Business Planning | Some Questions To Think About
I was reading Seth Godin’s book The Purple Cow:Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. He asks some very interesting questions. I am going to present some questions to you to think about when you are doing your business planning.
Instead of working on making a better product, can you get your customers to change how they use the product so that it works much better? Also, you could change how it works. For example, elevators used to stop at every floor. Now they go directly to the floors where people have pushed the button.
If the future of your product is going to be exactly how it is now and people are not really going to be excited with it, it would be good to take the profits and design a new product that would be in demand and exciting. For example, you have a good cleaning product and you haven’t changed it in many years, you could update it by combining it with some other ingredient that people would be interested in having.
There is a certain pattern of how people buy new products.
- First, the innovators buy them.
- Next are the early adopters.
- The early and late majority follow them.
- When enough of their peers have tried the product, they will too.
- Last but not least are the laggards or adapters. These are the ones buying tape recorders when CD players are out.
Do not try and design a product for everybody. Focus on a niche market. Ideas that spread are more likely to succeed than those that don’t.
Questions for business planning:
- How easy is it for your idea to spread?
- How often will people talk to their friends about it?
- How often will people use the product?
- Is the niche group a close group?
- Do they believe each other?
- How reputable are the people most likely to support your product?
- Is your product a fad or will it last over time?
Answering these questions during business planning will help you decide if your product is worth doing.
Products and services that are worth talking about are being talked about. The key is to advertise when the consumers are looking for help and in a place they will look.
You must develop products, services and techniques that the market will seek out. This is all part of your business planning and it applies equally when starting a home business. You must offer something that gets the right people to listen. Find the groups of people that are most profitable and the group most likely to spread the word. Target your marketing to these groups - what you would describe as your perfect customer.
Mass media has stopped working because most people are ignoring it. The “leading brand” is usually what people buy because it’s easier to go with a winner. When the winner stops being interesting the consumer will look for something better.
Make a list of your competitors that are catering to a niche market. Are they doing better than you? Think of a target market that doesn’t have much competition and go after them. You could make two similar competing products for them.
Godin, S. (2003). Purple cow
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