Running a business is not always about luck or your capacity to invest a hefty amount of capital. It doesn’t usually work that way. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. And your huge investment does not always translate into profitable results. Business is about planning and having a strategy. You have to be smart, and you need to think clearly.
Understanding Your Target Market
One of the best strategies for you to achieve business success is to identify your target market. A target market is an ideal customer profile made up of your most profitable and loyal customers.
For some small business owners, identifying your target market is terrifying. You may think that narrowing down your probable customers to a small group would result in lower sales. Or, your products and services would be limited and available to only a few people and not to the general consumers. It is actually the other way around.
The Advantages of Knowing Your Target Market
Experience will tell you that not everyone will buy your product, or benefit from your services. For example, you cannot expect minors to buy from your liquor store. Nor can you expect vegetarians to buy a pound of steak from your meat shop. There will only be a certain group of people whom you can call regular and loyal customers.
When you identify your target market, you can start providing products and services that will fill their needs. Having universal products and services is good, but providing specific ones to targeted customers is better. Your potential customers will feel that you are paying attention to their needs, and this can result in customer loyalty and support for your business.
How to Identify Your Target Market
Identifying your target market takes data and the right metrics. You need to analyze the right data, so you can help your business not only identify the right target market, but also the right products and services to sell to them. Here are some practical steps to help identify your target market:
Address the Need
For some, business is about providing products of convenience or things that people need. For others, it is about offering services that will make your customer’s lives easier.
Identify the needs that you are trying to address and provide the solutions based on those needs. It may be obvious for some businesses but for others, it may require some re-evaluation.
Do a Constructive Comparison
Competition in business is not a bad thing. It forces businesses to strive for better customer service, better products, and better solutions for their customers. It’s important to constructively compare what your competition is doing better than you are, and what you are doing better than they are. It’s also a great way to identify who your competitors are not doing business with, and perhaps develop a solution or product for them, if they fit your ideal target customer.
Get Acquainted with Your Customers
Research your customer’s demographics, such as age, income, interests, location, etc. One way to do this is to connect your website to Google Analytics, which can provide you with a wealth of information.
Another way to get acquainted with your customers is to send out surveys or emails that ask specific information about how they feel regarding your products, services, customer service, support, etc. This can also help you analyze what you are doing right, as well as what you are doing wrong.
Visualize your Perfect Target Customer
If you were to visualize your perfect target customer, what would they look like? Where do they live? How much education do they have? How much money do they make? What kinds of things do they buy? How old are they?
All of these identifying factors can help you build an ideal customer profile that will help you customize your business to better serve your customers.
The bottom line is that it’s very important to identify your target market through analytics, surveys, emails, inquiries, customer service, customer support, and any other areas that will provide you with the data you need to understand how to better serve the customers you currently have, and to go after the customers you really want.