Those who succeed identify target markets, learn about their needs and provide the appropriate bundle of goods and services to meet those needs. Many will publish trade magazines, newsletters or e-letters.
Find out as much as possible about the industry you want to enter. They may also provide membership or vendor lists, although this information is usually only available to members. Apply the national statistics to your local demographics.
Business Plan Outline – Extended This classic business planning guide is a template that makes it easy to edit and “fill in the blanks” as you go.
The guide is especially helpful because it asks many of the questions new business owners should be asking themselves, and it helps organize your thoughts in an easy to communicate format.
There are only two ways to get customers in a competitive market: either develop new customers or take them away from your competitors.
Also, study the competition for ways to become co-operators rather than rivals by buying or selling from each other.
In addition to providing a game plan for directing and guiding your business, a business plan can provide a great tool for communicating your business to potential investors and financial institutions.
Statistics have shown that those who develop and implement a business plan tend to survive and those who do not, fail.
You should have a good idea of the product or service you will be providing, what type of demand exists for it, and who your target customer is.
The following organizations are great resources for getting started, refining business concepts, and familiarizing yourself with some basic tools, such as business plans, finances, and insurance.