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Hi guys,

I`m probably the black sheep of this community. Been feeding on your knowledge for a week now and i feel like giving back.

I wrote this article for any of you guys who want to sell stuff or want to start a business or giving a boost to their business that doesn’t take off.

Now where to start?

I’ll try to give you the basic steps for at least a good start in your projects.

Before you start programming or trying to build a product or service, you have to consider the market you’re going to throw this product or service in. Is there a demand?

A scratch on market analysis: (because you have to know if there’s money to make and whom to sell)

I won’t touch the macro environment because software is very portable.

Micro environment:

Segmentation, market size and SWOT analysis: (Skipping Porter Forces)

(Grab a text editor) Write that down:

Type of market aimed: medical, construction, law, B2B (business to business) … Yes you can say, I’m implementing a new accounting software which can touch all types of business. Note: be careful, some industries have very specific needs in terms of accounting data. And you more incline to make a sell if the software is specialized with their needs than something more generic. Define your prospect very carefully, more is better.

How big your segment is: Example, a total of 3 millions software is sold in the area you`re looking to launch your stuff. What portion do you think you can get from that market? OK, maybe there’s some profit to be made or this is a NO GO. (You will have to consider the SWOT later in this article,is your competitor holding the high end of the bat, which leaves you no chance to sell anything)

Target customer: Now you have to know what and where those prospects are reading or playing or hanging. This will help you know where to reach them and what type of publicities they will response better.


In this other section, you want compare yourself with the competition on every aspect of business.

Strength/ Weakness: Here you define your strengths compare to your competitor, meaning all competitors, not only 1. Example: faster development, guaranty bug free, available 24/7. Your weaknesses, they offer a multi language support and they have live support also.

Opportunity/ Threath: If you can see a flaw in the market use it or if there’s a new law coming up be aware of it. Example, HTML 5 is that a threath or an opportunity for you? Now, it’s not only an unfulfilled demands, but anything that can give you a lead on competition. Example: you can write a Python application that only take half the code of Java application, maybe you can do a job faster and save fees for your prospect. (I know languages are specialized, this is only an example)

After knowing for what and who you’re playing chess with, you want to know, how your product services compare to them. Do you have a chance to enter the market or your competitors holds the high end of the bat?

After you decide, yes I have a chance with this product or service in this market, you want to align your Mix marketing.

In your Mix marketing you want to make everything coherent. Now re read what you wrote down and ask yourself. Am I aiming at a high end costumer or a regular Joe who’s looking for the cheapest deal? Then arrange your price, promotion, company image and customer services, so they all project the same thing.

Example: High end costumer will look for the best product and services on the market. So high price, top notch company image and a great customer services that doesn’t take days before they get a reply.

Howto fix your mix marketing components? Base yourself on competition in your segment. Your closes rival charge 60$ an hour and give a crap customer service. If your aim is high end, you maybe want to fix your prices at 75$ an hour and guaranty a response in 30min. But, if you want the low end of customer, you may want to charge 55$ an hour and just don't care how your web page looks.

Now you should have a good foundation on how to start your project or business. You know what to sell, to whom, at which price and make your mix marketing saying I’m a pro look at my price it’s high end programming I do. Or why pay more, I can do it for half the cost. (LOL don’t tell them about your customer service in this case :P)

This is the best way at the moment I can condense the maximum information on the basics of marketing in a simple article. If you need specifications on certain points let me know. I’ll be happy to answer, then again ... this is a free post, so crappy customer service. LOL kidding, I’ll try to answer at least a week.

I’m going to pull the plug on this article. If it really helps, I’ll keep on writing, else I’ll feed on your knowledge of programming :P

Oh yeah, publicity wise, fast hint: MAKE NOISE, place a maximum adds as you can, social media, add words, forum, blogs, whateva, you guys are the pro in this. Because, people can’t do business with you if they don’t even know you exist.

Need more? Do a lookup in Google: Market analysis, SWOT, Porter Forces, Mix marketing, 4P concept.

Take care, DarkMonarch

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Last Post by DarkMonarch
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You really made great contribution, very helpful article. But I wonder if you use this strategy and on what website?

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does your web site have a goal ?

the only sites, i think it doesn't apply to is an intern site for employees.

Basicly in marketing you want to understand what people do. Customers, competitors or just visitors.

So you want to optimized your site for something. Business, traffic or whatever.
If your site is public and has no goal, why is it online ?

It's like a chess board out there, you gotta have a strategy and know the moves others are gonna make, so you have a chance to win the game.


Dark

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Great article. Do you ever include an overview of the Porter's 5 Forces in your strategy?

yes i do on official contracts. You can throw the porter forces in there if you which, the more you know about the market and the less your gonna trip and screw up.

But when i wrote this thread, i tried to keep it short. Like i said this is the tip of the iceberg. When i drop a report at a client, it's over 30 pages, not including the graphs and the financial predictions.

Porter Forces
- new entries: (how difficult is it for others to throw the same product or service on the market?) It's easy to get a compiler and an IDE and start programming, but how about the finish product?

- substitute product: (similar product or service, exemple: a custom accounting program versus excel sheets, excel is not an accounting program but it can handle the job)

- customer power: you gotta know how many competitors and substitutes your up against (more competition = more power to your clients, because they will have a choice not buy your product)

- supplier power: it's like customer power but the other way around, this time your the customer. exemple: you need to setup a network for a client, you gotta buy the hardware somewhere, there's lotsa compagnies out there that sells equipment for that. therefor the supplier have less power.

- direct market competition: here you want to compare yourself on every level of your product or service with the competition. We have touch this on the main post.
* compare price
* compare promotion (publicity)
* compare customer service
* compare anything that has a value for your clients
** and at this point i always throw a SWOT to see where i can get the edge on competition

hope it helps

and BTW, i which you guys a merry holidays

Dark

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