Finding your first customer

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Finding your first customer

  1. 1. Focus on finding your first customer. 1
  2. 2. Success is just a matter of attitude.Darcy E. Gibbons. 2
  3. 3. Champions arent made in gyms. Champions are made fromsomething they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, and avision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be alittle faster, and they have to have the skill and the will.But the will must be stronger than the skill.Muhammad Ali 3
  4. 4. You will never do anything in this world without courage. Itis the greatest quality of the mind next to honorJames L. Allen 4
  5. 5. Never before in the history of the world has the potential to doextraordinary things been this big for the smallest of teams 5
  6. 6. First, Youre Probably Asking Yourself: "Why Should I Listen To Him?Thats a fair question. Why Would You Listen To Me?. 6
  7. 7. My background:Been in high tech industry since 1961Held positions of: Salesman, Sales Manager, Vice-president Sales,Vice-president Marketing, Executive Vice president Sales andMarketing, President/CEO.Been a partner/founder with 12 companies that received over50% international revenue 8 of which successfully went publicor were sold/merged. 7
  8. 8. Been president of Jerry R. Mitchell and Associates since1985Described in Fortune Magazine November 1997 as serialentrepreneur. 8
  9. 9. In my consulting business I have developed for many clientsvery successful international channels of distribution.Have provided strategic guidance for my clients that enabledthem to increase their business through the acquisition ofcompanies servicing different markets. 9
  10. 10. Been part of several successful management teams that took anidea and built a solid company that raised venture capital and eventuallywent public or were sold to a much larger company. I have walkedthe path many of you are walking today. 10
  11. 11. President of The Midwest Entrepreneurs Forum since itsformationPublisher of Bootstrapping newsletterFormer advisory board member of DePaul Universities ColemanEntrepreneurship CenterAm also Chairman of Modularis Inc. http://www.modularis.com. 11
  12. 12. What does it take to start and succeed in business? 12
  13. 13. Thats a question I am always asked by entrepreneurs/startups and .by owners of existing businesses that arent living up to the ownersdreams.Although there is no one answer that fits all businesses, there are anumber of practices followed by successful, happy business owners.No matter what you sell, youll be ahead of the game if you listen carefullyto what I have to say. 13
  14. 14. The advice always given to those wishing to start their business is finda need and build a product/service that fills the need. Alwaysremember you must be able to find customers willing to pay more for yourproducts or services then their cost. 14
  15. 15. As you begin your quest to start or grow your business alwaysremember that if you do not enjoy the business you have chosento build, it will eventually fail. You must believe that theproduct/service you are going to offer will be an improvement to existingcompetitors or it will not be successful. 15
  16. 16. Remember that there are 600,000 new ventures created in the U.S.every year. 16
  17. 17. Small Business owners are those individuals who are the explorersand pioneers of the business community. They break new groundand find new approaches to challenges. No two days are alike. Ittakes flexibility, imagination and a sense of fun, but for those of uswho love to be where the action is, this is an exciting place to be! 17
  18. 18. I am confident that I can give entrepreneurs/small businesses a set of skillsand tools that will make them more successful. I have developeda program focused on the launch and management of new ventures,blending the academic tools required to develop and operate anentrepreneurial business with practical approaches to making such abusiness financially successful and internationally competitive. 18
  19. 19. I believe that your investment in your education should reward you inthe future. . 19
  20. 20. Becoming an entrepreneur means more than just getting an ideaand finding the financing to do it. Running a business on your ownrequires skill and knowledge. The question is what skills andknowledge? 20
  21. 21. Do you really need an MBA? Stories abound about entrepreneurswho have set up and run a business without a college degree,some without even finishing high school. Are they the exceptionor is being an entrepreneur an art that you either have or dont have? 21
  22. 22. Many successful entrepreneurs didnt start out at the top. They encounteredplenty of setbacks along the way, both personal and professional. But whatfinally set them apart were sheer determination and a will to persevere. Allthese top performers have something else in common: They said "Yes, I can" tothemselves over and over in spite of the obstacles life threw their way 22
  23. 23. The biggest mistake I see first time entrepreneurs make is that they spendtoo much money.They rent an office or retail location, pay big incorporation fees, hireemployees, and build an expensive website (just to name a few). And allbefore they’ve earned their first dollar! 23
  24. 24. Each month their cash reserves get lower and lower while they struggleto make sales to cover their expenses. Eventually the fledgling businessdies with no cash flow, leaving the owner hurt emotionally and financially. 24
  25. 25. Luckily, it is possible (and actually quite simple) to start up a businesswithout spending a dime. The beauty of using this method is that you cantest out a new business idea quickly and with zero risk. And instead ofspending time negotiating leases or dealing with employees, you can spend100% of your time on the most important thing: making that first sale! 25
  26. 26. The first thing you’ve got to do is get past the idea of spending. Work outof your home or Starbucks on nights and weekends. Instead of hiringemployees just get started with what you can do yourself, or ask friendsfor help. 26
  27. 27. You can spend money on all that stuff once you are bringing in revenue!Don’t spend a single red cent that isn’t absolutely required whenlaunching a new business! See if your idea works first, and then spendAFTER you’ve made your first sale! 27
  28. 28. I’ve always assumed that one of the best ways to build a business is tobuild it around what you love to do. 28
  29. 29. How many of you cant wait to get up in the morning to rush out andsell something? 29
  30. 30. Fact is, most people have a negative perception of selling. Theyassociate selling with a negative connotation of manipulative andaggressive tactics.A career in sales is something you hope your brother-in-law (who hasnthad a steady job in five years) wouldnt even consider doing. 30
  31. 31. Sales and marketing are like two brothers. Everyone knows they are different, butpeople often call them by the wrong name 31
  32. 32. What is the difference between marketing and sales? 32
  33. 33. Im continually perplexed why so many marketing peoplebelieve selling is beneath them, and consequently, thatprofessional salespeople arent their equals. In my experience,many marketing departments believe theyre on thesophisticated side of the business and have an array of factsand figures, statistics and benchmarks they use to supporttheir position. Ive never understood this. 33
  34. 34. For example, several years ago I was the keynote speakerat a function for the one of my clients. Sales and marketingwere lumped together in this association - as they are in manycompanies- thus all of their salespeople were called "marketing"people. The company did this because of the negative perceptionsmany people held about salespeople. I thought this was nuts. Buthow many other companies do the same? How many actual"salespeople" do you encounter? 34
  35. 35. If youre like me, you more frequently encounter businessdevelopment managers, account executives, marketingrepresentatives, customer solution specialists, etc. All ofthese titles are trying to mask what these people are taskedto do: sell the companys products and services. Isnt the factthat a company tries to hide the true intent and/or position ofits sales staff as deceptive as a dishonest salesperson? 35
  36. 36. Id say this companys mandated deception does more to putprospects on the defensive than the few dishonest salespeoplethey might meet. But even more unfortunately, this deceptiononly magnifies and perpetuates the negative perceptions peoplehave of salespeople, which is exactly what these companies arehoping their creative titles will avoid. 36
  37. 37. Perhaps by blurring the line between marketing and selling, thesecompanies believe prospects will be more receptive to theirproduct or service. However, I believe it only adds to the confusion. 37
  38. 38. Perhaps that is why I meet few people who truly understand thefundamental difference between sales and marketing. So lets getclear on both. At the most basic level, marketing is everythingthat makes the phone ring, while selling is actually collectingthe money 38
  39. 39. In a broad sense, marketing is everything that affects companyprofitability. Advertising, public relations, sales and actual productmarketing are all under this umbrella. Many companies arethemselves confused by this inherent difference, thus they oftencombine sales and marketing (product) together. 39
  40. 40. This is a mistake as a companys sales and marketing staff mustwork together while remaining separate entities to maximizeeffectiveness. Why is this so important? I believe there are threeprimary reasons. 40
  41. 41. First. A companys sales activity is the only activity that directlygenerates revenues. (Im referring to professional, business-to-business sales and big ticket consumer items such as homes,vehicles, boats, etc.) 41
  42. 42. Marketing may "push" prospects to buy, but salespeople "pull"them to customer status. And regardless of how clever amarketing campaign is, it will never be as effective as possiblewithout the proper sales approach. This requires both the salesand marketing departments to be working jointly for the endresult: increased sales. 42
  43. 43. "Selling" or making sales consists of interpersonal interaction, theone-on-one meetings, telephone calls and networking that youengage in with prospects and customers.The term "marketing" encompasses programs businesses use toreach and persuade prospects, including advertising, publicrelations, direct mail and more 43
  44. 44. Did you know it takes approximately eight contacts or more witha single prospect before the average sale is closed? Thats becauseprospects normally move through the sales cycle from cold to warm,and then finally hot where theyre ready to "close" and becomeclients or customers. 44
  45. 45. Entrepreneurs often get into trouble by choosing only thosetactics with which theyre most comfortable.For example, someone who is inherently shy may forgo importantsales tactics, such as networking, and rely solely on impersonalmarketing programs. 45
  46. 46. On the other hand, a more outgoing entrepreneur may spendcountless hours making cold contacts at networking functionsbut fail to move prospects through the sales cycle due to lackof ongoing marketing support. 46
  47. 47. To avoid this trap, divide your prospect database into cold, warmand hot prospects. Then, impartially identify the best tactics forreaching and motivating each group.Sales tactics that help you reach out to cold prospects includenetworking, cold-calling and trade show participation, while coldmarketing tactics are advertising, public relations, direct mail,seminars, special promotions and having a Web site 47
  48. 48. To reach warm prospects using sales tactics, your business mayrely on follow-up calls, meetings, sales letters and literature,e-mail or more networking. 48
  49. 49. "If a young man tells his date shes intelligent, looks lovely, and is a greatconversationalist, hes saying the right things to the right person and thatsmarketing.If the young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is --thats advertising.If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart andsuccessful her date is -- thats public relations.If the young mans date tells him how handsome, smart, and successful he isand asks him for another date shes been closed by him” 49
  50. 50. As you see in my explanation above it takes multiple contactsusing both sales and marketing to move the prospect from onelevel to the next. That is why it is import that you develop aprocess that combines both sales and marketing. This will enableyou to reach prospects at all three levels; cold, warm, and hot.Its all about balance. 50
  51. 51. Rather than avoid vital tactics with which youre less comfortable,such as cold-calling or public relations, take the opportunity tobrush up on your skills or bring in the proper talent by teamingor partnering, subcontracting, or hiring. 51
  52. 52. Start by choosing two sales and two marketing tactics, and plotall the activities it will take to carry them out. The key is to berealistic and not go overboard. Its important to create a salesand marketing plan that includes a combination of tactics youcan engage in year-round to support the growth of your business. 52
  53. 53. Fundamentally, marketing lowers the cost of getting your messageto prospects by publishing a fairly generic message in bulk.Sales increases the effectiveness by arranging for a sales personto engage a prospect interactively. 53
  54. 54. "Selling ourselves" to others is the unselfish reaching out to other people, toshow them how we can help them.” 54
  55. 55. Most deals, particularly those involving large contracts orexpensive capital equipment, are based almost entirely on thequality of the face-to-face interaction with the client. Its thesepersonality factors that can swing the deal in favor of onecompany rather than another. Theres a subtle difference betweenmarketing and sales, of course, though in many companies thefunctions overlap and are performed by the same group. 55
  56. 56. Winners are persistent. Selling or running a business for a livingrequires a tremendous amount of persistence. Obstaclesloom in front of us on a regular basis. But it’s what you dowhen faced with these barriers that will determine your levelof success. I believe that a person will face the most challengingobstacle just before they achieve their goal. The most successfulpeople in any industry have learned to face the obstacles that getin their way. They look for new solutions. They are tenacious. Theyrefuse to give up. 56
  57. 57. " Tonight’s program reminds me of an occurrence that happened atone of my companiesThere was always friendly competition between sales and marketingdepartments even though both departments reported to me.We had an annual picnic where all employees and their familieswere welcome.The marketing department thought it would be exciting to challengethe sales department to a base ball game at this picnic.The sales staff whipped the marketing department soundly. 57
  58. 58. To show just how the marketing department earns their keep, theyposted this memo on the bulletin board after the game:"The Marketing Department is pleased to announce that for the2005 Softball Season, we came in 2nd place, having lost but onegame all year.”“The Sales Department, however, had a rather dismal season,winning only one game.” 58
  59. 59. We all have what it takes to become successful.Are you ready to make it happen? 59
  60. 60. 60
  61. 61. Sales come first and marketing comes second. A common mistake made by manyentrepreneurs is that marketing (and investing heavily in it) will solve all your salesproblems. This is not true, entrepreneurs risk spending far too much on marketing,developing attractive brochures and leaflets when what they need to be doing isgoing out and selling. 61
  62. 62. Invest what you can afford to in marketing, but, it should only be money you canafford to lose. I recommend businesses concentrate their efforts on spreading theword of mouth marketing and stimulating the networking effect. I know successfulcompanies who spend nothing on marketing and solely rely on the word of mouthnetwork. 62
  63. 63. When you’re trying to grow your business always start with ‘can we double sales?’If an important customer happily says ‘yes, we’ll order twice as much’, it’s worthasking yourself the question: “Do I have the capability to provide them with double?”Maybe you can’t because you don’t have the capacity, or perhaps the resources orthe market isn’t there, but you’ll find out quickly. 63
  64. 64. Your first paying customer is not going to be a stranger. It has to be someone whois ready to bet their job to trust you personally to go up to his/her boss to justifyspending real money on a non-existent or brand new company that has noguarantees of survival next year. 64
  65. 65. Just remembering that you are dealing with real people, with real jobs will giveyou perspective in getting ready to network and sell your idea to your firstcustomer. 65
  66. 66. Find advisors along the way who can guide you through the process. These can bestrangers. Successful entrepreneurs who have sold their companies and are workingin a large company are ideal people who are likely to understand your position andwill help you. 66
  67. 67. You just need that one person who you can trust. If you truly believe you have thisgreat idea to change the world, be proud of asking people to be part of it. 67
  68. 68. When you find the right person you can ask them to be your advisor. Find out thebest mode of communication that works for them and stay in touch. Take their adviceand move ahead on next steps and keep them posted on your learning and progress. 68
  69. 69. If your personalities do not work out, tell them politely and drop them. It’s commonto learn after your networking round that this advisor was not the best advisor forthe long-term. So, dont make commitments of payments or add their names to yourbusiness plan too soon. Treat them as a new friend and keep them posted and takeit from there. 69
  70. 70. Who is your customer? 70
  71. 71. A popular and critical question posed to businessowners and entrepreneurs by lenders and investors is"Who is your customer?" 71
  72. 72. Its such a simple question, yet the inability to answer it has possibly causedmore going out of business sales than any other. 72
  73. 73. Because many business owners place too much emphasis on their products andservices, and too little on what the customer truly wants and needs.You may have a great product, with more neat gadgets, features, and benefits thatyour competition offers, but does your customer care?And how do you know they care? 73
  74. 74. Why can failing to answer such a simple question have such a devastatingimpact on your business? 74
  75. 75. The first place to start is by defining exactly who would be interested in buying yourproduct or service.This is your target market, defined as the group of the population sharing acommon set of traits, which distinguish them from everyone else. 75
  76. 76. One example, a childrens clothing store located in the mall might have a customerprofile like this:Children between the ages of 3 to 8 years old, 65% female and 35% male, locatedwithin 10 miles of the mall, and whose parents earn over $50,000 a year.These characteristics define a target market - and a central set of characteristicsfor potential customers for childrens clothing. 76
  77. 77. If youre in the start-up phase, your target market may be less tangible thanthe target market for a company with years of operational historyand customer files.But as you gain experience running your business, and you maintainaccurate records of who actually purchases your product or service, yourunderstanding of your ideal customer will improve. 77
  78. 78. So why focus on your target customer? 78
  79. 79. First, if you dont understand who they are, how can you tailor your product orservice to best meet their needs?One key to business success is the ability to provide products and services that meetthe needs and wants of your customers. If your customers want to purchase redshoes, and all you sell are blue shoes, how many do you suspect you will sell?If your customer believes that the speed of your service is more important than itsthan its quality, isnt that information you need to know? 79
  80. 80. Secondly, when you understand who your customers is, you can determine withmore accuracy which marketing mediums and channels will be most effective inreaching them.If your potential customer only watches national stations, and you advertise on alocal station, your marketing efforts will be unsuccessful.The more narrowly you can define your customer, the more focused your marketingefforts become, and the more your marketing dollars will work for you. 80
  81. 81. For example, if you want to sell independent software developers a product, thenadvertising in a software industry magazine is a far more effective use of $10,000than placing an ad in the Sunday Tribune.This doesnt mean that your customer wont read the Sunday Tribune, just that youwont be advertising to all the millions of people who clearly have no interest in yourproduct. 81
  82. 82. Once you determine who your customer is, its important to identify the size ofyour customer base. Is it large or is it small? 82
  83. 83. If its too large, consider narrowing it down and focusing on a particular niche.Trying to reach and sell a large target market is difficult and costly, especially ifits populated by well-financed competitors who will force you to incur significantcosts to achieve a sizable market share. 83
  84. 84. If it’s too small, will you be able to capture enough customers to make a sufficientprofit? 84
  85. 85. Once you define your customer, and determine their total numbers in thepopulation, its a good idea to research the trends of your market. 85
  86. 86. Over the next few years, what growth rate can be expected for your target market?What changes are taking place in the makeup of your market, and how will theychange in the future?How are, and how will, customers change their use of your product or service? 86
  87. 87. Effectively identifying your potential customer base helps to drive overallmarketing and sales strategies. 87
  88. 88. The world of metrics can be confusing for people new to these concepts. Tobetter understand metrics and how they work, several terms must be defined:measurements, metrics and benchmarks. 88
  89. 89. Measurements are the raw outcome of a quantification process, suchas a companys numbers, ratios and percentages. 89
  90. 90. Metrics are the standards for measurement, providing target values thata company must achieve to reach a certain level of success. 90
  91. 91. Benchmarks are the very best measurements to aspire to, the standard bywhich all others are measured. Companies that set benchmarks in theirindustries are the ones often lauded in "Top Ten" and "Most Admired" listsand articles. 91
  92. 92. A good example of a marketing benchmark can be traced back to the early 1990s.Over a decade ago, a market research firm conducted a customer satisfactionresearch study for the personal computing industry. They spoke to customerswho rated the companies in the industry, which resulted in a measurement rangingon a scale from one to nine. They learned that 84 percent of users who rated theirsatisfaction as a seven, eight, or nine would consider the same brand for theirnext purchase. Achieving a seven, eight, or nine became the metric thatcompanies wanted to aim for. The benchmark was to attain a nine. 92
  93. 93. In order to fully capitalize on the benefits of metrics, companies should considerestablishing a continuous process where metrics are collected, analyzed, andreported on a regular basis. Over time, metrics can reveal valuable informationabout which marketing tactics are most effective, what types of prospects are mostlikely to buy, which customers are most profitable, and how the market in generaldevelops over time. 93
  94. 94. Metrics are a part of our everyday lives --- from our heart rate, to our bankbalances; from our weight to the gas mileage on our cars.If we dont pay attention to these numbers, we create the risk for a heart attack,being overdrawn, or running out of gas.The same is true in the business environment. If a company doesnt identify andtrack important performance measures, its risk is increased. 94
  95. 95. Metrics provide a means to assess progress; they provide valuable datapoints against which the marketing organization can track its progress.Metrics demonstrate accountability and allow marketers to better know,act upon, align their efforts and reduce their market exposure.Metrics enable the marketing organization to truly serve as the"eyes and ears" of the company. 95
  96. 96. Market ShareEvery firm should be concerned about its share of the markets and marketsegments in which it competes. By share we mean the percentage of marketunit volume or dollar value held by a company as a proportion of total market size. 96
  97. 97. Market share is merely the proportion of total market or industry sales made by oneof the competing companies. Market share may be expressed either in unit sales ordollar values: Total company sales (units or dollars)Market Share = _____________________________ Total industry sales (units or dollars) 97
  98. 98. Methods of MeasurementThe two primary groups you can interview or survey to make the market sharemeasurement are:CompetitorsCustomers 98
  99. 99. I feel the most reliable, accurate, and fast approach is to base marketshare measurements on competitive interviews. It is reliable and accuratebecause it is possible to interview 100 percent of the population ofcompetitors. It is fast because there are about 25 competitors in thetypical market. The range typically is between five and 100. 99
  100. 100. I recommend that this measurement be done by completing competitive interviewsover the telephone. Some of the key questions that should be asked are:What were your unit shipments in 200X/200Y?What were your sales in U.S. dollars?What do you believe your market share is?What do your believe your key competitors market shares are?What do you believe the total market size is?Which companies are gaining market share and which are losing market share?What is the price of your product? 100
  101. 101. Obviously, many competitors will not answer all of these questions posed in thismanner and this order. You can improve your response rate by blending theminto a very free-form and smooth conversation and by sharing information withthe interviewee. For example, tell the interviewee what one of the keycompetitors feels about their company or its sales. This usually gets them involved. 101
  102. 102. It is also important to build a verification process into your interviewing strategy.Some of your respondents will be stumped. They will not know the correctanswers, or may not tell the truth. A verification strategy will help eliminatethese problems. 102
  103. 103. A verification strategy entails interviewing multiple people in the same organizationto cross check sales figures, and by asking competitors their opinions about theaccuracy of the responses received. You should also then multiply the averageprice of the unit by the unit sales to see if it matches the dollar sales given in theinterview. 103
  104. 104. From the sales figures and the total market size, you can calculate market share.Market Share of Company X = Sales of Company X _________________ Total Market Size 104
  105. 105. The other group you can interview or survey to make a market sharecalculation is the customer group. You can do this by a telephone survey,a mail survey, or trade show interviews. 105
  106. 106. The two basic types of marketing research are quantitative and qualitative.Quantitative research answers questions that start with "how many" or "how much".Qualitative research addresses issues that deal with "why" or "how Quantitativeresearch usually involves surveys while qualitative studies rely on observation orunstructured conversations with customers. 106
  107. 107. Where can I get help for marketing research projects?When researching your business idea, it is important to do as thorough a search forinformation as is possible. It is also recommended to do as much of it as you can onyour own.This will help you know the market for your idea better, and can help to keep thecosts down at the start. 107
  108. 108. Some Places to start your research.FactivaLexisNexisBusiness Source PremierProQuest DirectThomson Research 108
  109. 109. Factiva is an online database designed to allow access to business and financialinformation. This service covers publicly and privately held companies, industries, thestock market and the economy. Coverage is domestic and international. Current stockquotes, full-text newspaper, wire, and magazine articles, and company profiles can belocated via a user-friendly web interface. 109
  110. 110. LexisNexis provides access to full-text articles from thousands of newspapers andmagazines worldwide. Full-text SEC filings are available. Many local and most national& international newspapers are included. Extensive coverage of the accounting, tax,and legal literature 110
  111. 111. Business Source Premier The Business Source Premier database is acomprehensive, business periodical database that includes scholarly journals andbusiness periodicals covering topics such as management, economics, finance,accounting, international business and much more. It contains content from fulltext sources ranging from general business periodicals such as Business Week,Forbes, Fortune, American Banker, etc. to academic journals such as HarvardBusiness Review, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Review, Reviewof Economics & Statistics, etc. It provides cumulative indexing and abstracts for4362 business journals (3228 peer-reviewed) and cumulative full text for 3428journals (2568 peer-reviewed). 111
  112. 112. This database also includes Country Monitor and Industry Yearbook Reports fromWEFA, 35 country reports from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Wall StreetWords. The peer-reviewed full text content in Business Source Premier is unmatched,and full text back files are available for many journals back to 1990. Additionally,Business Source Premier includes embedded images for many of the full text journals. 112
  113. 113. ProQuest Direct is a web-based service . ProQuest Direct indexes articles from over1,000 business and general publications. This database covers a range of subjectsfrom company information to marketing and management trends. 113
  114. 114. Thomson Research provides web-based access to complete SEC filings for U.S. andinternational companies. Real-time and historical EDGAR filings. Full-text articles andsummaries from the trade press, newspapers, wire stories and newsletters worldwide. 114
  115. 115. Journals/Newspapers Business Internet Index 115
  116. 116. ReviewMarket AnalysisWho is your customer?Knowledge of the customer enables you to determine the market size and whatdetermines their buying decision. It provides information that will assist in choosing alocation, determining product or services to be offered, establishing pricing andplanning a selling strategy. 116
  117. 117. Key issues to consider are:Who will buy your product? Primary and secondary target groups.Where does the buyer live and what is their profile?What factors influence the decision to buy?Who is involved in the purchase decision?How often will buyers buy?Where do they buy, when and how much do they buy?What are the buyers preferences and needs?Are customers loyal? Can long term relationships be built? 117
  118. 118. What product or service are you selling?An important aspect of market analysis is to ensure that the product orservice meets the market (customer) needs. Product or service focus mustbe the customer. 118
  119. 119. Issues to address are:Specifications of all your products and or services and key features relative to whatprospective buyers in your target market are saying they need.Comparison with competitors and how customers perceive your product relative toothers available.What are the current trends, what stage of maturity is the product life cycle at?What regulations apply to your product or service?What packaging is required? 119
  120. 120. Who is your competition?Are there competitors that exist now and what new competitors are likely to enterthe market? How will your product or service compare and what is the probablereaction of your competitors once you enter the market? 120
  121. 121. Issues to consider are:Who are your major competitors?What share of the market do they have?What are their strengths and weaknesses (e.g. quality, price, service, paymentterms, location, reputation, etc.)?How do you compare to your competitors and how will they react to your entry intothe market?What factors are there that could increase or reduce your competition? 121
  122. 122. What is the difference between marketing and sales? 122

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