In last week’s article, we discussed 6 questions you must be able to answer about your target market. This week, I put to you another 3 crucial things to understand about your target market:
- How big is it?
- What market share do you currently have?
- What market share would you like to have and in what timeframe?
Most business plans fail because business owners miss this step.
They simply have a ‘gut feeling’ or experience in the industry or just wild dreams that tell them willing customers are out there. But to succeed and grow you need to be proactive, certain and precise. You need to get the numbers to make good decisions in your business.
Let me make something clear for you right here: Whatever your type of business, this information is available.
You might be able to buy existing market research, and you can certainly do some yourself or pay to have it done. There’s no excuse for not being able to answer these questions. If you can’t it is not because the information isn’t available; it is because you haven’t done the work required.
This is crucial, factual information that you need to be fully aware of, otherwise you are building your business on the random hope that someone out there at some time might buy from you because you have an awesome product.
That’s a great plan for a deadwood business. It’s time once again to be brutally honest with yourself. Are you going to do this or not?
Once you’ve answered these 9 questions (six from last week, three from this week) about your target market with confidence and clarity, it’s time to do it again!
That’s right, your target market can be further broken down into niches that will help give you even more clarity about your customers and how you can end their frustration.
For example, Business Benchmark Group’s broader target market is business owners with turnovers ranging from $1 million to up to $50 million.
Within this there are all sorts of niches that we can target separately, such as trades, professional services, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, entertainment and arts.
As a broad category they all fall into our target market, but have a think about each niche and the nine questions we’ve posed. By refining and identifying these niches we can improve our focus even further.
Even within these niches there are further vertical markets that can be targeted; for example, within trades there are plumbers, electricians, carpenters, plasterers, tilers, roofers, and on and on it goes.
Within professional services we have doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects and so on. You can even break doctors down into chiropractors, physios, GPs, oncologists, podiatrists, surgeons and cardiologists.
The high-level categories are very useful, but once you break it down even further you’ll really be able to identify with clarity and confidence who your target market is, why they buy from you and how you can reach them.
One of Business Benchmark Group’s great success stories - The Drain Man – is a great example of finding a niche. They are registered plumbers, but they just clear and reline drains.
They don’t do taps or hot water or showers. It’s just like a brain surgeon compared to a GP – they are plumbers with specialist solutions. The industry is plumbing but the niche is drain-clearing.
Quick Plug: Episode 7 of our podcast (released this Tuesday) will have the owner of The Drain Man, Brendan Dover, discussing his business journey from working over his kitchen sink to the enormous success he has today. Make sure you subscribe! It’s now available on iTunes, Stitcher, PodBean, Soundcloud and, of course, our website.
For Business Benchmark Group’s clients, while the overall outcome might be the same for an architect and a physio – say, to increase business by 100% in 12 months – how each of these businesses go about it will be different.
This allows us to tailor offers even more specifically to meet these clients’ needs. Will the architect and the physio read the same industry magazines, attend the same events and have the same colleagues? Not likely. So our marketing has to be different.
In fact, while their goals may be broadly similar, everything our business does can be refined to better meet the needs of these two different businesses, thereby increasing the chances that they will purchase from us and not our competitors.
Each one of the niches you identify needs to be defined and dissected, just like your overall target market.
You need to ask the who, where, what, when, why and how questions again, then identify its size, how much of it you currently have and how much of it you would like to have in what time-frame.
This is the start of creating your marketing plan with clarity and confidence and turning your business into a well-oiled machine. Who are you building this business for? What is the cut? The underlying foundation?
If you don’t know who these people are and what they want, the only way you can solve their problems is by getting lucky, and luck is not a solid business fundamental or a strategy for success.
Stefan Kazakis on 5 May 2018
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