17 Best Questions & Answers for Business Planning

Questions& Answers Business Planning:  If you’re interested in starting your own business.

By now you probably know that writing a business plan is one of the first steps.

But what should a business plan include? How detailed should it be?

Do you need to do research first?

Don’t worry—below we’ll answer all of your questions.

And walk you through putting together your first business plan from start to finish!

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Questions& Answers Business Planning

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Questions & Answers Business Planning

1. What are your potential markets for your business. 

Consider which segment of the local (and/or international) population will be seeking to use your products or services.

This needs to be more than mere guesswork and involves doing accurate and intelligent research.

You need to analyze secondary research collected by outside observers.

As well as getting primary research that you collect yourself, with your own methods and observations.

Consider the following areas of inquiry:

  • Is there a viable market for the product or service you want to sell?
  • How old are your potential customers?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • Is your product or service attractive to a particular ethnic or economic population?
  • Will only wealthy people be able to afford it?
  • Does your ideal customer live in a certain type of neighborhood or area?
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2. What are the size of your potential market. 

It’s important to be as specific as possible in regard to your market and your product.

If you want to start a soap business, for example, you may believe that every dirty body needs your product.

But you can’t start with the entire world as your initial market.

Even if you’ve developed such a universally needed item as soap.

You need to identify a smaller, more targeted customer group first.

Such as children under eight who might like bubblegum scented bubble bath, or soap made for mechanics.

From there, you can analyze demographic information more specifically:

  • How many car mechanics are in need of soap in any given community?
  • How many children in the United States are currently under the age of eight?
  • How much soap will they use in a month or a year?
  • How many other soap manufacturers already have a share of the market?
  • How big are your potential competitors?

Questions & Answers Business Planning

3.  What are the most attractive features of your product?

Do you know your product’s most attractive features?
List them  in order of importance.
Then go on to determine the following:
why should somebody buy your product at all?
why should somebody buy your product from your company?
why should someone buy your product from you?

You must be able to answer these questions clearly in your mind before you get face to face with customers.

Questions & Answers Business Planning

4. What specific needs of your prospective customer does your product satisfy?

What benefits does it offer?
In other words, what is in it for the customer to purchase your product rather than someone else’s product or no one’s product?
Write the most attractive features of your product down one side of a piece of paper.
Then write the benefits that your customer will enjoy from each of these features.
Next to them on the other side of the paper. Remember, customers do not buy features, they only buy benefits.
They do not buy products or services, they buy solutions to their problems.
They are not concerned with what goes into your product.
They are only concerned about what comes out for them.

 5. What does your company offer that other companies do not offer?

What is your unique selling proposition? In what ways is your company’s or product’s area of excellence? In what ways is your company product or service superior to anything else available in the market? The greater clarity you have with regards to these answers, the more creative you will be in finding better prospects and making more sales to those prospects.

Questions & Answers Business Planning

6.  Who exactly is your customer?

Make a list of all the qualities and characteristics that your ideal customer would have. What would be his or her age, education, occupation, income level, experience, attitude or need. The greater clarity you have in identifying your ideal customer, the easier it will be for you to find more of these customers to talk to.

7. Who buys your product or service right now?

Who are the lowest percentage of your customers and who represent the highest percentage? What do you have in common? How could you find more customers just like the very best customers you serve today?

Questions & Answers Business Planning

8.  Who will be your future customers?

Markets are continually changing, and  you must change as well .
Project ahead five years, based on current trends, who are likely to be your best customers at that time.

9.  What are the trends in your business and in your market?

What changes are taking place that may force you to change the way you sell or the people to whom you sell.
In what direction is your market moving? how are your customers changing?

10. What new market might be there before your product or service?

who else could benefit from your area of specialization and differentiation that you have not yet reached?

Questions & Answers Business Planning

11. Why does your customers buy? what advantages or benefits does your prospect perceived in purchasing your product or service ?

of everything that you offer to the customers , what parts of your production or service does your customers most appreciate and compliment?  what are that hot buttons that causes your customers to buy? you must know the answers to the questions  to quid  from meeting other prospects.

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12. Who or what is your competitors?

 who are your major and minor competitors? what benefits do your prospective customers see in buying from your competitors? how could you offset these perceived benefits how could you position yourself in such a way that people would buy from you rather than from your competitors .
This is often the key to breaking open the entire market. When you position yourself properly against your competitors, your sales often increase by hundred of percent.

Questions & Answers Business Planning

13. What is your competitive advantage?

This is your area of differentiation. In what way do you have advantage over your competitors? how and why are you superior, but if you don’t  have a competitive  advantage, don’t compete.
Your competitive advantage is invariable the most important reason that a customer would choose your product  over that of your competitors.
Fully understanding the nature of your competitive advantage is the key to develop an effective and creative sales presentation.
You should  be so clear about the competitive advantage of your product or service that someone could wake you up at night and ask, why is your product better than anybody else’s? and you could answer the question out of a sound sleep.

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14. Who are your non customers?

Who are the people  who could use your product or service , but buy neither  from you nor your competitors.These are people who are not even in the market at all .In reality, the non customers are the greatest  untapped market for your products or service. If you can identify  them and find and find a way to get through to them , you can often create sales where no sales exists and where  there is little competition or price resistance.

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Questions & Answers Business Planning

15.  When do your customers buy?

When is the best time to sell to your customers? is it a specific time the business cycle or a specific season during the year? do customers buy when business is growing, or when business is declining  some services are most appropriate with businesses are in difficulty. Other services are bought more readily when business are growing rapidly.

What season of the year do your customers buy the most. During what stage of the business cycle do they buy? some products are most suitable for start-up business. Others are better suited for growing business. And some work best for large companies that have stabilized or leveled off in the market.

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Questions & Answers Business Planning

16.  What has to happen before your prospect will buy your product?

 often, a person will only buy a product, or try out a company  or service, when she has received a recommendation from someone she trusts. Sometime the prospect will only buy when she has spoken to another satisfied customers, or the prospect has to get encouragement ,reinforcement, or approval from another person before she feels comfortable enough to buy.

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17. What are your financial data.

 How will you convince others to invest in your endeavor? By having clear, transparent and realistic financial information that shows you know what you’re talking about and that you’re not hiding anything.

  • The accuracy of your financial figures and projections is absolutely critical in convincing investors, loan sources, and partners that your business concept is worthy of support. The data must also be scrupulously honest and extremely clear.
  • Since banks and many other funding sources will compare your projections to industry averages in the R.M.A data, in the United States you can use the R.M.A figures to test your projections before the bank does.

Here are some questions to ask the hesitant prospect , what would have to happen before you  went ahead with this offer?, what would you have to be convinced of to buy this product or services? The answers you get will often give you the key to the business.

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