- Wernher Magnus Maximilian von Braun
Thanks to the internet you can just about find anything you may need to know about your business. But where do you start and what information should you give priority. Business Rules# 1-6 required a lot of work researching the functionality of the business. Now let’s examine past the functional side of the business and focus on researching your market.
Business Rule#7 - Define Your Target Market
In order to be successful you must have a clear understanding of who your customer is, what their needs are and their purchase behavior. Your target market is consumers that purchase your products or services. Understanding your target market will allow you to design your business with the customer in mind. It will also encourage customer retention and allow you to market your products in a profitable way.
When you begin your journey to research your market, you will find a wealth of information. The only problem is a lot of that information you don't really need and most likely will only confuse you. In order to minimize getting drowned with useless information it is best to come up with a list of research questions.
Below is a list of questions that you can use to start your research list.
- Who is your target market? (List all their demographics'. e.g. age, gender, income, education level, occupation, family/household size and region/geography)
- What are the trends affecting your target market? (Examine trends back as far as 3 years.)
- What are the target market buying habits and/or preferences?
Think about other things you could add to your research list. If your business is an online business then consider research questions that will give you insight on online shopping.
For example: What is the most sold item online? What percentage of consumers purchases their beauty supply needs online verses in stores?
Below is a list of resources to help you define your target market.
- Census Bureau www.census.gov
- Federal Statistics Online www.fedstats.gov
- American Fact Finder www.factfinder.census.gov
- Government Printing Office www.gpoaccess.gov
- Quick Facts www.quickfacts.census.gov/gfd/
- State Data Centers www.census.gov/sdc/www
- Bureau of Labor Statistics http://stats.bls.gov/
- AAPOR (American Association For Public Opinion Research) www.aapor.org
A sample Target Market Statement:
Business: Kelly's Daycare Center Target Market
Single Mother, 2-5 members household, 21-38 years of age, $15,000-$30,000 yr income, high school graduate, located in the downtown area.
Do you think there is a need to be specific when defining your target market?