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Why -- and why not -- would you develop and market products?

  • You know the advantages of developing and marketing products:

___It's a way to make money.

___It can raise the profile of your issue and your organization.

___It can provide jobs for participants and community members and/or involve them in supporting the organization.

___It can improve the whole organization's understanding of business and marketing .

___It could lend your organization more credibility with the business community.

  • You know the disadvantages of developing and marketing products:

___To start up a business and keep it running takes time and money.

___Paying attention to the business may take the focus off the real purpose of your organization.

___Focusing on making money could lead to the organization's ignoring its guiding principles, and thereby changing its character.

___Running a business takes constant attention.

___As a business, you're at the mercy of the market.

When would you consider developing and marketing products?

___You have, or have thought of, something you're really eager to sell.

___You have the resources to try it.

___You have a solid business plan.

___You need a steady source of income that's not tied to a funder's priorities .

___You've done market surveys that indicate that people are likely to buy what you have to sell.

How do you develop products to sell?

  • General guidelines:

___Your product has something to do with the organization.

___Your product advances the mission of the organization in some way.

___Your product is of excellent quality.

___Your product is affordable, or a good value for the money.

___Your product is one people want to buy for itself, not just to help the organization.

  • Deciding on a product:

___You have conducted market research.

___You have responded to the results of the research.

___You continue to refine your product.

  • Producing the product:

___You've looked for ways to produce at least part of your product locally.

___You pay attention to quality control.

___You pay attention to the service you get from your supplier.

How do you market your product?

___You are customer centered.

___You have pretested both your product and your marketing strategy.

___You pay attention to the Four P's: product, place, price, and promotion.

___You continually monitor and adjust your marketing strategy.

How do you create an infrastructure to run the business?

___You have learned about, and have instituted mechanisms to deal with, taxes and other legal issues.

___You've worked out the logistics of the operation.

___You have the personnel and systems to deal with day-to-day management.

___You have the personnel and systems to deal with fiscal management.

___You have the personnel and systems to deal with all elements of daily operation .