Learn 3 Low-Cost Ways
You Can Obtain Strategic
Your company’s sales growth and increasing profitability depends on your ability to continue to provide customers with what they want, when they want it, delivered in a way that’s convenient for them. Is your company continuously attracting potential customers, satisfying current customers, and keeping your competitors from stealing your customers away? Missing out on emerging or changing market trends, or not paying attention to emerging competition, can place your business sales in jeopardy. Market information and knowledge can help your business survive over the long haul. Below is a list of 3 easy ways for you to stay informed about your customers, potential customers and competition.
If you don’t have the budget or time for surveys, industry association meetings or market research summary reports, spend at least a half a day each month searching the Internet for industry and market trends. Check especially for “Fact Sheets” on industry associations web sites (e.g., the Organic Trade Association, www.ota.com, has an “Organic Facts” section). If you serve consumers directly, search for consumer or retail trends (make sure the Internet information you rely on is from a reputable source – just about anybody can slap up a web site nowadays!).
customers are important – keep in touch with what they need and
want, and how they want it delivered.
Customers are the reason your business exists! Stay
informed of your customers’ changing tastes and lifestyles,
population shifts, and the competitors who also serve your customers. If
you can quickly identify emerging problems or opportunities, you can
change your product mix or adjust operations to insure that your
company stays around to serve your customers over the long haul.
Anne Ramstetter Wenzel, owner of Econosystems, helps small business owners identify who is most likely to buy their products or services, then creates business planning documents that help her clients grow sales more easily. Ms. Wenzel is also author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Market Research, a succinct and useful guide to conducting market research and writing a business plan.
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For more insights on the economy, markets and life as an entrepreneur, visit Anne Wenzel’s “Reflections of an Economist” blog.
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