This is certainly one of the best success strategies open to you. It is also one of the oldest strategies and probably the strategy which is most often overlooked by the self-employed and small businesses. And this is the case worldwide.
Choose a defined target market for your business. Make this target market as focussed as possible. The more focussed the better. This is important because clearly defined target markets have a few important features which can provide you with excellent services to help you build and expand your business. The three most important features are:
The members of a clearly defined target market …
- are seeking the same product or service because they have very similar wants and needs.
- use an established communication network. You can use this to spread your marketing message.
- know that you have dedicated yourself to them and will therefore have added confidence in you.
Many self-employed persons and owners of small businesses worry that by choosing a defined target market they are robbing themselves of lucrative business opportunities. They believe that by choosing a defined target market they are excluding potential customers and will therefore not be able to attract as many customers. But precisely the opposite is, in fact, the case. The better you can concentrate on a target market, the faster you will spread your marketing message in this market and the faster you will be able to attract numerous customers.
If you still believe that a very focussed target market is too small for you, you could define the size of the market with the assistance of market analysis. Here is a small, admittedly very general, example:
You are a nutritionist in a large town like Stuttgart in Germany and plan to choose parents with schoolchildren as your target market. You assume that this will allow you to work with both adults and children. You also intend to offer cooking courses in schools, for example. But somehow you have uncertainties and worry that your target market may not be large enough and also think about all of the other potential customers who would then not belong to your target customers.
Before you make a final decision, you therefore want to know whether your target market is, in fact, large enough. You therefore make a list of the schools and number of schoolchildren in a 4km radius of your office. In this area you find 20 schools with approximately 7,000 pupils. Since you assume that each pupil has at least one parent, your target market consists of 14,000 people. This number finally convinces you that your target market really is large enough for your business activities in the next 2 to 3 years.
You do not need to offer your product or services to the mass market. Financially it is much more lucrative to create a product or offer a service which is aimed at the very specific wants and needs of a very narrow target group. Your product or service will then be met with a much higher level of acceptance by your potential customers; they will regard it more highly and will be prepared to pay a higher price for it.
Seek out a “smaller” market and give it a try. You will probably notice that you can generate a very sizeable amount of turnover with this “small” market. And if this market really does end up being too small for you, you can expand it at any time.
If, on the other hand, you start with a large, broad market, then you need a large marketing budget in order to reach all of your potential customers, to place advertisements in numerous publications and to carry out various direct marketing campaigns. You will also have to offer different products or services because the wants and needs of your customers will vary greatly. You will find this financially draining, too time-consuming and content-intensive.
This is why you should therefore start with a clearly defined focussed target market. See how much turnover you can generate in this market and expand from there into other markets.
This article has been translated and is being posted here with the kind permission of German marketing coach, Axel Schaumann who advises service professionals on how to get fully booked. If you read German and are interested in receiving further marketing tips, do visit Axel’s website at www.axelschaumann.de and sign up for his free series of articles.