Many women entrepreneurs and small business owners fail to set aside the time to develop (and regularly re_visit) their business vision and strategy. As the old quote goes, 'if you fail to plan, you plan to fail'. It is generally agreed that if you want your small business to succeed, you have a much greater chance if you have a clear vision and an action plan for bringing that vision about. So what stops women who are starting a small business from developing an inspired and effective business plan? After all, we know that we should have a business plan but despite the best of intentions to succeed in our business, many of us don't! Why is this? What is it that stops us sitting down and writing a clear plan and strategy for our business, especially when we know that we are more likely to succeed if we do it?
Is there enough demand for your product or service? This is something you'll want to investigate in more detail as you develop your business plan. At this point though, what's important is to do some preliminary research. Searches on Google, Hoovers or Bizminer will help you study a particular industry, and you can often drill down your research to a particular state or city. Your search at Google is of course, free, but you'll often find for a small investment at sites such as Hoovers or Bizminer, you'll get meaningful data for your market vertical, which you can start analyzing right away. It's also not a bad idea to survey buyers on their purchase behaviors and perceptions towards your product or service. Arranging a questionnaire or focus group can give you some useful insight into how potential buyers react to your product or service. If it's reasonable, consider giving away product or service trials and then follow_up to evaluate user expectations and experiences. If you don't have demand for your product or service, it really doesn't matter how great it is anyways, right?