Your marketing foundation and success ultimately depends on the strength of your business blueprint. If your blueprint is not strong or functional, marketing on its own can not sustain it!
The following steps will guide you through the basics of developing your business blueprint. Even if you’ve been in business for some time, going through this exercise is still advised.
Steps to Creating a Business Blueprint
1. Define the Problem:
To be successful in business, your product or service must serve a need or solve a problem. What is the problem that your business solves? Why are you needed?
2. Define your Target Audience:
Once the problem is solved, determine the ideal target audience for your product or service. Never say, “It’s for Everyone!” That is not defining a target audience. Who specifically will you serve? Outline a profile of the ideal customer including where they shop, live, work and what they care about. You may have multiple audiences, but if you do, they will need to be defined separately.
Another tip is to think through the ultimate customer experience. Think of all of the various “touch points” that you will have with a customer as they find, interact, purchase from you and stay connected to your brand after the sale.
3. Propose your Solution:
Propose the solution in a short, succinct manner that is easily understood by others. Don’t make it complicated or overly wordy.
4. Outline your USP / Unique Selling Proposition:
Almost every business has competition. Even the most original of ideas may have competition because consumers have choices in how they solve a problem. So, your competition may be indirect and not direct. But you still have it. It is vital that you know and communicate what makes your product or service different so the consumer can have a reason to choose yours over others.
5. Define your Channels:
The best way to define the channels in which you will communicate your marketing messages, is to go where your customers are. If your customers are on certain social media channels, watch certain TV shows, visit specific parts of town or visit specific websites, you will want to be found in those spots.
6. Outline your Revenue Streams:
A revenue stream is basically any way in which money comes into your business. You may have one or many. Define the various ways that money will come in as well as which are the most profitable.Your marketing foundation and success ultimately depends on the strength of your business blueprint. If your blueprint is not strong or functional marketing on its own can not sustain it!
7. Develop your Cost Structure:
Your cost structure includes the various types of expenses you will incur when creating products or delivering a service. Some will be fixed and some will change over time (variable.) The cost structure of the firm is the ratio of the fixed costs to variable costs.
8. Define Key Metrics:
Key metrics may include the number of customers you have, the number of users, average sale amount, number of transactions per customer, length of memberships, customer level, sales targets, and expenses. Whichever items are key to your success or failure should be defined so they can be measured.
Developing a business blueprint doesn’t need to be an overly complicated task or require an MBA. By outlining the key concepts of a business foundation, you will be well on your way to launching a business that has the potential for success.