There is a whole load of marketing theory and text books out there which you can sit and read to your hearts desire but eventually, you will get confused. Keep it simple and stick to a few key principles, this way you will have an overall map of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and what you expect to achieve.
Principle 1 – Find a gap
Not the shop, and not a hole in the ground either. What you need to find is a problem which has yet to be solved. Listen to conversations, read the paper and watch the news. Keep track of what is going on and changes in people’s behaviour. Where there is change, there is always opportunity. If you can find a solution to an unsolved problem that is how you take advantage of opportunity.
Principle 2 – Pricing the Solution
Make an assessment of how much it is going to cost you to solve the problem. Maybe you can solve the problem by providing a service or information. Maybe you need to produce a product. Find out how much it will cost to produce the product. Be thorough when doing this research, and overlook nothing. You need to know exactly how much it will cost you to solve the problem.
Principle 3 – Marketing
Firstly, well done for getting this far. You are doing well, continue to believe in your product and what you wish to achieve with it. If you do not believe in your product or have faith in your ability to sell it you won’t get very far with step 3.
Once you have come up with a solution and you know how much it costs you, you need to market your product. You may have produced an amazing alternative to the toothpick which will revolutionise the way we dislodge spinach after a meal. No one will know about it unless you market the product. People learn about new products through marketing. Position your marketing in front of the people who will use your product. If your product is good, knowledge will catch wind and fan out to other members of your target audience. People favour products and services which they trust which is why branding is so important. My presenting your service as a brand you are personifying everything you stand for and deliver, and to convincing customers to trust you’re offering.
Principle 4 – Post Sale Service
Provide a good service to customers, above and beyond providing your product. This may cost extra and it will require effort. Have your customer service dealt by someone who wants to help people rather than just because they are supposed to. This will pay off in the long run as your product becomes more popular because people will perceive your brand to be trustworthy and reliable. Customer retention is extremely important as the better you treat your customers the more likely they are to recommend you. Make an offering unique to anyone else in the market, that gives you a competitive advantage.
Principle 5 – Make a Profit
This is ultimately the point of the whole exercise. Make sure you make a profit on your product and focus on your profit figures above any other growth data. After factoring in all of the costs of producing packaging and providing the service you have, you need to make a profit. This will drive the growth of your company and gain the attention of investors.
You deserve to earn a profit on all the hard work you have done, and you owe it to your employees and future. Profits reflect your success and are hard earned. Strive to make a profit, and strive to make a bigger profit next year to illustrate your growth.