retro businesswoman on telephoneWhen I ask the question who is your ideal customer can you answer clearly and concisely in under 60 seconds?

If you can, great, if not – don’t worry, you are part of a multitude of small business owners who are so caught up in the passion and running of their business they have not thought strategically about who their ideal “paying” customer is and how to get them spending again and again and again!

Whether you are beyond that point and you are panicking at the ongoing lack of income or you are at the conception of your business and still in ‘hope’ mode, one action is now crucial: do your customer research.

You may have the perfect product or service but if you aren’t Sir Dyson have you simply just reinvented the wheel?  Oh, you’re saying that your offering is bigger, better, more powerful, faster and far more exciting and CHEAPER than the version provided by your competitors? Well, if this is your marketing strategy then let me share an industry secret with you. Your business is not going to instantly sell out of stock the moment you open.

How many disappointed entrepreneurs have found that they didn’t get the numbers of customers they expected to press that ‘Publish Now’ button on their website host page? Worse still, you had the Grand Opening and where were the stampede of curious and excited money spenders waving their £50 notes and demanding four of everything on offer when you opened your business doors.

Whether you are beyond that point and you are panicking at the ongoing lack of income or you are at the conception of your business and still in ‘hope’ mode, one action is now crucial: do your customer research.

If you have no idea what motivates or draws your customers to you and what they are really looking for when they find you, then how do you have a hope of getting them to give you their hard earned money in return for your business or product?

Have no fear, it’s not too late to turn this around. Can’t be bothered! Well keep burying your head in the sand and hoping more customers will appear – but no doubt that is what you have done up to this point if your business has made little or no profit to date.  If you can be bothered and ready to take a new route, then it really is time to understand who you are trying to sell to.

Just because your business offers something a particular customer wants does not mean that you are necessarily offering it at the best price, or from the clearest most useable social platform.  If you have no idea what motivates or draws your customers to you and what they are really looking for when they find you, then how do you have a hope of getting them to give you their hard earned money in return for your business or product?

No doubt you feel that your business offers something different and new, and you’re right, it does.  It offers you!  But do your potential customers know this? How can they if you don’t even know who they are and where to find them!

Chapter 2 of “7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid in Business” at www.soniabrown.co.uk uncovers ways to find out how to get your business in front of the right people.  Why put all your time and effort into trying to sell to the wrong crowd?  It’s time to do some research and find out who wants what you’ve got!

Sonia Brown
About the author

Sonia Brown MBE is our Business Blogger. Sonia Brown MBE is a business communicator; coach; trainer; writer, uber connector and diversity maverick. She is a branding strategist and contributes to a number of radio shows, magazines and newspapers on women, diversity and enterprise issues. Find out more: Sonia Brown, @soniatalks

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