IS YOUR BIG IDEA VIABLE?
When starting a business we all take the time to identify some basic information that helps to determine the viability of our big venture, but I have learned that starting out is not the only time to check yourself.
Taking my own advice from Week 4 of Sixteen Weeks…, I am taking yet another look at the “5 P’s Plus” for my own business and thought I would share them with you. Whether you’re a start-up or a mature business, it’s always good to periodically evaluate your projected growth, opportunities and weaknesses as they relate to the te 5 P’s Plus.
And the P’s are…
1) Product – Be sure to list all the benefits and features of your product or service. Be clear on exactly what your offering is. Include factors that give you a competitive advantage such as quality, experience or pricing. Remember benefits are selling points, and features are built into a product or service.
This was always confusing to me, so here’s a simple example using a hypothetical bakery. Let’s call it Pure Bread (just came up with that–pretty good wouldn’t you say?)
*Features – offers quality organic ingredients in their freshly made baked goods.
*Benefits – customers love eating great tasting baked goods that are actually good for them.
2) Positioning – How do your customers view your product or service? How do they think you measure up to the competition? How is your product or service different from the competition?
3) Pricing – What do you plan to charge your customer? If you are charging more than the competition, what additional value are you offering your customers? If you are charging less, why? Is the customer service or quality not equal to the competition? Don’t be fooled here, sometimes lesser quality or limited customer service is a feature and customers understand that and want the benefit of a lower price. Take the Snuggie for example, or anything sold after 2:00 AM with the As Seen on TV slogan; the pricing is strategic to move inventory, and the low price and unique offering are exactly what the customer is after.
4) Promotion – How will/do you create awareness in the marketplace? When, and how, will you introduce your product or service to your potential customers? Will you offer pricing incentives such as gift with purchase? Will you launch an expensive, but aggressive, advertising campaign or build a social media following over time? Is the intention to convert to sales or establish a fan base?
5) Placement – Let’s call this distribution. Where do you intend to offer your goods or service? Are you running your service venture from home, or does your retail establishment require lots of consumer traffic? Is location important to the success of the business? Are you a wholesaler who needs to negotiate shelf-space or prime, in-store real estate?
Plus) Customer Service – It is shocking how many of us overlook customer service as part of a marketing strategy. It’s not just having a return policy in place, it’s building a relationship with every person who encounters your brand. Good customer service anticipates the client’s needs and provides a product (or service) that actually delivers the benefits it promised.
Hope taking another look at some of your own P’s better prepares you to count all the G’s sure to come your way as a result.
image: the pursuit aesthetic