The market planning guide: creating a plan to successfully by David H. Bangs

By David H. Bangs

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Your personal goals come first. You want to be sure you don't commit your business to a strategy which runs counter to your personal wishes. Do you want to sell your business in a few years and retire? Build the business to Fortune 1000 size, or keep it small? Be a technological trailblazer? All of these have been cited by small-business owners, and each has profound marketing implications. Some plausible marketing goals for the immediate future are increased dollar or unit sales, improved market share, greater profits, entry into new markets, abandoning a current market, and adopting a new technology or product line.

1, p. 4) will help you capture the important parts of your business. Don't aim for elaborate answers or profound statements in it. Just hit the high spots. You'll have plenty of chances to return to your business definition later. 1 Sometimes called an airplane definition: If you tried to explain your business to someone as you circled O'Hare for yet another 20 minutes, what would you say? Page 3 Picking an Initial Strategy John Case, writing in the Boston Globe (August 10, 1994), proposed a simple way to pick an initial strategy.

Most of us, though, are limited by our experience and interests, to say nothing of other limitations such as money, family obligations, and so forth. What can you do if you are already in business? Make haste slowly. Change to a marketing orientation, a marketing strategy that focuses on your customers' perceptions and demands. Understand your target markets in depth, and measure the products and/or services you offer against the demands of those markets. You can change product and service lines over time to meet the changing demands of your customers and prospects.

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