Some of the most successful products and services have the same thing in common: they were endorsed by friends and family members of the creator. However, these are not the only people that you need to get feedback from.
When you’re writing your business plan, data is definitely important. But how relevant is the data you collect? The truth of the matter is that your friends and family are influenced simply by their relationship with you. This seriously undermines the relevancy of any data you collect from them.
A business plan full of non-viable data will only cause more uncertainty in the future when you need to make a change or wish to grow your venture. Successful business planning requires a lot of research. If you’re only sticking to the facts and figures those whom you know provide, your research will be very limited. In order to draw attention to what you’re offering, your idea needs to be proven beyond a doubt, and in such a way that your reader will consider to be reliable.
Objectivity is the Key
Many would-be business owners think their business will be a success because they believe it to be so, and have support behind them in the form of those who know them. But this is not a realistic assumption, because just because someone is close to you, it doesn’t mean that they are a reliable source of the information you need for your plan. Your friends and family may support you 1000%; however, by simply catching your own excitement about your business, they can end up inadvertently leading the results elsewhere, which won’t benefit you at all.
The key to success in your business plan is in having done as much objective research as possible. It is the real and unbiased opinions you get from others which will form the basis of the credibility you need to get your business plan read and accepted.
Get in their Heads
Doing market research can offer you many benefits. Not only will market research get you the unbiased views you need to prove product viability, but it will also get you the reliable data you need. Because it’s objective data, your results will be valid. Finally, any figures generated from the data will be factual. When all of these elements are in place, it increases your chances of getting business funding. The trick is to make sure you are targeting the right people with your questions. To do this, you need to try and find out what’s going on in their minds.
Meet their Needs
When thinking about questions to ask, take the time to list the many ways your product meets the needs of your target market. Then, ask them how well your product meets their needs, and compare their answers to your own. If they don’t match up, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. If they do match up, however, your business plan will have that much more credibility and validity.
Never Forget your Competition
When on your journey for unbiased opinions, never forget that your competition is always out there. In order to compete, you must always stay one step ahead, and that means ensuring you’ve done your homework as far as getting as objective an opinion as possible from as many in your target market as possible.
If you really want to achieve objectivity, one way is to not ask your target market questions personally. This is easy to do these days with so many options for creating free and anonymous surveys. If you wish to talk to people one-to-one, it can help to recruit an uninvolved party to poll passers-by.