When you are starting up a new business, there is a lot to take on board. One of the first things you should be doing, however, is identifying your market. The reasons for this should be obvious: they are the ones who will keep your company afloat. This first stage is particularly imperative if you find yourself to be unsure as to who would use your company’s services. If that sounds like you, it is important that you stop now and think long and hard about who your target market is. Here is a six-step plan for going about that essential task.
What Is The Service?
The first step you need to take is to work out, in exact terms, what it is that you are offering the customer. It is important here to not necessarily go with your immediate answer. In business, the gut answer is not always the right one. To figure this out, rephrase the question. Ask yourself: ‘What problem is my service the solution to?’ See your business as offering a solution to a common problem. This can always be done, regardless of the nature of your business. Once you have done this, you should have a pretty clear idea of exactly what place in the world you want your business to hold.
Who Has The Problem?
Once you have figured out what problem your company solves, the next obvious question is this one. Who is it that has the problem? In other words: who need to use my services, and why? The chances are good that you already have a fair idea of who needs your business’ services. But it is important to get it very clear so that there is no doubt. And the best time to get it clear is right now!
What Are They Like?
Once you know what solution you are offering and who needs it, you need to find out more about those people. There are lots of ways to do this, as we already know. Market research is a varied and powerful field, and there are all sorts of methods available to you. Do your research, and decide which ways are best for you.
How Can I Contact Them?
The answer to this one depends massively on what your target market is. As such, it is beyond the scope of this article. But as a guideline: you want to ensure that you are thinking outside the box on this one. Reflect on the demographic of the people you need to get your message across to. Use your market research for this. For example, are they homeowners? If so, perhaps you could utilise mortgage mailing lists to get your message across. What supermarkets do they shop at? Could you set up a partnership? It all depends on your customer base.
What Do They Think?
Last, but absolutely not least: what does the customer think of this business? Any business should make it a rule to continually ask the customer for feedback. Make it your golden rule. As long as you are listening to the customer, they will appreciate your business and respect what you are doing. Loyal customers are key to success, so that is what you should be aiming for. After that, it is simply a matter of widening your scope and continuing to grow.