What are the benefits of continuing to develop professionally?
Professional Development refers to the practice of specialized training, education, and improvement of professional knowledge, competence, and skills. Let me ask you a question. How often does Apple make a new iPhone? This is rhetorical; we all know there's a new one for sale every year. Technology is constantly changing, and so are people. We are social creatures, and just like technology changes constantly, so do we. We are always trying new things and discovering new methods that work better than how our predecessors did them. We learn and we grow, and we change. For example, in the field of medical science, we've found better, faster ways of completing complex surgeries with less invasive techniques. It's up to doctors and surgeons to learn these new techniques for the advancement of care. The same can be said of other business professionals. It's important not to become too set in our ways that we forget the ways we do things have always been changing and growing, and we must grow with them. Advancing a professional degree may be one way to adapt and learn new skills. Taking a seminar or workshop may help you learn new techniques and methods you may have never applied before, which can only help improve your productivity and overall effectiveness in your career. There's no excuse not to continue developing professionally. You may be able to find free seminars, online workshops, classes, or even tutoring sessions, that can help you grow professionally. You can even seek outside analysis of your performance from your supervisors or peers. Even working collaboratively with colleagues is a way that we learn about ourselves, and work to grow ourselves professionally. Ultimately, if we don't keep up with the changing world, we'll be left behind by those who do.
How do I decide what target audience to market my product to?
This is a good question. The first thing you have to do before you can really answer this answer a different question first: What is my product, and who am I trying to sell it to? If you cast your marketing net into the ocean without knowing exactly who you're going after, you'll see your marketing dollars disappear faster than you can reel anything in. If your market is too small, too specific, you won't reach enough people. For example, if you're selling baby shoes, obviously you want to target parents of babies or families-to-be, but if you're only targeting first time parents ages 25-30, you're eliminating too much of your market space. Alternatively, if you're targeting every adult between ages 25-40, you're spending marketing dollars in places where they won't do you any good. One is too specific, and one isn't specific enough.
How do you determine the value of a business before selling, purchasing, or investing?
There are many ways to determine the value of a business, which is important to understand before deciding to sell, purchase, or seek investors. There are several different factors which come into play as well, so you need to be able to identify these factors before coming up with your value. Revenue is the first factor everyone considers, though don't immediately assume that revenue equals profit. Many companies bring in millions of dollars per year, but make little to no profit. Revenue and profit should both be considered. If your company made $1,000,000 last year, but only made a $10,000 profit, it's not very enticing to investors. Take note of both revenue and profit before putting a valuation of $1,000,000 on your business. If you only made $10,000 profit, your business isn't worth a million dollars today. Fortunately, we'll look at an estimation of earnings over the next few years. Is it growing? Is the number moving up? If you made $10,000 in profit last year and are on target to double that this year, your value increases. If the business is staying steady at $10,000 in annual earnings without much movement, you may need to consider that when deciding what your business, or the business you're selling or considering investing in, is worth. Aside from revenue and profit, assets should also be considered. Assets are a factor many people forget to review when determining the value of a business. Look at what assets the business owns, including equipment. If you're looking to buy a coffee shop, know that if you tried to start this business from scratch, you'd be looking to invest quite a bit of money into the various machines they have on hand. Espresso machines are not cheap, and can vary from $2,000 - $10,000 on average. If you're buying a coffee shop, or selling a coffee shop, you want to count these assets as part of the value of the business. Aside from these factors (understanding earnings, cash flow, assets, etc.) there are other non-financial factors you can add in when valuing a business. A highly desired location may trump the success of the business to an investor or buyer. This should give you a good idea of where to start before determining the value of the business you may be looking to sell, purchase, or invest in.