Risk Assessment - What weaknesses are inherent in this venture? What vulnerabilities face this type of venture? What impact will these have? What new technologies may affect this venture over the next 1 to 3 years? What contingency plans are in place? What level of liability insurance is required? What does it cost? Who is the carrier? Possible Data Sources: trade associations; trade journals; Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE); industry salespeople; customers; focus groups.
If you know all of these except for Marketing, say, then this is where you will need to invest some time and effort. You can find a wealth of information by utilizing the traditional data sources such as chambers of commerce, major cities' websites, trade associations, the US Census Bureau, trade journals, magazine and online articles and advertising, etc. Performing keyword searches on Google, or Ask will bring up websites to check out. Following are some places to start:
Internet Public Library - The Census Data and Demographics (ipl.org)/: An especially useful site that has links to information about countries other than the U.S.
When you hire a business plan consultant with a firm grasp on all business practices, your company will function efficiently. Apart from consulting, this person can act as a coach by motivating your salespeople with training sessions to enhance their marketing and sales skills. He or she can also serve as a broker, in the event you decide to acquire other companies that can make your business stronger and more competitive. Whatever you do, make sure to hire one or several to give you an edge over the competition.
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