Staff Writter

Our internal staff's contribution to our blog.
3 minutes reading time (545 words)

It Starts with Who?

networking

Having started and successfully grown 9 very diverse companies and advised several hundred other entrepreneurs on their start-up and early stage companies I learned how vitality important it is to have a clear view of who your targeted customers are and how you will reach them.

This seems obvious but too often business leaders miss out on both scores. Their companies can struggle for years without ever being a real success.

For several years recently I watched an entrepreneur spend plenty of time and money on constantly improving his software product without ever coming to grips with who his real customers were, both the buying decision makers and the users.

As a result, despite having a brilliant product (in the right hands), the company still hasn't cracked a major account while it drains its financial resources and key employees are being discouraged with some already jumping ship.

My Personal Experiences

Years ago I started a consumer magazine publishing company thinking I knew who the main customers were. The real target audience seemed totally obvious.Quickly I realized, however, I was wrong and had to quickly change our business model which included revising our target audience and developing a new revenue model.

Many years ago I bought a manufacturing company from an estate when the owner passed (I think from the financial pressures of keeping a struggling company going). He thought his target customer base was large and highly diversified. It wasn't until we sharpened the focus down to two very well defined types of target customers that we could take advantage of our competitive edge and profitably grow the company.

Plus, over the years of working with other entrepreneurs in a wide range of sectors including private and public corporations, educational institutes and charities, I have seen how many never really understand who their target customer really is. They can and do flounder for year

Who Are Your Customers?

Target customers are ones who can and will spend money on your products or services and have the ability to make the buying decision.

Can you define your target customers? Do you know:

  • Their job titles?
  • The nature of their business?
  • The business sector they are in?
  • Their geographical locations?
  • The size of their organizations?
  • Their needs for your product or service?
  • Their current suppliers, if any, of your type of offering?
  • Their annual spending on your type of product or service?

Without a laser-like understanding of your target customers how do you know, for example, how to:

  • Target your marketing & sales efforts?
  • Price your products or services
  • Add or delete features to your products or services
  • Develop a viable business model.

Reaching Your Target Customers

Once a company has thought through exactly who its customers are then it can zero in on finding ways to cost effectively reach and sell into those segments which may include:

  • Networking and building relationships with the right people
  • Developing strategic alliances
  • Attending the right events
  • Joining the right industry groups
  • Putting together the right sales force and compensation plan
  • Spending marketing dollars in the right channels
  • Creating the right level of customer service

Action Step

If you find this message important and of interest please contact-us or subscribe to our blogs by entering your e-mail into our subscription box..

11 Tips for Successfully Networking at Event
My 10 Commandments for Start-Up Entrepreneurs
 

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Monday, 22 July 2019
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