Defining your Target Market as a Small Business

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For a small business to be successful, you really need to understand what your target market want and need. There is no point in selling products which they have no interest in because you won’t make any sales and to make sure this doesn’t happen, you need to define your market.

Defining your target market is crucial for the success of your business and here are three reasons why;

1. You first need to make sure there are enough potential customers even interested in what your business has to offer. Without the demand for your products or services, your business will fail.

2. Having your target market defined allows you to go back to your business plan and tweak it to meet the needs of your customer.

3. You will have a clear vision of what your target market is once you have defined your market. Without going through this process, you will find yourself unprepared especially when it comes to market research.

Defining your target market is a positive thing and will not limit your business as some entrepreneurs say. Identifying your ideal customer does not mean they will be your ONLY customer, it just helps you build a profile of who is most likely to buy from your company.

When starting a new business or going through the process of redefining your business objectives, one of the first things you should do is define your audience to help with efficiency. Unless you have limited marketing resources (which most small businesses don’t) it will be much more effective to determine who is likely to buy your products rather than wasting time and money trying to reach everyone.

It’s all well and good to tell you to define your market but without knowing how to do it, you will waste time. You will need to identify specific characteristics of the people you believe are most likely to buy from you. This, in other words is a demographic profile. Here are some common characteristics to define;

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Income Level

  • Buying Habits

  • Occupation

  • Marital Status

  • Geographic Location

  • Ethnicity

  • Political Beliefs

  • Hobbies and Interests

Depending on your business sector, you may find some of the above characteristics easy to define however, you will always struggle with choosing a niche for one or more of the above characteristics.

Once you have decided on your market, you then need to create a customer profile. It may help to name your ideal customer e.g. Daniel. You will now need to identify your customer based on your market e.g. 25-30 year old male, single, working in marketing, living in London with an indispensable income. Doing this will give you clarity around who YOU want to buy your product. There is no point marketing to females if you are selling only male products. Yes, a woman may buy your product for her husband but your niche market would be the male population.

As your business evolves, so should your target market. It won’t always stay the same so whenever your business goes through a transition, sit down with your team and go through your target market/customer profiling again to make any changes. If you get this right the first time, you will find your marketing strategy a lot easier to manage.

Have you defined your target market?


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