Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Achilles' Heel of Small Business Success

Knowing Your Typical Customer

If you are a small business owner, the chances are high that you do not have a profile for your typical customer. You probably have not taken the time to write out a  description because you assume that you know; especially if you have been in business for any length of time. 

A typical customer profile provides specific demographic and psycho-graphic details that are unique to each product or service. Small bits of information like, what they do for a living, marital status, where else they shop or how often. 

It does seem like a lot of work; doesn't it?

If your product is selling already; why do all that?

If you asked that question, tap yourself on the shoulder.

Nobody need to remind you that the customer is the source of your revenue, the reason you are in business, the only way you will stay in business. Somehow this first cog in the wheel to success is left to one side and the product, the marketing and controlling cost becomes more important. Without customers, none of those things will matter.

Life's contradictions say otherwise.

The reality is that many businesses stay in business for many years without ever taking the time to identify who their customers really are. Businesses view this as proof that there is really no need to know that much information about the customer.

We see it every day.

A business that is doing well will double and possibly quadruple productivity. For no apparent reason a business thrives while other similar businesses around are closing their doors. It appears as if a business owner is fortunate enough to have hit the nail exactly on the head with no apparent systems in place.

The fact, however, is not controversial. Knowing your typical customer will give you more leverage and generate more profit.

Without doubt, almost every customer who has purchased a specific item shares a common characteristic with other customers. The task for small business owners is to identify that common characteristic: a want, need or experience that the customer desires.
This common characteristic is the key to opening doors and attracting more customers. Preferably, this should have been done before a product is manufactured. However, given the nature of business the task would not be changed, it would just become more labour-intensive.

This characteristic should be included in the business value proposition and clearly shared with prospects and existing customers. It must offer a solution to satisfy the customer's need.

Getting to know your typical customer inside out is simple; however, it  does require in-depth research. The main benefit is that you will attract more customers, without incurring any costs.

Your customer is the reason for building your business in the first place.  This has been traditionally where most businesses have been most vulnerable.   Take the time to get to know them.  


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