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Helpful tips on things to do before entering new markets

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Allan Starr of Marketing Partners, AZ (http://www.marketingpartnersaz.com) in Phoenix is a long time marketing expert who knows how to simplify tips on how to move a business to the next level and keep it moving into new growth areas. In a recent blog item, Starr offered up a “Top 40” list of ways to get on track toward success.

· Look at your business motives to make sure whether they are fact or ego driven.

· Trust your instincts.

· Conduct a background and capabilities self-exam.

· Measure existing versus required financial and human resources.

· Examine the impact of expansion into new markets on key personal and business relationships.

· Consider vendor relationships.

· Understand that smart growth takes time, so go slowly.

· Utilize research like the type of expansion, timing, and market suitability.

· Look into economic and consumer conditions and trends in the targeted markets.

· Use focus groups.

· Examine relevant case histories.

· Decide if new skills, techniques and business methods will be required.

· Seek expert counsel from a legal basis, accounting and marketing.

· Things that are the hardest to change should be left until the last items.

· Look at your bottom line profit to insure you have shown steady growth over the past few years.

· Do a thorough evaluation of your administrative systems and management team.

· See if staff reorganization is necessary.

· Examine how your staff will have to adapt to the changes you are contemplating.

· Avoid the Peter Principle.

· Go about selecting vendors, employees, partners and alliances.

· Create a business plan.

· Create a marketing plan.

· Include a SWOT analysis.

· Develop entry and long term strategies.

· Set clear campaign objectives.

· Set up goals and budgeting.

· Look into adjustments to product and price adjustments.

· Consider new products for the new markets.

· Look into capitalization.

· Balance guts against apprehension.

· Set up initial startup and progress benchmarks.

· Make up a “why I should list.”

· Make up a “why I shouldn’t list.”

· Keep meticulous notes and records.

· Develop qualified sales and marketing leads.

· Target consumer assessment.

· Assess demand for your products or services.

· Look into in-house and/or sales marketing teams.

· Look at your internal sales and marketing capabilities.

· Assess traditional versus unconventional marketing.

· Look at cross marketing.

· Do some market research.

· Look at creating product or brand awareness.

· Create some “buzz”.

· Develop plenty of competitive intelligence.

· Interview prospects, employees and customers.

· Secure the long-term future of your enterprise.

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