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Steps for Identifying Your Target Market

Steps for Identifying Your Target Market

posted on 06 Feb, 2017 in SCORE 87 Post by SCORE Chapter 87

If you run a business, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about target markets. A target market is a smaller group of individuals that you do business with. While individuals within your target market are not the only people who buy from you, they are your “ideal” clients or customers.

Many small businesses are scared to create an ideal customer because they fear marketing towards a small demographic will close them off to getting more business. While many business owners believe targeting specific individuals can hurt their chances of getting new customers, the opposite is actually true.

When you identify your target audience, you can create products, services and marketing materials that better fit their needs. Instead of creating generic items, you can develop super specific content that will get you noticed. Customers and clients will feel like you’re speaking directly to them and their problems, ensuring they will come back for more when they need it.
Identifying your target audience is not as difficult as it may sound. There is a good chance you already have the answers, you just haven’t put them into a productive form yet. If you’re ready to see more business results and make more sales, here are a few steps to take in creating a customer persona.


Step 1: Know the Problem You Solve

Every company should aim to solve a problem. Whether that solution is found in a product or service, companies need to know what their item can do to make a customer’s life easier.

If you don’t already know, identify the problem that your business solves. For some, it may be obvious. Others may need to take a moment to consider how they can help.

Once you’ve identified the solution you can provide, you’re able to cast a wide net over part of your target audience. While broad, your target audience will come from individuals who have the problem that you can provide a solution to.


Step 2: Consider Your Customers

You may notice that your loyal customers are already from similar demographics. This is because, without even noticing it, your target audience can naturally gravitate to you and your business.

If you’ve already begun attracting a group of similar customers, it is easiest to accept these individuals as your target audience. Take some time to do research on who is coming into your store or requesting your services.

Consider your customers’ gender and their age group. You’ll also want to determine the which types of family you’re serving and where they work. If you’re an online business, you’ll also want to work at the location they live. Other factors to consider include how much money they make, their education level, and their hobbies.

Step 3: Look at Your Competition

Examining what your competition is doing is a great way to get started with your target audience. While they are already your competitors, you won’t be successful if you try and enter into the exact same space they are already occupying. To get the newest business, you’ll need to differentiate somehow.

Look at every aspect of the demographics that are currently loyal to your competitors, then find a place that they may be ignoring. This may be a certain age group, income level, or gender. It may also be a certain location.


Considering what areas your competition are leaving open can be a great way to find a target audience with minimal competition.


Step 4: Create an Ideal Client Persona

Creating a profile of an ideal client does not mean that your only clients will fit that description. However, targeting just one individual can help you create an overall target audience.

To create your ideal client, you’ll want to think about who you would like to do business with if you could select anyone in the world. You’ll want to answer questions like what gender they are, what their family is like, what education level they have, how much money they make, and more.

As you answer these questions, you should be considering the demographics that go along with them. These demographics will then be used to describe your target audience. To complete your target audience, you will want to know age group, gender, family size, spending habits, income level, hobbies, education level, and more. The more specific you get, the easier it will be to target.

Step 5: Evaluate

After you’ve created your target audience, you need to determine whether or not it is a realistic group. If the target market you’ve created is not looking for your product or considering purchasing your product, then you won’t find business success.

Consider whether or not your target audience can afford your product and if they are the individual making the purchasing decision. This is especially true if your ideal customer is someone too young to make purchases for themselves, such as teenagers. You will also need to consider whether or not your target audience will be easy to reach.

If you believe that your target audience may make it more complicated to market, then you may need to consider making some changes. These changes may be to the products and services you offer, the way you market, or even to the target audience you’ve established.

Knowing your target audience can help you make better decisions when creating and selling your products. When you know exactly who you’re going to sell to, you can make strategic decisions to catch their attention and make more sales.

Follow these five steps to create the ideal client persona that fits your needs, but remember to always evaluate and make changes. If your target audience stops responding to your messaging, it may mean that their needs have shifted. By always researching and paying attention to what problems they’re looking to solve, you can always reach your target audience effectively.

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Brown uses business experience as SCORE mentor

Brown uses business experience as SCORE mentor

posted on 29 May, 2016 in SCORE 87 News by courtesy of the News Journal

By Bob Koslow

Published: Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 6:49 p.m.

DAYTONA BEACH — Pam Brown has always enjoyed leaning and also has a strong urge to teach.She pursued a lifelong career in the business world, but is now filling her retirement days as a volunteer senior mentor and counselor with the Volusia-Flagler chapter of SCORE, the Virginia-based Service Corp of Retired Executives.

“My grandparents influenced me; my parents influenced me, especially my dad; my husband, students and clients all influenced me,” Brown said. “What I have learned I can pass on to those who were not as fortunate to grow up in that environment.”

Brown was recently recognized by the national SCORE organization for her 2015 efforts when 12 clients opened new businesses and all her clients, locally and around the county, created 102 jobs. That’s the third-most jobs created in 2015 of any SCORE counselor in the nation, according to SCORE.

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Can your hobby become your business?

Can your hobby become your business?

posted on 12 May, 2016 in SCORE 87 Post by Tom Hellmen

Running a successful business centered on doing something you love is the dream of many entrepreneurs. What could be more gratifying than making a living sharing your talents and skills with others?

It’s not difficult to find success stories about everyday people—from photographers to interior designers to carpenters and others—who have turned hobbies and interests they were passionate about into viable businesses.

Our experience has shown that leisure-based founders, those that can focus exclusively on the soon-to-be business are more likely than others to generate revenue, achieve a profit and have a deep commitment to their business. That is encouraging if you’re contemplating making the transition from hobbyist to small business owner. It’s important to know, however, that not all hobbies (and the people participating in them) may be well suited for entrepreneurship. Here are some essential points to consider as you explore the feasibility of your hobby becoming a sustainable business:

  • Will you still enjoy doing the work after you have to do it (versus having the luxury of doing it only when you’re inspired to)?
  • Are you willing to put yourself out there? It’s one thing to work on your hobby for your own satisfaction and another to put what you produce out there to be scrutinized by others.
  • Will people (and enough of them) be willing to pay for what you create?
  • Do you have the knowledge and capacity to both create your product or service and take care of the other administrative and operational responsibilities that come with starting and running a business?

We suggest you take the following actions as you assess the viability of your hobby becoming a business that supports you and your family:

  1. Identify who your prospective customer really is. Not everyone is going to be interested in your product or service.        
  2. Determine the benefit you’ll be selling. What need or want will your product or service satisfy?  
  3. Consider how you’ll communicate your value proposition and why your product or service is better than those of your competitors.
  4. Establish what your prospective customers would be willing to pay for your product or service.
  5. Do the math. Can you be profitable at that price point? Make sure you consider overhead costs in addition to cost of goods sold.  

Once you complete your research and have the answers to those basic questions you’ll be ready to start drafting a business plan. A written plan is important because it helps identify the time, energy, and money necessary to take your hobby to another level.


If you need assistance in determining if you and your hobby are suited for small business, there are resources out there to help you. Consider taking advantage of the free mentoring services provided by our local SCORE Chapter. For more information on our mentoring and workshop programs call our office at 386-255-6889.



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Understanding Your Market For Success

Understanding Your Market For Success

posted on 10 Feb, 2016 in SCORE 87 Post by Tom Hellmen

For any small business to succeed, achieving product/market fit is among the most important goals. But verifying that your product meets a strong market need and can stand up to competitors is not an exact science, nor does it typically happen in one grand a-ha moment. Likewise, building momentum in a market requires patience and comes with no guarantees as customers’ needs, regulatory landscapes, and competitive pressures change over time.

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6 Questions to Ask Before Opening a Business

6 Questions to Ask Before Opening a Business

posted on 01 Oct, 2015 in Starting A Business by Rieva Lesonsky

Who Will You Sell To?

The more narrowly you can define your target market, the better. Whether it’s urban moms with children under age 5 or senior executives of midsized consumer product manufacturing companies, focusing on a specific niche will help you market to their particular needs. Do market research to uncover the most profitable potential target markets for your startup.

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16 Steps to Starting a Business While Working Full Time

16 Steps to Starting a Business While Working Full Time

posted on 30 Sep, 2015 in SCORE 87 Post by SCORE Chapter 87

Do you dream of being your own boss? If you want to start a business, but aren’t quite ready to give up your job and its accompanying security, salary and benefits, don’t worry; you don’t have to. Working full time doesn’t have to mean giving up on your entrepreneurial dreams. In fact, starting a business while working full time is a great way to test the waters of entrepreneurship and gradually grow your startup into a full-time business.

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