See my introduction post about writing a business plan for your creative business. So far, we’ve covered:
- Question #1. Why do I want to sell my product?
- Question #2. Where can people find my product?
- Question #3. What am I selling?
- Question #4. Who will buy my product?
- Question #5. When do people use my product?
- Question #6. Why should someone use my product?
- Question #7, How do I distinguish my products from the competition?
#8. How Do I Successfully Reach My Target Customers?
Sound the trumpets and ring the bells, because we’ve finally made it to the 8th and final question of our creative business plan! Question #8 is really a capstone question, summarizing all the details, data, ideas, and thoughts we’ve poured into answering the previous questions into one big important blob of goodness.
We’ve narrowed down our business’ vision from vague and broad to a honed and detailed plan of action. We’ve researched our product, our possible sales venues, marketing approaches, our competition, the market, and our target customer. We now know everything about anything to do with our product! If you’re beginning your creative business, it’s time to take the first step in the right direction. If you’ve been around for a while, it’s time to re-harness your creative forces and align your business with your new amazing business plan!
We now know where we need to spend most of our precious time marketing, promoting, and selling our products based on our defined target customer. We know the best sales pitch for our product based on what are target customer is looking for, and what emotions or values to appeal to when describing our items. Together, these answers lead us to the answer for question #8, how to successfully reach your target customer.
You can reach your target customers by promoting in the right places, by reaching out on Facebook and via blogs, and also by taking steps to ensure that your products are being found in searches. If someone out there is searching for an item like yours but can’t find it with the keywords they’re using, then you are missing out on an opportunity to make a sale. Include in your plan the efforts you will make to increase your SEO and keyword relevancy. How do you plan to research keyword optimization? How often will you tweak and update your tags and listings? How will you measure your success in this area?
This leads to an important more general question – how will you measure your success PERIOD? How do you know if the answers to your creative business plan questions were “right” to begin with? What if you were totally off-base with the demographic you defined as your target customer? What if the sales venue you thought was going to mesh awesome with your products ended up as a total flop? It’s important to set up some standards for success measurement in advance. Give yourself a timeline for trying out your new action plan that includes periodically stopping to measure for effectiveness and results. (We’ll talk about measuring success and how to effectively interpret and use key metrics in a later series of articles here!)
And if things don’t look like they’re working, don’t worry! This business plan is flexible. It’s a learning experience. The more you work at your business, the more you’ll learn about yourself, your products, your goals, your competition, your customers…the list goes on and on. You can always change your answers and your plan as you go along.
After you’ve completed all eight pieces of your creative business plan, consult your plan every few months for a refresher. As mentioned above, you might find that as your business evolves, your answers change. You may also need a little reminder of your initial purpose for creating this new venture. A review every now and then can help get you back on track when challenges arise. It can also breathe new life into your venture and provide new ideas and inspiration.
We are so thankful you joined us for our first Crafting a Business 101 series, crafting your own Creative Business Plan! We’d love any feedback, questions, suggestions, or comments you might have about this series. We hope you found this information helpful!
Click here to download a pdf of the business plan questions.
Pingback: Crafting a Business 101: Marketing Magic « The Lazy Owl