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 .