Point 2. Discover Your Market
Your market is the client-centered zone in building your business plan.
The following 4 points will cover the basics of defining your market, between your competition, target clients, the way you communicate your message, and more.
A What's your unfair advantage?
What do you bring to your industry that sets you apart from your competitors? Discovering what your unfair advantage is can be found by conducting market research into your competition.
I like to consider "the competition" as the first page of the Google search when you look for a business exactly like yours [and in your local area if you're a brick and mortar] using specific keyword phrases.
For example, if you were Target Client Becky's eye makeup remover representative, to search your keyword phrases you could start with: "the best cosmetics in [your county/city]" or "the best cosmetics company in [your county/city].
To be even more specific, "the best [eye makeup remover] near [your county/city]".
Next, list out all the qualities that you can provide to your customers, specifically those qualities that your competitors—to the best of your knowledge—do not possess.
For example, maybe you know you're stellar at customer service.
You will do anything to guarantee your clients are gabbing about you to everyone because you took such great care of them.
Take "Awesome Customer Service" as a heading on a piece of paper and break it down into descriptives.
What are you willing and able to do to become the best customer service representative in your industry? Out of that subset of details, you will find the keys to your unfair advantage.
Anyone can say they offer the best customer service experience. However, a brief, descriptive statement of why you have the best customer service, and provide proof—a testimonial of a previous or current client or a case study—you can tout your apparent expertise.
Your unfair advantage.
Plus, partnerships with key businesses among "who you know" in general contribute to your unfair advantage, too.
B Who's your ideal client?
I'm pretty sure I've tossed enough links into this article about determining your target audience, but if you haven't checked that out yet, now is the time.
Including the brief synopsis of your ideal client is a huge part of discovering your market.
C What channels will you use to communicate with your target client?
Channels refer to tools of marketing to your ideal client. And using the previous information gathered about your ideal client, you will have a much better idea of where to find the people who want your product.
Where many businesses go wrong here is just going with whatever social media platform they frequent most.
For example, Facebook.
Just because you like to use it, doesn't mean your ideal clients are on it. I know all about this one from experience.
Going to your clients where they already are gives you a competitive edge.
Gathering market research on your active competitors' social influence online.
You can also use a survey sent out to any existing customers of yours to request this information is a great way to get what you need.
Plus, a great reason to check in with your clients, too.
And don't be shy. Reach out to target people who aren't your customers and ask them what social networks they use.
If you're able to get a survey out them, by all means, offer them something for their time.
D How will you make money?
The desire to make a profit from your product or service is a given. But you need to detail exactly how you're going to earn it.
Here, I'd recommend setting goals, using that market research, and realistically setting up your revenue model.
What's your profit margin on your product or service?
How much time can you invest into your business? What do you project that time to average out to? (Take your hourly rate for services or product profit margin and divide it out to the amount of [projected] time you spend with your clients/on a project to estimate your annual earnings.)
What is the lifetime value of your customers?