So you’re new in business and don’t have any customers…yet.  You’ve heard marketing experts tell you over and over that you must have a clear Target Market so you can perfect your product offering and connect with your dream client.  But how do you do this if you’re a new business?

Follow these FIVE simple steps to help you define your customer Avatar and soon you’ll be connecting with your dream client.  

  1. Why did you get into the business?

Odds are you are starting this business because you have seen an opportunity in the market and you believe you can provide a solution.  This is where you start to develop your target market because inherently you know what the market’s problem is and you most likely know who needs this and how you can solve this form them.

A colleague of mine recently went into health coaching specifically for women past retirement age because she noted that many in the health industry were focussed on losing weight and trying to fit health into a full schedule.  What my colleague noticed was that women who had retired had plenty of time, often had high disposable income but weren’t interested in losing weight and time management and were frustrated with gyms and trainers who focused on this.  She noted that this market instead wanted help to gain vitality and long-term health as they age.

This is her ‘why’ and drives her to connect with a very clear client base.  It impacts on all aspects of her marketing from website design, social media strategy, choice of business cards and marketing collateral. 

  1. What problem are you solving?

Following on from your motivation, you need to clearly identify what problem you are solving.  Put simply, that is the basis for any marketing activity or business plan. Knowing what problem you solve will give you a clue as to who you need to target.  

Ask yourself:

  • Who is mainly dealing with this problem?  
  • How can I help them?
  • What is the outcome of working with me and my business I seek for clients?
  • If you know the problem you solve, you are one step closer to connecting the opportunity you have to the client you want.
  1. What makes you unique?

You’re going into business, you’ve found a niche, you see a gap in the market, you’ve set up your business and that is what makes you unique.  If your business didn’t have a point of difference, we’d all be doing the same thing at the same time. Your unique offering is what sets you apart.  

One way of getting clear about your uniqueness is to look at your competitors and see what or how you do things differently.  This will help you clarify your point of difference because knowing what you don’t do is often a way of seeing just what it is that you do.

Get clear on this and you’ll be well on your way to articulating to your target market why they should do business with you – after all, there is only one version of you!

  1. Who do you want to work with?

Most people go into business with a desire to work with certain types of businesses or people.  Why work with people that don’t make you happy or add value to your business? Life is too short, so think about who you want to work with and align your business with those people or businesses.  Think about my colleague wanting to work with women in the retirement age bracket.  Clearly she knows who she wants to work with and that is her driver.  When you find your ‘tiribe’ you’ll be more motivated and driven to build your business.

  1. Refine and don’t be rigid

You’ve started your new business, you’ve created your Avatar and then over time, you realise your business has taken a different direction.  Sometimes this is by design and sometimes this just happens organically. Either way, be prepared to refine your Target Market over time. Revisit this as often as you need and align your strategies to your new target Market.  Be flexible and listen to the market, maybe your original idea wasn’t quite right.  Changing your direction isn’t failure, it’s the domain of a smart business owner.

Starting a new business is an exciting time.  Knowing your Target Market will put you one step closer to creating a successful business.  Doing this early impacts on so many areas of your business strategy, so put some time into defining your Target Market and set yourself up for success.