Starting a Business is hard work, maintaining a Business – even harder, scaling a Business… well you get it. But it really doesn’t have to be that difficult… with a little know-how when it comes to planning your next Business move it can be done exceptionally well!

The Mindset:

The first and most important strategy… it’s not finding and mastering the latest advertising platforms, it’s not coming out with a smarter advertising campaign, and it’s not finding some new undiscovered untapped market.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for that, it’s just not wise to start with those things right away.

The first place to start is much simpler than that… it’s in your brain!

Adopting the right mindset when developing your product or service is going to be the absolute crux of success when it comes to launching and maintaining your Business.

Simply put – if you’re not researching this with the right frame of mind – you’re already off to a rough start… what do I mean?

Be Objective:

Care to take a guess what the number one reason behind Business failure is?

It’s not cashflow…

It’s not operations…

It’s not Marketing…

It’s not lack of fulfillment…

It’s much sadder than that…

It’s that simply the Business idea is a COMPLETE non-starter. There’s absolutely no market demand. According to https://www.cbinsights.com the single most common reason after analyzing Businesses post mortem failures is simply because there is absolutely NO MARKET need.

Here’s the thing… most Business owners get EXTREMELY emotionally invested with their Business idea… unless you’ve been living under a rock this last decade – there’s an extremely popular Television series called dragons den that has been on air not for the marvelous successes of the company’s that they invest in, but for the emotional break down when skilled investors tell start-ups that they aren’t going to fund the idea because they haven’t proven the concept in the market.

Emotions sell on Television and the Dragons in the Den, the investors; are specifically told to speak freely… unless the person presenting their idea starts crying… then shut up.

Now; as a Marketing agency owner… I too have witnessed my fair share of “Business Idea Madness” that have absolutely no value in Google, no data in Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or LinkedIn and almost little to market on a Global scale.

I was taught that being a pioneer in any field often results in “laying down facedown in the mud with arrows in your back” from the Business world – but some ideas simply are non-started because they truly have NO RECOGNIZED NICHE at all.

Now, going into nichecraft is a time for another article but I’m going to break this down as simply as possible – there are 3 primary niches:

  1. Health
  2. Wealth
  3. Relationships
    1. Their Sub Niches
      1. You identifiable niche

In W. Chan Kim & Ren√©e Mauborgne best-selling Marketing book “Blue Ocean Strategy” they describe the concept of a red ocean is being a “Known market” or a market that’s full of blood as everyone tries to out position everyone else!

Where the blue ocean is free of predators, or “Big shark” to make the Ocean Red.

The issue really falls down to Business owners not being able to identify whether or not they’re really even in an ocean… and whether or not the ocean is Blue or Red. They have no idea how to identify a niche… and if you have no idea how to identify the POTENTIAL opportunity for a niche, then analyzing the niche effectively using the techniques that I’m about to teach you below.

Now that you’re aware… no more excuses for market failure!

That being said, we all have AMAZING ideas for products, services, applications, software, and strategies to implement into our Business. Being ABSOLUTELY real with yourself BEFORE you start sinking your life savings into a service-based Business or a production-based idea.

Oftentimes, a lot of Business owners have pitched their ideas to us just to put us to work on their market research strategies. We give them away for free, so when someone has an idea – they usually take it to us to see if there is in fact a market available for their product or service.

No traffic, no volume, usually is a pretty clear indication that the owner is going to struggle to get their product and service into the market.

There is an exception to this rule however; when you have a TREMENDOUS budget to push your new product or concept into the marketplace. I’m talking Apply and McDonald’s level experimental marketing budget.

The “Sell to everyone” Dilemma:

Now, the next bit of Marketing strategy to concern yourself with is, of course, wanting to sell to everyone.

There’s a famous Marketing adage that says “If you sell to everyone – you sell to no one.”

So the next test of a new concept I want you to consider if the actual Market share you’re going into. You see; I originally launched my little Digital Marketing agency in a city of no more than 60,000 people.

With this population; there was just over 3800 Business licenses in the city that were active. I, of course, found this data on the cities Business license website and did some simple math – I knew that I was going to sell my services to the Business owners in that city and I asked myself the simplest of the first marketing “tests”:

If I only ever sold my product to 1% of the market target market and target audience, estimating my average invoice value (average dollar sale), would I have a Profitable company that I could scale to other locations?

The math became REALLY simple from there:

3800 Businesses x 1% x Lowest possible average dollar sale = Revenue generated x margin = profit

I compared that entire figure to the LOWEST POSSIBLE DENOMINATOR and determined the figure BEFORE I ever spent a single penny on this Business concept.

It worked… and of course, I’m writing to you today knowing what I need to do in order to dominate the market.

The thing is… you’re not going to sell to everybody. Chances are, even in what you consider your “blue pool” you’re not going to sell to everyone. When the reality is right in front of you emotionally, you can combat reality with Business mathematics, reason, and logic.

This truly is the simplest way to get there! Now the question becomes how you science the snot out of your product so you can determine what is going to help you get there!

Be a scientist:

Data, Data, Data. Full transparency, despite my God Fearing status in the Jewish Religion I still use the scientific method to determine whether or not my Business is going to be successful for the long term – because prayer alone isn’t going to get you there!

That being said, it still amazes me the number of business owners that have no idea what to track within the success of their business to grow their companies using basic math!

You see, Business boils down to a series of “Key Performance Indicators” or “KPI’s” for short.

According to Klipfolio:

A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets. High-level KPIs may focus on the overall performance of the business, while low-level KPIs may focus on processes in departments such as sales, marketing, HR, support and others.

Now, there are literally HUNDREDS of KPI’s available in the market for every type of business and every type of department. However, when you don’t have an education in Business or an MBA it’s really tough to know which KPI’s you should be measuring when you want to acquire market share.

Which is why we teach our clients to focus primarily on our 3 Gear KPI strategy.

Now, I’ll be covering this extensively in other articles – but Basically, when starting a Business there are no more important systems to get set up than your Sales, Marketing, and Primary Firing systems.

They’re a step by step series of mathematical analysis to determine the overall health of any Business.

So then to answer the burning question? What KPI’s should I be tracking?

Well, the answer to this really does depend on what type of business you’re running but there is a universal series of KPI’s that are available and widely used for every business owner around the world.

However, to give you a 10,000-foot overview of what some of these KPI’s are going to look like we’ve given you some photos below!

There have been entire books written on the topic of the literally INFINITE number of things that can be tracked, but it is universally agreed upon in most experts today on KPI’s and supported by a tremendous body of research in our own work that these KPI’s are generally trackable no matter what Business you’re in!

We’re going to get into the meat and potatoes of these KPI’s in another article, but ultimately if you’re not tracking metrics along the way, you’re not keeping score, and if you’re not keeping score, you have no idea whether or not you’re winning.

What is a Target Market:

Now that we’ve gotten into the importance of mindset and some of the mathematical evidence for finding and capturing your target market, let’s get into what some of these concepts even are and what they mean!

A target market is very simple; it’s a market that holds a geographic area for which you are targetting. What do I mean?

The city you are in for example would be a target market. The cities, provinces, states, countries, postal codes, and general geographic areas you are targetting. This can be found visually in Facebook Business Manager for example!

You’ll be able to see that you’re able to target a certain area – you are also able to target things like sex, race, and in Facebook’s case – Language!

What is a Target Audience:

A target audience is a targeting mechanism that’s based on your audiences interests, behaviors, or demographics. What this means is if you’re looking specifically to target Business owners or people who are interested in personal training, and hundreds to thousands of the things that people could possibly be interested in! This is a photo of the Business owner example from the Facebook advertising platform.

What is already there:

The most important Opportunity that Businesses miss out on when they’re attempting to start up a new business or expand into a new market isn’t looking to come up with the “next great thing”. Here’s the thing about being a pioneer and attempting to come up with the “next great thing”; you often end up with arrows in your back!

Instead – look for what is already available to you in the market. There is a tremendous amount of Marketing information on your customers already at your disposal – you’ve just got to know where to find it.

Further, if you’re coming up with the next great idea, having a focused search of what your customer has previously looked for, where the buying trends are, who you need to target, and how you need to position yourself to win in the marketplace is going to be vital to your business efforts. More importantly, if you’re looking to expand a new department – ultimately these strategies are going to help you uncover potential that the market may not have identified – a new “blue pool” for you to fish in!

Here are some incredible data sources you should consider!

Analyzing your Database:

The single most underutilized resource we’ve EVER encountered when it comes to effectively Marketing a Business is the Businesses existing customer database.

When I first built Gorilla Digital as Conversionboom Media I was absolutely shocked at the Business owners we were serving that didn’t keep a shred of customer information.

There is tremendous opportunity in the market data from the people you already serve is going to be an excellent place to start when it comes to the “who” you’re going to be marketing towards.

This includes; race, sex, age, religion, average income, and things that may be a bit more obvious to your purchase histories like average dollar sale, Lifetime Value, revenue per account, and profit margin are all going to be things that you can glean from previous purchase interactions with your Business.

If you have a customer database start here! If you don’t have a customer database – we offer comprehensive customer service management and email marketing solutions so you can start taking advantage of the most lucrative market in your Business – the people already doing business with you.

Analyzing your competition:

Analyze… analyze…. analyze.

With every new hire, we bring on board – we have them book an appointment with our competition and analyze their current offerings to the open market.

We’ve also hired companies in the past to do competitive analysis and market research with our competitors to harvest information.

There are individuals who excel in market research strategies and oftentimes, not only is it good to stay on top of the offerings of your competition, but you can notice patterns in their pricing strategy, offerings, packages, and how they’ve laid out their entire customer onboarding process.

We’ve even suggested clients give their competition funds (if they can afford it) to take someone through the entire Marketing and Sales process of their Business to better understand where they may be falling behind.

In the Digital Marketing world, it’s even easier than that! We can use tools like spyfu.com or moz.com to get an understanding of what our competition may be doing with their online marketing principles that they aren’t taking advantage of.

This will show you whether or not your competition is using Search Engines effectively in their marketing, or whether or not they have a strong social presence.

If they do, you can use tools like ubersuggest.com to determine EXACTLY what they are doing it!

Of course, this is by no means a comprehensive list of tools and we would love to show you exactly what we can do to help you’re Business grow with one of our market research packages, but it is an excellent place to begin!

Look for existing Social and Website Analytics:

Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Business Manager are going to be INCREDIBLE tools to determine exactly who is interacting with the market you already have!

In most cases, however, we understand that you’re not going to have a rich database and potentially even these connections in order to make this work! So – what are you to do?

Google Business insights is going to be vital to the success of your Businesses growth if you want to stay on top of the latest trends in the Marketing landscape! (Pssss… this is the tool we use to stay on top of everything across the country when it comes to Search Engine Marketing.)

Looking for Censuses:

Let’s talk the data that’s given to you absolutely free of charge! There this incredible thing we do every handful of years in Canada and it’s called a census!

Especially if you’re attempting to branch into a new target market this is absolutely INVALUABLE to your Marketing endeavors!

The Candian Government has the most comprehensive collected database in the Marketing landscape and it includes a tremendous amount of information your Business may need to start off on the right foot!

Now, in Medicine Hat there are also companies that specialize in bringing new Business to the city! Invest Medicine Hat is one of those organizations!

There are many organizations like this across Canada and it can oftentimes be found by googling “Economic Development [insert city name].”

Other Data Resources:

Now of course if you’re looking for additional information outside of your local markets – there are literally hundreds of resources available online for you to use that are going to help you discover and uncover market opportunities.

American Fact Finder – is the census bureau for the American people! You can find anything from sex, age, income, level and so much more with the tool!

The Pew Research Centre – With an excellent user interface – and incredible graphs – the Pew Research centre gives you an incredible resource of databases to get insights on your customers in lands near and far!

Social Searcher – Want to know what’s going on in the social media sphere and listen in on EVERY social mention ever made about your brand? This is the tool for you! With comprehensive Social Media analysis, you can work to serve every customer, on every platform, in the world.

Looking for data groups (even amongst your friends and family):

Old School Market Research is the name of the game. It’s just gotten a bit of a different facelift!

Asking your friends and family is still one of the best ways to get a sense of how the market is going to respond… within reason. Of course, there are often emotional dynamics at play that may prevent you from doing something like that! So here are a few other options…

The Execution:

Your customer – their description:

Your customer – Their Psychographics:

Become exceptionally clear about your point of difference:

Positioning in your advertising:

Testing advertising against the description and psychographics:

The Post Mortem:

Always be testing and measuring:

Record and store your data:

Remain COMPLETELY objective:

Summary: