You can just throw a site up and hope that the people who stumble across it will be interested enough in what they see to actually buy the goods and services you have on offer (or click on those affiliate links), and to be honest, that is what a lot of people do.
But you would be so much more successful if you spent a bit of time working out who your ideal customer actually is and what it is that they care about.
Is it price that determines their buying decisions? Are your prices within an acceptable range for that particular group of people? Do they recognise your offering from the text you use to describe it or do they scan over it without stopping to consider whether or not it what they are looking for?
Can what you have on offer solve their most pressing issues or is it more of a nice to have item? Is it a once off type of purchase or will they be coming back to purchase over and over again?
The answers to these types of question should be considered when you are developing your business infrastructure so that visible aspects of your business appeals to your target customers (rather than putting them off).
So who are your customers and what do they care about?
Customer Analysis: Identifying Your Ideal Customers
Who will your customers (site visitors) be?
Identifying your customers and defining their characteristics are is a very important part of the planning for your new business. If you don't know who is going to buy your products or services, why they will buy, or where to find them, your marketing efforts are likely to be ineffective at best.
Developing a Customer Profile
Potential customers can be identified by personal characteristics such as age, race, religion, gender, income level, family size, occupation, education level and marital status. Each of these criteria will influence the level of interest in your product or service and the ability of the customer to purchase from you. Another factor in the desirability of your product and services to your target group will be how well it satisfies their buying needs.
To target your offering appropriately you need to find our what is it about your product or service that your target customers really care about.
If the target group cares about price, there is no point in providing a product with all the bells and whistles, but at a higher price.
Understanding the buying behavior is also important. Do your target customers buy your product or service just once, or will they buy over and over again? How long does it take them to make the buying decision and who is it that actually makes the decision?
Finding Your Target Customers?
Once you have developed a comprehensive profile of your target customers, the next step in your customer analysis is working out where you are going to find them. Will they come to you, necessitating a shop front or on-line presence or will you have to go to them?
Do they read newspapers or trade journals or are they members of professional associations? Are they involved in family activities or the local community?
All of the information you with the process of while identifying customers will be invaluable when you are trying to design your marketing strategy and planning where to spend your advertising dollars.
What to Include About Your Customers in Your Business Plan
In your business plan, there will be a section that outlines your sales and customer analysis, and the identification of your customers will be a central component of that analysis.
Estimates of sales will depend on your best guess as to the potential buying patterns of your target or ideal customers. What they do, where they live and how you intend to reach them with your product or services offerings will all impact on the estimates sales value.
You will talk about your customer's needs and how you can meet those needs with your products, and what will motivate them to not only buy, but why they will buy from you. Is is probably a good idea to mention the mechanisms that will be used by your customers to make their purchases and what your systems for distributing the product will be.
You will also need to provide a sales projection, a colored graphic can add interest to the page and present the information in an format that is easy for the reader to understand. One word of warning, do not over estimate your sales projections to make the plan look better. If the reader knows anything at all about starting and running a small business, they will know, and you will have lost any credibility you had!
It also pays to make sure that the numbers you quote in this section match the numbers you use in generating your profit and cash flow forecasts. Inconsistent information will confuse the reader and again, they will doubt your competence and or your credibility!
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