By Hauwa Abubakar
Every business is established to sell something and make profit. One of the key measures that help business owners to achieve this is marketing. When an entrepreneur has an idea, the first step is to actualize the idea, then sell that idea to a target market.
Many entrepreneurs would freely tell others that having the idea is one thing, but selling it is a different ball game. It takes hard work, dedication, passion and most importantly, resilience. As time goes on, it becomes apparent that it is no easy feat to get people interested in a brand, especially as a new entrant. Then comes engaging prospects to become loyal customers. As a matter of fact, marketing never ends.
Often times, there is no hard and fast rule in business. It is all about finding a strategy that works well at each phase. A strategy that works today may become irrelevant tomorrow. However, some ground rules may apply, in guiding you to adopt the best strategy. Here are three (3) key factors to consider to successfully sell a business idea:
- Have a scalable business plan
According to Investopedia, “Scalability is a characteristic of a system, model or function that describes business’ capability to cope and perform under an increased or expanding workload”. Scalability helps to maintain and increase a business’s performance over time. You must consider factors such as the ability to handle increased demands, how to cope with changing market forces and the possibilities of improving profit margins. Not forgetting another big question about how to manage increased sales volume and so on. Indeed, one must work out the scalability of a business to be able to market it effectively to a target audience. For example, if you want to assess the growth potential from 1 million Naira to 5 million Naira in one year, you must clearly map out how you intend to achieve this. The future outlook of the economy must be assessed after careful consideration of a number of factors. If you are unable to assess the scalability of your business plan, selling the idea to target customers or potential investors would be a more difficult ride.
- Conduct adequate research on your target market
A target market is like the keys to dreamland. It can make or break any business so a good understanding of the composition is key. As a result, every entrepreneur should think “what do they need?” vs “what do they want?”. What problems are you solving with your product or service? The answers to these questions will help every business owner identify what new thing to offer, also known as a ‘Unique Selling Proposition’. You can also conduct a detailed market research on the target market, to ask even more questions such as the location of customers, preferred communication channels and what constitutes value to them. These will help one to understand the customer’s buying journey and identify where the product and service may come in. A buyer’s journey runs from the point a need is identified to when the buyer makes a purchase to satisfy that need.
When seeking investors, you must also understand them; what are their investment interests based on previous companies they have invested in? What would they need your product or service for and how would you add value to their company?
- Invest in marketing
To better market and sell in the new year, you must also put your money where your mouth is. Marketing takes effort and it never really ends. You have to keep going at it and invest in a brilliant marketing strategy continuously. Hire the best team you can find and look out for individuals who share in your vision, and would deliver good returns on investments. It will also make a difference to set marketing objectives and timelines. For instance, you can have a 3-month campaign and monitor its impact vs the money spent. From time to time re-strategize, innovate and find new ideas or approaches to reach out to your target audience. Also note that the use of various means of communication is not as important as being creative and dynamic.
You should also set practical goals when marketing your business in the new year. Marketing is not magic as some efforts will be effective while others may not. However, magic is made from continuously monitoring marketing efforts and campaigns so as to know when to halt certain campaigns that are not yielding desirable results.
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