Key to a Successful Entrepreneurial Journey: Know Your Market and Their Needs
In starting a business, there’s always have various things to be considered since starting a business opens to a lot of risks, keeping notes and investing in self to learn the business process is very beneficial. In my previous Article (Innovation Article), I mentioned about the importance of knowing your market. Since Targeting your market needs a lot of consideration, it’s best to describe it in one article. Just like Innovation, another to key to a Successful Entrepreneurial Journey is to know your Market and their needs. How do we do that? and Why do we need to do that?
Why is it Important to know your Market and their Needs?
Knowing your customer is important. It becomes your basis for coming up new ideas to make them buy. And one way of knowing them is to know your customer’s behavior. Regardless of the kind of products you are offering if you do not have a distinct target market, you cannot expect to sell.
You can use your customer knowledge to strategize on how you could interest them in buying your product. Do you need to come up with promotional coupons to make them buy? Do you need to upgrade your services or products to entice your buying customers? Do you know what they need?
The point here is, how well you know your market can be crucial in the sustainability of your business. We never want to end up like Nokia, do we? It was a good company, a powerful company in fact, but they failed to meet their market’s needs all because, they did not think that there would be changes in the behaviour of their market. But how do we know our market?
How to Know Your Market and their Needs?
Thus, I have initially discussed the Probing Questions in knowing your market in this article, (innovation Article).
Who are your customers?
Identifying your market is definitely very important in moving forward with making your idea work. If you have a clear picture of who your customers are it would then be easy to market your business. Thus, this also gives you an opportunity to create your own niche as an Entrepreneur. To help you out in this process the following tips might be useful in identifying your market:
- Age: Are you targeting teenagers? Young Adults?
- Gender: Are you targeting female or male market?
- Activities: Are they students? Office Workers? Housewives? Newly Weds?
These are just a few of the considerations you could possibly think about. Do me a favor, take the time to pause and contemplate on who could be your possible target market based on these questions. Ask Yourself, Who are my market?
Where is the location of your market?
This entirely depends on the kind of business you have. Is your market, Global, National, Regional or local? identifying the location of your market would be very beneficial when we start to segment your market.
Let’s say for example you are about to start a photography studio at some part of a city. At this point, you are targeting the local market. Normally, when we do a business plan, our possible market is within the 10km radius. Identifying the scope of your initial target market is up to you. At this point, let’s pretend that we are a startup business and currently exploring the possibilities.
Why do your customers buy?
Basically, in this process, we explore the possible behavior of your market. And one way of doing this is to conduct a survey of potential customers. In this way, you would get know their buying behavior.
Let’s go back to the Photography Studio and let’s explore different possibilities as to why would your target market buy or avail your service?
They could be preparing for a wedding, a christening, or product launching.
Promotions and packages. This is another strategy that could make a person buy or avail services. Well most of the time, if we based it on Gender, women usually are in for some promotion and would most likely avail your product or service should you offer some promotional coupons of some sort.
When does your Customer buy?
There could be various contributing factors to make a potential customer buy from you. Thus, in this process, one way of identifying this is based on the customers buying behavior. Having a profile of these customers would be helpful for you when you develop a product or service tailored to a specific customer. Let’s assume that you have identified your market to be women who are getting married.
How do they buy?
As for this point of reflection, basically, it depends on how meticulous can a customer be. There are easy to handle customers and there are these customers who can’t decide and customers who seem to expect perfection.
If we are to refer again to our Photography example, as a bride to be, expect great expectation of perfection. The wedding would need to be PERFECT for the bride. And they would buy if you offer great wedding package for them, or better yet, have everything tailored depending on their preferences.
Please note that I am only presenting an example of one category of potential customer, on a wedding photography niche. It could be different when you start your own business.
What service or product can you offer to meet their needs?
Based on the behavior of your target market, it’s time to develop your idea. What can you offer your target market? Do you have some strategies to make them buy from you? Remember, that you would always have some competition around, and they could be a good competition, and your target market could be buying from them. The question now is, what does your product have that can make the loyal customers of your competition buy from you?
Segmenting Your Market
Now that we have already figured who your customers are? It’s time to segment them. Why is segmentation important? It gives you the opportunity to strategize on how to market your business to the specific target market. In the previous paragraphs, we have generally identified our target market. Now we would come up with specific targets based on the initial customers you have identified. And there are various ways on segmenting your market.
This is basically segmenting your target market based on the following: Age, Gender, Income. The idea here is to identify the demographic characteristics of your potential customers in order for you to come up with products and services that tailored to their needs, thus Age, Gender, and Income can be a great consideration in doing this.
This is where you divide consumer traits, lifestyle, interests and attitudes. Since every individual has different traits, values, interests and lifestyle. The idea here is to break down your target market based on these various interests so that you could market appropriate products or services to individuals based on their lifestyle and interests.
As initially discussed in the previous paragraph, ways to divide your market based on their Location, such as by cities, county, region, state, or international region. Further, you can also divide your market by Rural, Urban, and Suburban. Or by climate and population per area. This is very helpful in targeting market for your business. Simply put, the different consumer from different regions or areas have different needs, wants and cultural characteristics. This is where your product steps in.
One last point for consideration offering your product to your market, Quality. You make them buy from you because you are better. And one way of providing them good quality products is to ensure that you are offering your products tailored fit to your Target Market. This is essentially and relatively easy once you know your Market and their Needs.
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