A Fundamental Question For New Entrepreneurs

When embarking on a new business venture, there is one question you must ask yourself:  Who is my customer?

This sounds easier than it really is.  The most common answers we hear from new entrepreneurs are ”everyone” or “small businesses”.  Ideally, we would like to be all things to all people, but in reality this is not possible.  Not everyone will want or need to do business with us.  Not every business will be looking for our services or products.

As business owners, we need to understand who our target market is.  We need to know which  individuals or businesses will MOST likely want our product or service.

Target specific markets

We need to understand what they want or need.  For example, if you are selling home renovation products or services, focus on homeowners, as renters are not going to invest in retrofitting a home.  As you can see, this could potentially reduce this target market from everyone who lives in a house to only those who actually own a house.  Focus on these people.  Marketing costs money — maximize your return by targeting specific markets.

Thinking of opening a vegetarian food service?  Although most of us do eat vegetables, you need to target those who are vegetarians and live that lifestyle.  Now there is the odd exception to the rule, such as people who purchase items for this target market, however, this is more of a tertiary market than our target market.

We are all individuals, some of us like some things, others like different things.  It is our job as marketers to understand what people want or need.  Otherwise we can be spending quite a bit of money on marketing to those who could not care less what we are selling.

This sounds simple but we need to continuously ask ourselves this important question as we move forward with any marketing decision.  It is very easy to lose focus on who we want to do business with.

So before spending any money on marketing, ask this most important question.

Who is my customer?  And perhaps just as important, who is not?

Need more information? Contact our Small Business Centre, take a look at our online resources or consider signing up for one of our upcoming Steps to Success seminars.  For more tips, follow us on Twitter @HaltonEcDev.

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