As a new business owner, it is imperative to know who your target market is.

Your target market is everything!

That might sound a bit dramatic – trust me, it isn’t. Pinpointing your target market is where the majority of your decisions involving the growth of your business will stem from. This includes the most fundamental first steps, such as creating your logo and the style of language you will use to communicate to your customers.

It is very tempting to want to service everyone as you are trying to drum up business in the first few months, and even years, of your new business. Stop right there. Trying to service the masses will only lead to a product/service that floats in the market untethered, and in essence, belongs to no one.

As difficult as it is in the beginning, commit to pinpointing a bullseye target market that is very small and very specific. Fight the feeling (because I know you will have it!) that you are alienating large segments of the market. Just kick that gremlin right off your shoulder! The truth is – you are not. You welcome everyone and anyone who wants to show up at your table but you are spending your efforts focusing on a specific target market that you have identified.

How do you pinpoint your target market?

Simply put, start with questions. What is it that you love to do? Who would you most love to work with? What is the age range? Male or Female? Do they have a specific problem for which you have the solution? Is there an industry (or profession) that could benefit from your product/service? How quickly do you want to turn around your product/service? Do you want your product/service to be for groups or individuals? What is the benefit you are providing? Where does your ideal customer live? Does your ideal customer have a lot of free time or almost no free time? Do they have kids? Do they have pets? Are they single or married? What is their annual income? Do they take vacation? Are they concerned with image? Are they concerned about the environment? Do they drive cars or bicycles?

Ask questions and more questions until you have found your very own well-defined target customer. Voila! Now, go have a glass of wine. You deserve it!

Ok – we good? Let’s carry on.

Based on your newly established ideal customer profile begin to explore these next topics.

PRICING – Pricing is such a HUGE piece of the puzzle when you are first starting. The fear of asking for money, or thinking you will lose customers based on being too pricey, can set you off on the wrong foot. Answer yourself these 3 questions – what is your product/service worth to those who are going to engage with it? How does it improve their quality of life? How much effort/time/money is required from you to create the product/service? If you know that the customer you are targeting will pay for the convenience you offer, or the service level you provide, or the speed in which you can deliver don’t under-sell yourself based on the fact that your competition may charge less. Where you set your prices determines your place in the market and as long as you are providing the VALUE that matches COST it is totally fair to price your product/service where it deserves to be.

NETWORKING – networking with your target market is the best use of your time in the first year of your business, and (in my opinion) beyond. Once you recognize who your target market is, and where they go to network, you can be confident that spending your time in that space will result in new business leads. Networking is the perfect opportunity for you to organically meet business leads. There are so many opportunities to network so be selective, and be present, in the places where your target market will be.

MARKETING – When you are first starting out your marketing dollars will be limited. Knowing exactly who your target market is will help you to reach the right people and spend your dollars in the best possible way. You may only have the funds to take on marketing initiatives once or twice in your first year so having an idea of who to go to will help you make the most of those dollars.

Until next time – dream, experience and love your life.

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