How to make a business Plan ?
The ugly hand of Indian bureaucratic red tape is formidable enough to extinguish the entrepreneur spirit of Indians. For Indian migrants in Australia, it is altogether a different story. In Australia, a company could be registered within hours in a hassle free environment . Indian migrants find it easier to set up business here as hard work and integrity are considered as valued traits instead of political connections and ability to pay bribes. Success in business is the end product of a combination of skills and attitudes.
The Purpose and the Plan
The initial driving factor for any new entrant should be sense of purpose, passion and the skills to achieve the results. These three qualities in a person is the first indicators for a successful business career. The next step in the cycle is creating a business plan. Initial planning is very much important in any business venture. A business plan should be measurable and timely as building castles in the sky may not take anywhere. Market research needs to be done before preparing a business plan . Business plan should be continuously refined considering the emerging situations, opportunities and threats. Committing to a timely and measurable business plan ensures that the mile stones accounted are reached . The following factors should be taken into consideration while preparing a business plan:
- Ideal customer for the business and the purchasing habits of the ideal customer
- Competitive advantages of the business
- Marketing methods
- Competitors and their marketing methods
“What should the prospective customers be saying about the business, to make it the best in the chosen field or market? “- should be first question to be asked. The business plan should be created in a reverse order. The above said question will answer the crucial question, where the customers will see value in the offered product or service. The aim of the business should be to achieve that customer expectation to stay and excel in business. . A business plan deals with the ways and means to go above and beyond that customer expectation.
It is also important to differentiate the business from its competitors to attract a specific market, within the wider market.
What your customers are looking for?
If you are someone with a large friends circle, give a thought to why some others have only a few friends. As human beings, we always look for value. The reason behind your large friends circle boils down to, them finding some value for the time they spend with you. It could be the happy conversation, or the societal value by associating with you or it could even be the feel good effect they get while being with you. The customers also behave in a similar way. They are always looking for value for the money they spend. The value they find in different products may exist in different planes. They may buy to save money or their purchasing decisions are purely based on getting recognition among their peers or they would even buy for a sense of belonging.
What makes your business Successful?
The three things that make a business successful are
- Reputation – Good reputation can work wonders for a business. The best publicity any business can get is word of mouth. Word of Mouth Publicity is free and people value the opinions of those they trust, much above any TV advertisement. So it is important to build a good reputation.
- Quality – Quality of the product talks for itself and helps build a good reputation for the business.
- Good customer support – At times businesses may make mistakes and the quality of the products may vary. Customer grievances should be addressed appropriately and immediately after such incidents. It is important to keep good customer contact even after a sale. Keep the systems in place to allow customers to address their grievances easily. By doing that, a business is creating loyal customers. Always make the products and services of the business free of risk for the customers.
- Differentiation – Create a target market by identifying the exact type of customer who can most benefit from the superior features of the product or service. Place the business at a certain plane by differentiating. Differentiation allows specialisation. For example K Mart serves the needs of people with thin valets, where as Target looks for middle class customers and David Johns for the upper class though they all sell similar category of products.
- The easiness to buy – Whether the business is run online or have a physical presence, always make it easier for the customers to make a purchase . If the buying process is complicated, that will drive the customers away. In that aspect, a good example for an online store is thelott.com where Australian lottos are sold.
Developing competency for your business
Focusing on core competencies allow the business to position for a selected market group. The core product or service will define the core market. It is important to device selling methods for the core group of products or services. The question needs to be asked is, “What sort of advertisement will suit for that core group and how and where to run those advertisements?” . One good example is, Bentley cars never advertise in local ‘Leader’ Newspapers.
How to deal with your customers
How Honest the business should be ?
No business will survive without customers. So it is important to satisfy and exceed the expectations of the clients.
The clients also value the way the business treats them. Though every business has the right to extend best behaviour to their most valuable clients, it is important not to create bad blood among the rest. All the clients of a business need not be profitable clients. Some of the clients’ in fact could be a drain on the profitability. But even the least profitable clients may turn out to be good referrals. So it is important to make any client feel welcome in the establishment, whatever shape, race or colour they are of. People always fear rejection, being criticised or not been respected. Make the customers feel that they are valued and welcomed whole heartedly. Over attention may also annoy the customers so ensure that you draw the line appropriately. An over- friendly supplier at a restaurant could turn out to be a turn off for many of their clients. Always be a good listener to the customers. Listen carefully and help them define their need. Most of the time customers are found to have very vague idea of what they want.
Use every opportunity to thank or appreciate the customers. It is considered as a best practice for a service business to send thank you notes , gifts or birthday wishes to valued clients.