Part 2: Your Competitors & Your Money
After writing an executive summary in the last post, you should feel quite accomplished. It’s something about writing your plans down and even a tentative business story that makes it more tangible. You should feel energized and ready to either go back and research more or continue with your business plan. While planning your business, you must understand who you’re competing with, get familiar with what they offer and get laser focused on how you will make your own business, products or systems unique.
It’s important to know who your competitors are when planning your business and your products. Things like:
Is your competitor Walmart and you want to be more like Target?
Is your competitor available 24/7 and you will off customer service or communications at 5pm daily?
What does your competitor offer that is unique to them?
What are you offering that is unique to you?
Research your competitors using www.SpyFu.com
Set up Google Alerts to know when certain keywords are searched-including your own business name. I have Google Alerts set up for Women CEO Project, Kristi Jackson MBA, etc. I want to see what keywords are being searched the most-this help extensively with understanding what my potential customer needs and what words to add to my blog posts and marketing materials. Go here to get started. At a minimum, setup a Google Alert for your business, your competitor and your name.
Have you looked at your industry or competition on Gartner yet? Check out your industry there- you can never have too much info on what’s going on so that you can plan how to dominate.
There’s no getting around it. You need some amount of money to get this business off the ground. Luckily for us, in 2016, it’s SUPER easy to leverage technology and get many things that used to be barriers to entry-free.
- How much will it cost?
- What do you need?
- What supplies or equipment do you need to get the business started and done?
Now, be careful here. This is a place where I’ve seen many businesses give themselves unnecessary stress focusing on items that aren’t needed for them to start their business. You don’t need an office to start. You probably don’t need as much space as you think.
- You do need a website, but it doesn’t have to be the functional and aesthetically appealing. You can achieve this with sites like Wix.com and Squarespace.com.
- You can send out emails to your database for free with sites like Mailchimp.com, Freshmail.com or SendinBlue.com.
- If you need business cards, you can go to sites like Moo.com or Vistaprint.com to get some that look great without spending a fortune.
So, what do you need to spend your startup money on?
Here are some Money Questions to Ask Yourself:
How will you fund your business?
How will you make money from your business?
What will you sell in your business?
What is the cost of this product to you?
How much will you make per product that you sell? ( Your costs minus the price you sell your product for )
How much money will you make weekly, daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly?
To get a full money planning template, get the Master Strategy Planner here…
Work on these questions. Answer them honestly and realistically and in part 3, we will discuss creating your product.