It’s an exciting time when a person decides to go for it and start a business. Letting that idea or passion or hobby become a business venture is exhilarating, but daunting all at once.
For the new entrepreneur, culling through a massive amount of “how-to” information can be exhausting. But once you have figured out that your idea is do-able and viable, the next step that you are told to do is market research, i.e. find your target audience.
I have heard this time and time again. There are numerous articles, webinars, podcast, and blog posts on how to identify and find your ideal client.
Finding your target audience is a crucial part of your business. Without an audience, you do not have anyone listening, therefore, you have no one potentially buying.
The advice from experts and seasoned entrepreneurs and business owners is: do your market research.
For a newbie entrepreneur, that is seems to be a very technical and time-consuming task. And that is indeed the case. Market research also seems very confusing and the process may seem to “go over your heads” as you try to make heads or tails about where to really begin.
John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, even says, “There are countless ways to research, measure, analyze and theorize about your ideal target client, but experience tells me most firms don’t have to look very far to find a thorough profile of their ideal customer.”
Countless ways?! Uh oh… So where does one begin?
I believe the best way to figure out your ideal client is put yourself in her shoes. Statistics suggest that women influence major purchasing decisions. They are, after all, the ones who make most of the purchases in their households ranging from furniture, appliances, food, and the entire family’s wardrobe!
As a woman entrepreneur, you have the best of both worlds, being the consumer and now the product or service provider.
Step 1, then to identifying your ideal client: step in her heels and walk in it.
What do you want?
What do you need?
What is available now?
How is it providing your needs?
How is it satisfying your desire/ cravings?
Is what I currently use, completely meeting my emotional, physical, or mental needs? In other words, are you happy with is on the market?
If not, how can you improve it?
* What can you do better? *
The “what can I do better” will identify what makes you unique among the other businesses in your marketplace. Some entrepreneurs call this your “USP” – Unique Selling Point.
The great news is that you are already unique! But being unique as an individual person is not entirely enough.
Be creative in identifying your unique self or your “better” solution. Simply saying that your product or service is “better” won’t cut it.
For example, you start a dog-walking business. To make yours unique, research if there are any “custom” dog walks out there. Maybe all dog-walkers in your area just walk and drop off the pups to their owners’ homes. So you decided to “up” the ante and give a mini doggie-massage after each walk.
Take what is already “common” and think about how you would want your pooch to get the royal treatment.
There’s your “better” angle.
Discovering your ideal client should not be so technical and full of business jargon.
Don’t allow algorithms, flow charts and research graphs to intimidate you!
Just put yourself in your potential clients shoes and you will get into the heart of their buying needs.