Norwalk, CT (PRWEB) April 18, 2007
Congratulations! You've built a better mousetrap (or exercise machine or bottle opener or catering service or …). Now what? Well, as Adaptive Marketing LLC reports, it's not enough to have a viable product -- you also need a viable plan. As an industry leader in Internet marketing, Adaptive Marketing offers small business owners and millions of other consumers access to savings on the products and services that can make a difference in their lives.
Business school textbooks are chock full of case studies on business start-ups that worked -- and scores of others that failed. In fact, recent figures from the Small Business Administration show that fewer than half of all new small businesses last for at least four years. There are any number of reasons why start-ups ultimately break down, whether it's a lack of financing, ineffective marketing, inadequate personnel resources, or even just poor time management skills. Whatever the problem was, the underlying cause can usually be tied to a lack of proper planning -- a fatal flaw that can be avoided beforehand by developing a comprehensive, insightful business plan, notes Adaptive Marketing LLC.
So what all do you need to include in a viable business plan? Adaptive Marketing offers a few tips on the fundamentals of a good business plan:
-- Define your audience. Your target audience depends in good measure on the product or service you're providing. A new cheesecake, for instance, is going to have a wider potential audience than would, say, a new software program for measuring lost productivity based on sick days and vacation schedules. Still, even the cheesecake can have distinct audiences -- are you aiming straight for local consumers, for local delicatessens and restaurants, or for a nationwide audience through grocery chains and/or the Internet? Whatever audiences you choose for your initial launch, your business plan should take them all into account.
-- Describe your product or service in your audience's terms. You know what you've created from your perspective, but what will your audience see in it? "Fresh, tasty cheesecake" might suffice on a local scale, but there are a lot of "tasty cheesecakes" on a regional and national scale. What features will make yours stand out in your audience's eyes? Think of your product from the consumer's point of view, and use that perspective to help shape your business plan.
-- Identify your sales and distribution channel(s) upfront. Oftentimes, it's not the manufacturing costs that can drain a start-up's finances, it's the other stuff -- how a product is marketed and sold and how it's distributed. An Internet website requires less financing than a brick-and-mortar store, but walk-in customers at the store eliminate the shipping and handling costs that website sales typically require. Be sure to look long and hard at any and all options for selling and delivering your product; those will be major factors in your business plan.
-- Identify your financing options. The fabulously wealthy will have the money needed to launch a new business, but the vast majority of us don't fall into that category, so you'll likely need outside help to finance your start-up. There are typically two ways to do this: acquire a loan from a bank, or find an investor or several to share in the costs (and, of course, any profits). Either way, you'll need to convince someone that your idea is desirable enough to merit financial backing. A well-developed business plan can do just that.
Business start-ups require a lot of time, effort and, in most cases, money, so you should be prepared to dedicate a good portion of your life to the effort. Still, with a well-defined business plan and, of course, a worthwhile product or service, you can join the legions of small business owners who've found their niche in the marketplace, reports Adaptive Marketing.
About Adaptive Marketing LLC
Adaptive Marketing is a leading provider of membership discount programs. Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in membership programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Visit AdaptiveMarketing.com to find out more information about Adaptive Marketing LLC.