What should entrepreneurs know about potential customers?
Everything! Their troubles, their dreams, their favourite foods. The more you can find out about them, the better you can serve them. It is a way to finding your niche – that unique place in your targeted customers’ hearts, and, let’s be honest about it, wallets. Find out all, or at least as much as you can.
Searching high and low
If you have the budget, hire a marketing agency to conduct research and give you an insight into market and customer trends. But there are things you can analyse and look at before cooperating with a research agency. Indeed, there are a few things I would recommend you keep an eye on from the very beginning of your enterprise. There are some things about a target audience even a startup should know.
In one of my recent articles, I talk about time, team and money. Neglect them at your peril. However, when managed well, they can propel a business to greatness. Money, precisely cash flow, is the one that can cause dramatic problems for a company and its owners. When it comes to what should entrepreneurs know about potential customers, I am going to start with money as well. By which I mean their lifetime value.
Start with what you know: your existing customer base
If you already have sales, turn to your existing customers. They have bought from you, so I am assuming they have has a positive customer experience, which makes them more willing to share information, should you need to approach them directly.
Analyse the contact points, your spend and the outcome of your promotional actions during those transactions. Was that a good investment? Then look a little wider: did those transactions begin a relationship with a client? How much is that worth to your business? This indicates how much you are willing to spend on your next campaign and what it takes to turn a group of potential customers into loyal ones.
How much are you willing to spend?
Looking beyond individual transactions encourages a broader perspective – unless a single deal is all you aim for. If not, consider the whole cycle. This indicates appropriate price points for your services and how much you can invest in client acquisition.
Whether you’re working with a digital marketing agency, conquering social media yourself or choosing to embark on a different type of a promotion, how much you can spend to get a lead and then a client is a rudimentary benchmark. You can get closer to it by assessing the customer lifetime value.
ROI or the point of no return
Otherwise, how can you check that you are getting any return on your investment? It also shines a light on the whole of the customer experience you are offering, highlighting the most loyal customers. And they should become your target audience.
Then you can really laser focus your marketing, increasing your visibility in places and moments your audience hangs out and is prepared to look for your product or service. Don’t waste your money on those who can’t be bothered with your offer. Use your time to offer better customer service to those that appreciate it and are letting you know with their wallets. Test and measure your spend so that you are ready to make an informed decision should a trend change.
Rely on numbers: stats over emotions
We are living at a time when, promotion – seemingly – has never been easier. With new social channels, updated algorithms, a plethora of to do it yourself options, we are spoilt for choice. Our heads are being turned at every corner with a new colourful fix that promises to work for our industry with a minimum effort on our part.
The temptation to jump at the latest is ubiquitous. By all means, be aware of the new trends and tools. Many of them are useful and can reinforce your strategy – as long as you remember to check them against that strategy. Always remember your potential customers: are they using that channel? Is this where they spend their time?
If not, however attractive it may sound, it will not do you good. The way of knowing for sure is trying and testing. You need to look at the numbers without emotion. ‘Everybody doing it’ is not a good enough reason to spend more money if you do not get the expected return. Respect your own needs and requirements and avoid marketing fads.
If you know why, you can offer an answer
Getting to know your potential customers is an essential building block of a successful business. Without understanding their buying habits, where they buy, why and how, you have little chance to meet their expectations and make them ambassadors of your brand.
If you are in the pre-sales stage, investigate your network. Google your competitors to see what your prospects think of them. Create a profile of an ideal one and challenge your assumptions as you generate sales of your own. Whether you’re a small business or a seasoned entrepreneur, always verify your data to offer a better service and grow your business in a more focused, purposeful way.
About the author
Falguni Desai is a Business Coach and part of ActionCOACH https://actioncoach.co.uk/coaches/falguni-desai/about/, a global business coaching company. She has a legal background having previously worked as a corporate lawyer for more than 15 years.
Falguni delivers a coaching programme that is designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. She uses a structured framework to help business owners grow their business by putting in the right systems and people in place so they can work ON the business rather than just IN the business. The aim is to create a commercial profitable enterprise that can ultimately work without the owner, who can then expand, take a passive income or sell the business.
The coaching provides clarity and helps the owner to achieve their goals. The accountability and discipline help get results quicker. Falguni’s role as a coach is not to tell the owner how to run their business but to help improve what is already in place. She influences, supports and works in partnership with the owner, who is the expert of their business.
There is excellent business advice available in the market. However, there is a disconnect between this advice and the implementation of it. The coaching Falguni provides is fully focussed on implementation. We all know what we need to do, but we don’t do it, often because of time constraints. This programme is designed to make a “good” business become a “great” business.
As a Business Coach and advisor, Falguni helps business owners achieve the results they desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, which have been tested and perfected over more than two decades. She will hold owners accountable for their results and just like a sports coach, push them to perform at optimal levels.
If you want to book your complimentary session or if you want further information please contact Falguni Desai https://actioncoach.co.uk/coaches/falguni-desai/#contact.