By Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility.
9 out of 10 businesses fail. What’s the formula then for success?
A frightening statistic popped out at me when I was reading Forbes Magazine the other day, which said that 90% of start-ups fail. Now, I’m not sharing this to discourage you but rather to get you thinking that it’s imperative to work not only harder but smarter too.
Success Factor 1: Right Product for the Right Market
The top reason for success (as gained from research across many successful businesses) is having the right product for the right market. Even the most innovative, cost-effective, sexy products won’t sell if there is a lack of market need. Do the research. Now this is not a once off exercise but rather something that should be evaluated continuously. So what are the questions you should be asking regarding your products?
1. Who are our customers and how do we reach and market to them?
- Does our target market also include businesses or only individual customers?
- What do our customer profiles look like? What are the characteristics of our customers and how can we use this data to assist us with our marketing strategy development. An example would be: what are their demographic/expenditure/lifestyle/media preferences?
- What does our customer segmentation look like? What are the similarities/differences in our customer base (potential and current) and how can we use this information for cost-effective and accurate targeting in our direct marketing?
- What are our customer demographics? Where do our prospective customers live? What is their Socio-Economic Measure? How frequently will they buy? What is their average age group and gender
2. Determine your competition
- What would make a customer choose the one over the other? Is it price-variety-quality?
- Does the competitor offer superior customer service?
3. Know your products
- Ensure that you understand and know your products features and benefits, as the pricing determines if it is bargain value or luxury.
4. Request customer feedback
- Constantly ask your customers about their experiences
I’m sure there are more questions you could ask, but I’m hoping that this will kick start the process and the answers to these are at least a bare minimum of information needed.
Ongoing research could be cumbersome and time-consuming, so look for software systems which can fulfil your data needs. Information taken from Point of Sale on product sales plus customers’ sales trends and segmentation should be mined continuously to ensure that your product and marketing strategies are still on point.
With the buzzwords of AI (Artificial Intelligence) flying around these days it is imperative to select a technology partner who can provide you with solutions that allows you to analyse the under-utilised wealth of information at your fingertips. And to raise the bar of not only having the data to view (referred to as Descriptive Analytics), but systems which allow you to predict and plan your stock levels and promotions (just to name a few) referred to as Predictive Analytics.
Article contributions taken from Neil Patel, Forbes Magazine.
Also read: Data Science & IoT
Biography – Tanya Long, Human Capital Executive, Argility
Tanya Long is a Qualified Performance and Business Coach, with over 25 years’ experience in Software Development for Retailers. The fusion of her retail, software and coaching knowledge is used by many to uplift businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals in achieving the results that they desire. She currently serves as Human Capital Executive for Argility and works with various organisations to design and implement their Culture Strategy aligned to enhancing their Employee Engagement to drive business results.