business plan

Why White Papers Matter

Contrary to popular belief, white papers are not losing their punch. In fact, they are still one of the most valuable tools available to anyone wishing to market their business. White papers give your business proposal the extra “clout” needed to push it over the edge. Filled to the brim with facts, figures, case studies, reports, and analyses, a white paper is an invaluable marketing instrument. White papers are thought of as some of the oldest marketing workhorses out there. “Old”, in this case, most certainly does not mean “outdated”. Perhaps the best aspect of a white paper is the fact that its major purpose is to educate rather than sell. In an age where sceptical millennials are in charge of many (if not most) important business decisions, hard selling is no longer the best option. Consumers are looking for more than a mere sales pitch; they want to learn, absorb information, or understand a particular message.

White papers should always have a firm foothold in ground-breaking ideas and thought-provoking innovations. The issues addressed should be clear, concise, and relevant to their time. All research should be substantive, in-depth, and lead to a conclusion that makes sense to the target market. In every section of content, the white paper should drive your point home, using as many relevant resources as possible.

Market Analysis: Step One in Compiling your Business Plan

Conducting a market analysis should be the first step in compiling a business plan. Whether you are starting up a new business or whether you are attempting to spice up your existing company, your market analysis should be refreshed once a year. Quite obviously, markets change. That is the nature of human existence. Wants and needs are ever-growing, constantly changing, and (with the evolution of technology) becoming more and more complex. In doing your market analysis, what you should be looking at is your potential market rather than your existing client base. You already have your current clients in your back pocket. You know what keeps them happy. What you need is access to a wider client base. You need to find a way to not only dip your toes into this pool of untapped customers, but to swim with the big fish and rise to the top of the food chain.

Consider your favourite restaurant. Its client base includes not only regular patrons, but pretty much anyone within easy travelling distance. If the establishment is a specialty restaurant, their targeted customers will include anyone with an interest in that specific cuisine. Essentially, that is how market analysis works. You need to find a way to cast a wider net to bring in the customers you do not yet have instead of being complacent about the ones who do make use of your services on a regular basis. Success depends on your ability to adapt and survive in a world that is getting bigger by the day.