It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. Yes, the current state of the economy can be daunting, but it’s also an opportunity as a small business to target what you do best, and do it better than anyone else. By having a well-defined target market, small businesses can effectively compete with large companies. The more defined your market is, the better chance you have at success. You can focus your marketing dollars and promote a specific brand message, making you the highly attractive option when it comes time for your potential clients to spend their dollars.
Targeting a specific market doesn’t mean you are excluding people that don’t suit your criteria, you are simply creating a strong brand image in a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to generate business.
For example, a West Coast clothing designer could choose to target females between 28 – 60 and an annual income of $95,000+ in Vancouver, British Columbia. To define their target market further, the Designer could concentrate their brand strategy on a handmade aesthetic for those who lead an active lifestyle. Their niche market: women with an appreciation for locally-made goods and who have disposable income.
Here are some tips to help you define your target market:
- Identify Your Client. Put a face on them: give them a personal profile, define their needs and document their habits. Cross-reference your current list of actual clients or members to create this general profile and you will undoubtedly find commonalities that make up your target market.
- Define Your Offering. What is it that you offer? You may have an idea of what your product or service is in your head, but is that translating to real world profit? Create a list of all the deals, sales, or transactions you had in the past 6 months. Which were the most profitable? Which didn’t make any money? Once you can zero in on your success and accurately define it, your target market will better understand what you’re offering.
- Strategize. Identify your referral partners. Identify who else has access to your potential clients. Does this list match up with the list of your target client you made in Step #1? If so, use Step #2 to define your offering and how you can attract your target market.
- Strategy 2.0. In order to attract the type of clients you want, you may also have to clean house of the ones you don’t. The ones that don’t pay up on time or came through a bad referral. Once you have a clear idea of who your target market is and the type of referral partner you need to attract them, it’ll be easier to identify the wrong ones.
- Create a Strong Brand Message. This is one of your key strategies to attracting and keeping business. If people have a clear idea of what they’re buying into, you’ll attract only the type of clients you want and need and your retention level will be higher.
- Visibility. As all good BNI members know, Givers Gain. Get to know your fellow members with true understanding so that you can give good referrals. Give clear presentations at your next meeting so that others can do the same for you.
The bottom line is know what you’re looking for and you’ll instill that confidence in your referral partners for a mutually profitable relationship.