Once you have decided that you do want to be in business, and you have an concrete idea about what it is that you want to offer the market, you naturally will have some idea about who it will be you are offering your services to. Your idea about who is your customer is probably vague. Usually what I hear from new entrepreneurs is, “Well, what I am offering is good for everyone.”
No, it isn’t!
One of the most important steps that any new entrepreneur can take is to thoroughly understand his target market. The target market needs to be specifically defined so that it loses its name “Target Market” and becomes instead a person who has a name. Not only a name but also a photo. And, if you want to take this concept to its ultimate height, hang that photo in your office. No, I am not kidding. The entrepreneurs I know who are very successful do have photos of “their people” hanging on the walls of their offices. Every time they forget what they are doing and why, good old Shirley or Jack is smiling down on them.
So how exactly do you get to know your target market so personally and what tools do you use to do that?
The two key factors in determining your target market are the demographics and psychographics about your desired client.
Demographics are the facts about your customers that are easy to observe: age, nationality, gender, income, where they live, if they have pets, children, how many cars they own, what their income is, and their level of education. These are the characteristics of people that are measurable and verifiable. This is information that is available on the internet in the form of census, Chamber of Commerce reports and some Google searches can provide much demographic information.
Psychographics are characteristics about your target clients that are defined by their interests, values, opinions and behaviors. The best way to find out the psychographics of your market it to ask them. What works is to design a group of questions that will help you understand why they do what they do regarding the product or service you are offering—I mean finding out specifically what has them want or not want your product. What would they do to get it? What motivates them to actually buy such a product?
What kind of questions do you ask?
Research Google for psychographic survey questions, you will find a treasure trove of templates to help you determine your target markets attitudes, beliefs, interests, opinions and behaviors. Many of the survey templates are free.
By spending time in thoroughly knowing the demographics and psychographics of your potential clients, you will be ahead of the curve in developing a solid business structure.