I want to recap the sound basics that were given to Brigitte and then add my own two cents. First, let's recap what SCORE counselors said:
- Write a business plan. Yes, it helps to think about your business strategically.
- Don't pay anyone to write your business plan. Yes, you should use advisors for feedback but ultimately you need to map your own destiny yourself.
- Limit your first efforts to just a couple of key products. Yes, as a newcomer to the market with limited resources, you can't spread yourself too thin.
- Spend a lot of time with your customers and seek their feedback. Yes, that will allow you to create what your customers need rather then what you think they need.
- Keep your expenses low. This is just common sense but still many entrepreneurs forget this.
Now, here is what I would like to add.
Brigitte describes her product on her website as "unique, natural olive butter skin care products, we drew upon centuries-old herbal wisdom, time-honored production methods, and the need for modern-convenience."
I don't feel that with this description Brigitte clearly defined her niche. I am afraid that deep-pocketed cosmetics companies with large marketing budgets and established distribution channels will have no trouble outselling Brigitte.
- Who is your target customer?
- Does the customer care? Why?
- What is your value proposition to your customer?
- Which market? Which segment? What demographics?
- How big is your market? Can you segment your market further?
- Who is your competition? What are their strengths and weaknesses, and how do you position against them?
- Which premium qualities of your products do you think your customers would be willing to pay for and how much?
Granted, these seven questions are not a cakewalk for someone who’s just starting in the business. I would strongly advise Brigitte and other entrepreneurs to seek help from the SCORE and other mentors.
Only when Brigitte identifies a real unaddressed market need and communicates her message clearly and precisely, her skin-care line will get well positioned for growth.
The basic marketing premises of defining a niche is carefully targeting the audience, said Donna C. Barson of Barson Marketing, a business consultancy in the personal care industry.
Donna gives good pointers on how to do it in her article Marketing Matters: Creating A Successful Brand in Challenging Times. I read it in GCI -- Beauty Business, Brand Impact -- magazine, a treasure trove for skin-care market research and development. Hope, Brigitte reads it too.
Have a question about your business? Ask in the comments bellow and feel free to share your own story.
About me: I am Irina Patterson,
was a Medical Doctor
and tech PR executive in the past, My current passion is
entrepreneurship. I'm a
volunteer for the Silicon
Valley-based Global Initiative 1M1M that offers free
online guidance to entrepreneurs
About me: I am Irina Patterson, was a Medical Doctor and tech PR executive in the past, My current passion is entrepreneurship. I'm a volunteer for the Silicon Valley-based Global Initiative 1M1M that offers free online guidance to entrepreneurs worldwide.