Small Business: The Importance of Understanding Your Target Market

When you are in the beginning stages of starting your new small business, your focus usually tends to be on your products and services offered, making sure you have the appropriate licenses in place, and how you are going to bring in customers. While the first two things are definitely important, the last step, bringing in customers, requires some previous research and understanding before you should even think about marketing to potential customers. When starting a new small business, your most important piece of research is learning and understanding who your target market is really going to be.

I have learned over the years that many new small business owners will tend to begin their marketing with no main target group in mind. They work with the blind idea that the more they get out everywhere, the more customers they will have. While this is always a possibility, in the end, it usually proves to be a marketing method that ends in large spending and limited results.

Think, for a minute, about the commercials you see when you watch television. If you are sitting at home during the day, watching talk shows or soap operas, you will see the ads that are run are usually things like tampon commercials or other female products. If you have children who watch the cartoon channels, you will see the majority of commercials are about the new toys that the kids want. If you are a man watching the football game on Sunday afternoon, you will see more beer, car, and snack food commercials. These commercial choices are not picked at random by the advertising companies. They are chosen to run at a time when their target market will be watching.

As a small business owner, you need to take a step back and really consider what your product is, and who will really be buying this product. For example, if you are a designer of little girl’s hair bows, you are not going to want to market your product to single men and women, but rather to parents. If you are a designer of dog clothes, you are not going to want to market to the cat lovers of the world. It is important to focus your marketing dollars towards consumers who are actually going to be interested in your product.

If you are unsure as to whom your target market would be, then it is time for you to really do your research. The internet is full of information and statistics on who shops for what kinds of products and who is more likely to shop online rather than in a store. For example, if your business is going to be primarily internet commerce based, then going to a site like Internet Retailer and their trends section will give you a very good idea as to who and how people are shopping online. Things like the fact that twenty percent of emails sent by retailers are opened on a mobile device, will give you the knowledge to make sure your marketing emails are designed and can be clearly viewed on a mobile device. For you to have accurate tracking, it is also necessary to use tracking software. Tracking software lets you track the status of every deal.

As a new small business owner, your goal is obviously to bring in as many customers as you can in order to get your product sold and have a successful business. The key to being able to truly target and bring in the customers that are going to make your business successful is to really know who your customers are really going to be. Once you have this determined, you will best be able to focus your budget on a marketing plan that will really work for you and your business.