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Analyzing Customers in Your Business Plan

The Customer Analysis section of the business plan assesses the customer segments that the company serves. In it, the company must

1. Identify its target customers

2. Convey the needs of these customers

3. Show how its products and services satisfy these needs

The first step of the Customer Analysis is to define exactly which customers the company is serving. This requires specificity. It is not adequate to say the company is targeting small businesses, for example, because there are several million of these types of customers. Rather, an expert business plan writer must identify precisely the customers it is serving, such as small businesses with 10 to 50 employees based in large metropolitan cities on the West Coast.

Once the plan has clearly identified and defined the company's target customers, it is necessary to explain the demographics of these customers. Questions to be answered include:

1. How many potential customers fit the given definition and is this customer base growing or decreasing?

2. What is the average revenues/income of these customers?

3. Where are these customers geographically based?

After explaining customer demographics, the business plan must detail the needs of these customers. Conveying customer needs could take the form of past actions (X% have purchased a similar product in the past), future projections (when interviewed, X% said that they would purchase product/service Y) and/or implications (because X% use a product/service which our product/service enhances/replaces, then X% need our product/service).

The business plan must also detail the drivers of customer decision-making. Sample questions to answer include:

1. Do customers find price to be more important than the quality of the product or service?

2. Are customers looking for the highest level of reliability, or will they have their own support and just seek a basic level of service?

There is one last critical step in the Customer Analysis -- showing an understanding of the actual decision-making process. Examples of questions to be answered here include:

1. Will the customer consult others in their organization/family before making a decision?

2. Will the customer seek multiple bids?

3.
Will the product/service require significant operational changes (e.g., will the customer have to invest time to learn new technologies and will the product/service cause other members within the organization to lose their jobs? etc.)

It is essential to truly understand customers to develop a successful business and marketing strategy. As such, sophisticated investors require comprehensive profiles of a company's target customers. By spending the time to research and analyze your target customers, you will develop both enhance your business strategy and funding success.

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Testimonials



Thank you very much for all of your hard work. We are very pleased with the final result of the business plan and the PowerPoint - say congratulations on a job well done and that you can use us a reference for any future clients. We will definitely look to utilize Growthink's services in the future as we build our company.

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MediaCompound



Without Growthink’s professional help, we would never have been able to create an effective business plan. Growthink not only did deep research on our business environment, but its representatives also listened to us and refined their analysis to include what we had found out through experience. We would recommend Growthink to any start-up business which does not have a professional business plan developer on staff!

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Laptop Mini Mart



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