managing
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What a Famous Comic Artist Can Teach You about Starting & Running a Business

by Candice Landau

I have always believed that if I want to learn something, I need to DO something. I need to take action. This is how I learned to cycle, how I learned to solder metal jewelry and how I learned to write fiction. That said, I find equal value in first reading about and learning as... Read more »

planning
How to Calculate Your TAM (Total Addressable Market)

How Big is Your Potential Market, Really?

by Caroline Cummings

Whether you’re a startup or an up-and-running business, you should know what your total potential market opportunity is for your products or services. I’ve coached many companies over the years, as well as judged several business plan competitions, and I’m always surprised by how most business owners can’t confidently tell you their total market potential.... Read more »

planning

Target Market

by Tim Berry

The target market is a defined segment of the market that is the strategic focus of a business or a marketing plan. Normally the members of this segment possess common characteristics and a relative high propensity to purchase a particular product or service. Because of this, the member of this segment represent the greatest potential... Read more »

managing

The three “real” rules of marketing success

by Marketing Masters

Clate Mask is CEO of one of the Inc 500’s fastest-growing companies, Infusionsoft.com. Ask him about how to build a successful business, and he’ll say, “There are three, and only three, factors that really have an iron grip on the profits of any marketing effort. The smartest marketing minds on the planet have boiled these... Read more »

managing

For New Marketing, Follow the Eyeballs

by Tim Berry

There’s no question that marketing is changing. Advertising is dying and getting reborn all over the place, and word-of-mouth is leveraged by technology tools. The problem is how, how much, how fast and how does it affect your business? It’s a new world, with a changed landscape. For idea leadership in this realm, look to... Read more »

managing

Questions That Sell

by Elizabeth Walker and Ken Burgin

We are working on a new campaign for a client and spent a few hours today looking at competitive web sites, ads and brochures. After about three hours we looked at each other and said, “Can you remember anything any of these companies said that stands out?” Ken said, “I bet if I took all... Read more »

managing

An Offkey Note

by Palo Alto Software

Both Business Plan Pro and Marketing Plan Pro powered by Duct Tape Marketing stress the importance of understanding your target market. Who needs your products or services, and values them? What can you do for them that nobody else can? What factors drive their purchasing decisions, and how do you build and retain their loyalty?... Read more »

managing

Customers – a business fundamental

by Steve Lange

It is fundamentally important to understand . . . 1. You need customers. The first thing you need to start a business, maybe even the only thing you really need, is customers. It all starts with at least one customer. 2. Who is your target customer. In detail. Not just generalities and demographics, not even... Read more »

managing

Not Everybody is Your Customer

by Tim Berry

This is hard to write about, and hard for business owners to accept. It seems so negative. Still, it seems like we all need a fresh reminder. Bill Cosby said it well: “I don’t know the secret to success, but I do know that the secret to failure is trying to please everybody.” This reminds... Read more »

managing

On Market Focus In the Beginning

by Tim Berry

I think of beachhead as a military term, having to do with how an invading army needs to establish itself in one place that it can hold–the beachhead–and then build its presence from there. It’s also a business term, related to building a business and establishing market focus. Recently I saw a business plan developed... Read more »

managing

Tailored Internet ads — Choose your own cut and fit

by Steve Lange

Today on his Planning Startups Stories blog Tim Berry posted on the magic of Internet ads which are tailored specifically for target audiences, and almost, it seems, for individuals. One of my favorite sites is Real Life Adventures on Gocomics.com They are right up front, letting visitors know that their free humor content is paid... Read more »

planning

I Mean Literally: Tell A Story About Your Target

by Tim Berry

I mean that you should tell a story, literally. Make the story about a single person, either a customer or consumer of your business or a decision maker in a company that’s part of the target market. Talk about who this person is. Give the customer a gender, an age, a family situation, and a problem to solve... Read more »

managing

‘You Aren’t My Customer’ Works!

by Tim Berry

My “heart of the plan” thinking has a lot to do with targeting well and focusing, which often starts with what ‘Chelle Parmele calls A lesson in saying “You aren’t my customer.” There was a video report on MSNBC recently about a campground in the Great Smoky Mountain Park, Punkin Center Campground, that caters exclusively... Read more »

managing

Who are you really reaching with your message

by Sabrina Parsons

I just posted on my personal blog, Mommy CEO, about marketing to women. There are some interesting questions that I bring up, and I wanted to cross post here at the Bplans.com blog. One of the biggest mistakes I see in business planning is people who think that “everyone” is their target market. For example:... Read more »

planning

Q&A: Where Do I Find Market Information

by Tim Berry

Question: I am working on my business plan and I need target market information and demographics. Since my business is quite unique (a holistic health center) I am not sure how to find the information that I need to feel in this part of the business plan. Answer: It’s easier than you think. First, refocus... Read more »