Marketing and sales


The essence of marketing is to understand your customers’ needs and develop a plan that responds to those needs. A good marketing plan contains at least:

  • an analysis of the situation (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
  • a description of the target market (demographics, demand, motivations)
  • clear objectives
  • a strategy and means of action


The way a business sells its goods and services is determined by practices in its industry. So it is important for entrepreneurs to clearly understand their industry, competition, market and products.

Your competition

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Who are their customers?
  • What are their pricing, promotional, advertising and distribution policies?
  • Will your response to your competitors reflect market conditions?
  • What are the commission rates paid to middlemen in the industry?

Your market

  • How big is the market?
  • How is the market evolving?
  • Is there still room for growth?
  • What are your target markets and how will you convince customers?

Your product

  • Who will produce the goods or provide the services?
  • How will the goods or services be offered?
  • Will there be after-sale service and guarantees?
  • Is there real demand for these goods or services?

Tools available:

7 sales tips

  1. Assume that sales cycles are long and customers will take a longer time than you expect to say yes.
  2. Set aside time for sales and business development – lots of time! The best person to market your goods and services is you, the entrepreneur.
  3. Never assume that your goods and services will sell themselves. You have to invest plenty of time and energy.
  4. Follow up with business contacts and build long-term relationships.
  5. Seek help from professionals, business incubators, mentors or a steering committee. There are excellent marketing training programs available, and they are good investments.
  6. Give customers time to say “yes." It’s a back-and-forth negotiating process.
  7. Develop a list of potential customers and rank them by the likelihood of making a sale to them.

Related information:


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