What is the target market for your business? You might have a vague idea, but do you really know? It’s not always as simple as, “I sell suits, so my target market is men.” Knowing your target market is much more specific, like, “I own a suit shop on Newbury Street, my customers are men ages 26-45, live in a 1 mile radius, and make more than $75,000 per year.”
As a new business owner, you might not have gotten too in depth when finding your target market. However, spending some time narrowing it down now could create major sales growth for your business. If you know your target market, you can spend your time and marketing resources in a more effective way. It can also help you discover new prospects you hadn’t even considered.
What is the best way to find what your target market is? Here’s a few tips to help you figure it out.
1. Understand Yourself
It is just as important to have an understanding of your customers and their needs as it is to understand your business. What are the products or services your company offers? What are the benefits to your customers? Do the benefits differ from customer to customer?
As a general contractor who remodels kitchens, the benefit to your clients seem pretty clear – customers get a more beautiful kitchen that adds value to their home. But it is so much more complex than that. Are you services better for people with older homes, new homeowners who are fixing up their new house before they move in, or couples whose growing families need a more functional space to share family dinners in? When you have determined your target market, you can focus your marketing efforts on the people most likely to buy your product or service.
2. Be Creative
Identifying your target market seems like it will limit the number of potential customers you have. In fact, it can do just the opposite. You might find that your target market is actually larger than you thought. That provides a huge opportunity to grow your sales.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can I expand the products and services I currently offer?
- Are there products or services that complement the services I currently offer?
- Do your current products or services have more than one function?
3. Find What Your Customers Have in Common
Even if it doesn’t seem like it, there are probably things your current customers have in common with one another. If you find out what those characteristics are, you can target prospects with those same qualities.
For example, let’s assume you are a non-profit seeking donors. Who are the people that are donating or have donated to your organization? Do your current donors have similar jobs or pastimes? If your relationship with them is strictly business, you might not know. How can you identify common traits and target similar prospects? An especially useful strategy for small businesses is getting analytics done on its current customers. But this is a process that can be very expensive.
This is an especially useful strategy for non-profits seeking donations. Who are your current donors? Do they have similar jobs, hobbies or interests? An organization raising money for the environment may find it has a number of donors who are teachers that participate in outdoor sports or lawyers who drive hybrid vehicles. If you can identify some common traits, you can target similar people.
4. Don’t Forget Your Marketing Skills
It may go without saying, but you have current customers. How did you find them? Or did they come to you? Was it through word of mouth? Networking? Social media or email marketing? Examining your past techniques and find what worked can help you continue to pull in new customers.
As a budding entrepreneur, how did you find your target market? What other tips would you recommend?