Importance of Market Focus In Business Plans
If there is an article that says the executive summary of your plan is the most important or the financial projections section should have the maximum focus, do not refer to that article again. All the sections of a plan are important. You cannot afford to be casual about any of them. If there is someone who says section A is more important than section B, believe it at your own risk.
Depending on the purpose of the plan, its clients may focus on a particular section specifically. But that does not mean the other sections are not to be paid attention to. A plan is always viewed as holistic document. While this article focuses on the importance of clearly identifying and defining your target segment and focusing your key offering and strategies on them, it does not say or imply that those are the most important parts of a plan.
Identify the Target Segment
Market focus is just a difference of perspective. Your core products and benefits would not change, just that you would develop them differently if you look at things from a consumer’s perspective. When we talk consumers, we are talking about billions of people, each of them having a different taste and buying behavior. For the convenience of businessmen, they are clubbed into groups of alike. As an entrepreneur, you should be sure about the targeted segment. This will be the first step for approaching a plan with a market focus.
Use Research to Profile the Segment
Geographical And Demographic Profiling : Once you known your target consumers and target market, start by studying them. Take a map and color the portions where your target consumers are located. Besides geographical mapping, you would also need to be aware of some basic information about the segment, like the age bracket, income bracket, average family size, educational bracket, and gender. This information can be easily obtained from market research reports published by reputed research agencies. Usually such data can be accessed freely or can be requested at a nominal fee. Popular sources are magazines, agency reports, and census data.
Buying Behavior : To get a clearer focus on how your target consumers buy, which factors go into making the purchase, are there any social or religious factors influencing their purchase and similar questions, you would need to conduct an in-depth research. A market research agency can take care of your needs. All they need is a clear briefing from your end. With targeted research you can find out consumption habits for products, services, and media, buying motivations and acceptance of new concepts, brands, and products.
Market Size : The size of the market is an important consideration. Is the market size big enough to ensure profitable sales volumes despite competition from established players? Profitability of a plan is one of the most important considerations for the entrepreneur and the investor.
Always have a very clear consumer focus when drafting business plans. It will not just help you look at all the aspects of research and planning from a consumer’s perspective, but will also give you profound insights into consumer behavior. Identify your target consumers, profile them in detail, and get a hang of the market scenario, to get consumer-centered plans on paper.