Owl butterflies (pictured) are species of the genus Caligo. They are identified by their huge eyespots which mimic the eyes of amphibians and owls. The time needed for a triple-take by a predator could give this butterfly just enough time to escape capture. Conversely, Peacock spiders of the Maratus bubo (Latin: horned owl) variety want to attract mates with their owl-like markings. As they execute their love dance, they appear to wave their "arms" as if flagging down the spider before them. Meanwhile, they flaunt their butts, the design on which resembles - you guessed it - a tiny owl. Even so, we can tell the difference between a bird, an amphibian, an arachnid, and an insect, and we interact with them differently. If your business is a healthcare referral agency that resembles an urgent care facility that resembles a tattoo parlor, you will struggle to attract your target customer. Don't lose time and resources discovering that you're a horned owl attracting female Peacock spiders expecting to mate.
You might have an innovative idea, a catchy business name, a user friendly website, and attractive business cards or decks. Have you, however, researched and outlined how your business will make money with its product or service considering its customer base in a particular market? Even a not-for-profit business must consistently make enough money to sustain itself. And in the case of all business, customer satisfaction and loyalty reign supreme.
Seek and maintain business mentors. They can help with anything from brainstorming ideas to understanding the best marketing research pursuits for your business type. Discard prideful thoughts that discourage you from working with mentors. Remember, someday, leaders of start-ups will seek your mentorship, too.
Market research is a significant aspect of creating a viable business. As you begin your research, you must understand your vision and whose need you intend to meet through fulfilling your mission. Research will help guide the focus of your business. Whether you are a sole proprietor, a limited liability corporation, or larger scale business, knowing who you are and for whom you will provide services or products is key. Determine your direction. Then, structure your business model so your intended customer's decision journey repeatedly leads them to you. Finally, be certain that your model is capable of adapting to new information delivered by ongoing market research.
Take your time, even if you fear the moment will pass. Certainly some "flashes in the pan" will catch fire; yet leaders of businesses that stand the test of time will rarely follow every trend. Cool Breeze Media's Content Catalysts seek to assist Founders, Presidents, Proprietors, Board members, CEOs, Advertising and Marketing staff, and CFOs tend to the details garnered from their marketing research by helping to develop the right mix of technical and advertising content in your publications.
Whether you're a spider, a bird, or a butterfly, do the difficult work on the front end to carve out your niche and develop a clear understanding of whose pain-point you can address with your product or service. Create a sound plan so you avoid placing competitors in the awkward position of showing you you're an owl butterfly, not an owl. You clearly define your target audience once you clearly define your business. Take a team to the drawing board with you and even back to the drawing board when necessary.
Know what you are and take flight.