10 NORTH AMERICAN SWEEPER JUNE 2012 Visit Us Follow Us BUSINESS CORNER PRODUCT WATCH IN THE NEWSTECH NEWSASSOCIATION NEWSASSOCIATION INSIDER SPOTLIGHTINDEX WANT SUCCESS? ASK BEFORE YOU ACT B elow are some great questions to ask yourself to gure out where your business stands and how you can grow it: Q What are you selling—product, service or both? Q Who is the customer—be specic and identify them? (Maybe you need different products for different segments.) Q Do they need it or want it? Why do they need/want it? (List features versus benets.) Q What is the price and why? Q What makes you different than your competitors—can you charge more or do you need to charge less. Are you high end, low end, or in the middle? Q How are you selling (direct, channels or web)? Q How to reach the customer (marketing, advertising or PR)? Q After sales service—warranty. How important is it? Q What are the demographic characteristics of past, current and potential customers? Q Is there a specic geographic area where customers are located? Q What are current sales of this type of product or service in your market? Q What customer needs does marketing your mix address? Which customers nd these needs important? Mark Lowenstein with the SCORE ofce in Cape Cod, Massachusetts shares with us some key questions he asks his clients when they are looking to make their business more successful. Lowenstein has held positions as a former professor of business, COO, vice president of business development and vice president of sales and marketing. Recently retired, Lowenstein volunteers at SCORE to help others succeed in small business.