1. Who is your customer? Have you correctly identified your primary buyer? Often times the audience we identified at the outset of our business changes. Look closely and avoid wasting marketing dollars talking to the wrong people. Not sure? Employ lead gen efforts to find out.
2. What is your value proposition? Can you clearly identify the benefits that a buyer will derive from your products or services? This one simple statement should indicate why someone should buy from you. Think, “What’s in it for me?” and you’ll have your answer.
3. What are your key activities? What things do you do during the course of business to yield a profit and execute your value proposition? An example would be creating an efficient production process to drive down costs.
4. What are your revenue streams? How are you yielding a profit? Is one way of earning profits outperforming another – or are you missing out on ways to increase revenue altogether? There is more than one way to make money (i.e. freemiums, affiliate marketing, lead generation, e-commerce and so on).
5. What is your cost structure? Detail every single expense that it takes to manufacture your product or provide a service.
6. Who (and what) are your key partners and resources? It’s time to ask yourself, “Who can I partner with to optimize, scale and reduce risk?” and “What suppliers should I work with?” Start by seeking out complementary businesses in your industry and researching suppliers. For example, if you own a products-based company, use ThomasNet to source product and discover new suppliers.
7. What are your distribution channels? Are you effectively reaching your customers? Many small businesses sell through a single channel or via multiple channels that may include: Wholesalers, Distributors, Internet, Catalog, Sales Team, Value-Added Resellers (VARs), Consultants, Dealers, Retail, or Sales Agents. If you haven’t found success with one, it may be time to test other channels.
8. What is your roll-out strategy? How will you introduce new products and services customers? Developing an effective marketing campaign to generate awareness along with targeted sales tests may be a good start. Develop a strategy that works and repeat.
Photo Credit: Zara