To make your business truly successful, you need to know who will buy your products and where your customers will come from. This preliminary research is one of the most important aspects of beginning your business.
Say, for example, you decide to specialize in selling pet products. Do some research. Where are your customers likely to be in the course of their day? In vet’s offices, at pet training classes, or at local dog runs? Are your patrons young, old, or a mixture of both? What types of pets are popular in your area: dogs, cats, fish, or reptiles? Knowing your target market will help you determine how and where to market your store, what items to carry, and what services to provide.
It’s important to know this before you open your doors to the buying public. Otherwise you will waste precious time and capital trying to find your customer base. Not giving enough attention to it is why many businesses fail. You shouldn’t simply stock a store with items you think people want, or open a storefront to offer a service you think people will need. You need to understand your market and assess products before you start to sell them.
Once you know your market, you can identify what products your business will carry. You will need to think about the attributes of each product you are going to sell. Analyze their benefits. Start with the items you think will be your biggest sellers and work down from there, thinking about the unique benefits and features of each of your items.
Using our sample worksheet, you can outline the features and benefits of your products and services. Using the pet store as an example, it lists the products and services the business intends to provide. It then lists the products’ benefits and features, as well as who you would target this product to. Every product should have some feature and benefit that would attract a market. If it doesn’t offer a benefit to your potential clients, or you can’t decide what it is and who it would appeal to, it’s probably not the right product for your business.
You can see that once you begin to think about product features and benefits, you’ll realize that your store has distinct target markets. Once you know that, you can begin to think about where to target your products effectively. For example, a pet store would naturally sell pet food. However, to set yourself apart, investigate holistic or natural pet food, for example. Are veterinarians in your area recommending holistic foods to pet owners? Are holistic foods available in your area already?
Print our blank worksheet to get busy targeting your market. Just write down your specific products, who they appeal to, and what the benefits are, and you’ll be on your way to seeing what buyers you need to attract to your store.