change to your market that your business may need to respond to. Examples of market trends include changes to the economy, changing customer demographics, social and global factors (to name a few). If you conduct business in the USA at the moment or are intending to compete in the USA then the concerns about a possible recession and how it could affect your small business needs to be identified so action plans can be put in place to minimize the impact.

Market Seasonality
If a product or service is seasonal it means that the majority of the sales occur at one or a few times a year. Tax accountants obviously have increased sales when the end of the financial year occurs and tax returns and other government reporting are required. Understanding market seasonality factors can lead to your small business maximizing sales through this period and also may highlight opportunities to spread your sales throughout the year.

Competitor Analysis
Your key competitors need to be analyzed in order for you to identify their key strengths and weaknesses and how they compare to your own small business. Reviewing this area means that you can be smarter with your marketing efforts and be proactive against their weaknesses and of course defend against their strengths. One tip that all big businesses do is to have a competitor file with examples of their marketing activities, products or services.

Big businesses know the value of reviewing the market in which they compete and you can to. Remember you can start slowly and just review one section at a time and then put in place activities or make business decisions based on the review to grow your small business.

© Marketing for Business Success Pty Ltd 2008

7 Steps to Creating a Successful Small Business Marketing Plan

Small business marketing is all about determining the needs of your target market and then providing solutions to meet those needs.

These 7 steps are aimed at entrepreneurs starting a small business and those who want to create a successful small business marketing plan for an existing business.
Most small business promotions focus on how great their products and services are. Instead, you should educate your target market consistently and start building a relationship that will establish your credibility and trust. It is important to develop a marketing mindset. “Think Marketing” your products and services all of the time. It is very important to consistently market your products and services. Don’t fall into the trap of stop and go marketing. Some small business owners only market when sales are down.

You can’t have a successful small business without having a successful small business marketing plan. Effective small business marketing is the way to growth and profits

If you’re a small business owner or you want to know how to start a small business in the future, this simple 7-step plan will help you understand your business and your target market.

How to Start a Small Business Marketing Plan: 7 Steps
Begin the process by answering these questions:

1) Who — Who specifically is your target market? Who is your ideal client? What research can you do to find out more about your target market?

2) What — What products and services do your ideal clients want and need? What does your product and service do for your ideal client? What problems does your product solve for your customer? What are the solutions that your ideal client is looking for? What is your area of specialty that will differentiate you in the marketplace? What are the industry trends? What type of message will your ideal client likely respond to? What are you ultimately selling? For example: Are you selling eye glasses or are you selling vision? What is your unique mix of products and services? What is your pricing strategy?

3) Where — Where is your ideal client? Where is your customer located geographically? Where will you position yourself so they can easily find you? Where are the best places to get your marketing message to them? Will you speak to groups, hold seminars, or write a blog, newsletters or articles?
4) When — How frequently does your target market need to hear your marketing message? When are they most likely to buy your products and services?

5) Why — Why are you in business? Why do customers or clients buy from you? Why should they choose your product or service over your competition?

6) How — How does your customer buy your product or service? How are you going to reach potential buyers for your services and products? How will you communicate your marketing message? How will you provide customers or clients with the information they need to make their buying decision?

7) Marketing Mindset – Practice mastering a Marketing Mindset and you will be on the path to a profitable small business.

With these 7 steps, you can take action towards starting a small business marketing plan that targets new customers. “Marketing is about testing and evaluating your return on investment. But it’s primarily about helping people get what they want.” Master these small business marketing steps and you will be on the path to more profit and success as a business owner.

Find a Business Bank Account

A company bank account is a necessity, even if you own ran your own enterprise for ages. It can make for convenience and straightforwardness when balancing your stats. Not possessing a business account can cause a lot of troubles when you try to manage the funding associated with you small business.

A lot of business proprietors select to start their business bank account at the same monetary place where they do their personal banking. Many say that since you already have a connection with the business that you can depend on these people to be more encouraging to you and understanding. This does not mean that you should just open a company account with your present-day financial organization and not examine out the competitors. It is very probable that the financial association that delivers you the best deal on your personal bank account be higher than one more bank in relation to a business account. Every single financial institution delivers varying products and expertise to their customers. It is essential that you look for a bank that offers many advantages for you circumstance.

There are a few points I can provide to anyone regarding obtaining business bank accounts. Contrasting financial institutions for their advantages and added benefits for your circumstance can be a bit daunting. Most of us don’t care about the ins and outs of the banking world as long as our cash is there when we need it, even so, there are a few things you should look at finding out prior to beginning a bank account with a certain business.

1) Do they have a specific unit devoted to providing advice to small businesses?

2) What are the versions in the types of business accounts that they give?

3) Are their fees that will accrue when using specific products accessible with the business bank account?

4) When are costs borne for transactions? It is on a per transaction basis? Or a flat monthly amount?

5) Are their any hidden expenses that might sneak up on you in the foreseeable future?

When choosing upon a financial institution to manage your business account, you will need to figure out how each bank could help you in your banking transactions and figure out how you manage your business goes along with their expert services provided. Normally you will find that a fixed-fee account will be a more sensible choice for you if you deal with large amounts of transactions monthly. This will negate having to pay out individual fees for each transaction. If you find that you need to have a business account that offers you with the ease of free direct debits and standing order availability, it is critical that you go with a bank that offers these services. Don’t settle for less than you demand.

You always have the option of starting different business bank accounts with various banking establishments if you cannot find one financial institution that meets all of your needs. Find banks that can supply you a better deal if you have several accounts with their company.

The next accounts might be essential to have for your business dealings.

Current Business Bank Account: This account is used on a daily basis to cover expenses. Find a financial establishment that offers this type of business account with competitive interest rates.

Loan Business Bank Account: This account is used to monitor your loan accounts. Research the financial institution’s options regarding loan accounts. Many times it might be better to go with a personal loan instead of a business loan.

Foreign Currency Bank Account: This type of account is essential when dealing with overseas business dealings. This sort of account can help to save you from being billed several conversion fees.

You should keep watch on all of your business accounts regularly. One way to help you to do this with ease is by banking online. Usually if you open a business bank account online, you will get lower charges than if you had went into the bank to start your account. Granted, this is not always the case, but it is a definite possibility.

Find and Compare the Best Business Bank Accounts

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