As a business owner, it can be easy to see dollar signs on things that aren’t actually going to drive revenue for your business. Identifying the markets that are going to be lucrative for your business will help you to define your niche and—more importantly—nail it. It’s tempting to try to reach every customer who could possibly be interested in your products, but taking the time to find your perfect fit will help you to iron out your offering and help your business to be more scalable.
You may think you know your audience, but taking the time to do some market research may surprise you. Take the time to define your niche audience and figure out what it is your customers really want. Knowing this will also help you to know how to talk to your customers in a way that will help them convert. Follow these steps to help you define your niche audience:
- If you have current customers, take a good look at your current customer base. Are there similarities in age, gender, income level, occupation, ethnic background, or other areas? Do certain products appeal to certain types of customers? Start writing down all the common ground your customers share.
- Take a good look at your products and services. Start dissecting your offering by asking “What does my business’s offering solve for a customer.” Why problems do your customers have that are eliminated by purchasing your product or service? Identify these pain points and write them down. These pain points are essentially why your business does what it does. For example, if you’re running a fashion boutique, a customer problem may be “I don’t feel confident in what I am wearing”. If you’re running an auto shop, a customer problem may be “I don’t have the time, patience, or knowledge to fix my car myself”. Some of the problems you identify may seem obvious, but write them down anyway. Defining these problems will make it easier to see who these problems apply to.
- Now that you understand the problems your business solves, start defining who these problems apply to. Who is going to have the greatest need for your products or services? These “personas” are essentially sample customer profiles that will help you to better market your business. Be specific and be realistic. Take into account things like income level, age, and other demographic information when defining this persona. You’ll also want to try to define these personas on an emotional level by thinking about values, personalities, lifestyles, etc.
- Once you have some personas defined, reach out to customers to try and get some market feedback. You’ll need to try to get feedback on things like your products, your pricing, your brand, why someone would or would not purchase, etc. You can offer free samples of your products and services as an incentive—and who knows, you may get them hooked on your business!
Once you find your target audience, you’ll be able to nail your marketing and connect with your customers on an impactful level.
Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.