One of the first things you must do for your business is define your target market. I hear business owners tell me all the time that “anyone can use their products,” or “they don’t want to narrow down their customer base by excluding groups of people.” I understand that there is fear around excluding a portion of the population – you feel it’s money walking out the door. But, do you really want to try and be all things to all people? When you narrow your focus and choose a target market, you will be able to market your business more effectively.

Here are three reasons a target market will help your business operate more effectively.

  1. Spend your advertising dollars wisely
    Your ad must be seen at least 7 times before it even registers with a potential customer. If you market to “everyone,” where are you going to place your ad to ensure that enough people see it 7 times? That is, enough people who are then willing to try your products or services. That’s a lot of advertising dollars spent for simply guessing where to put your ad.

If you have defined a target market, you can identify what publications they are likely to read, or what web sites they are likely to visit and you can advertise accordingly.

  1. Know your customers
    Customers also want to know “what’s in it for me?” How do your products and services benefit them? By knowing your target market, you can determine what to talk about with potential customers. You will be able to discuss specifically why potential  customers will be interested in your products or services.
  2. Hear it from the source and meet their needs
    Once you choose your target market, do some research to determine what other interests the people in your niche have. Find out where they like to hang out online and offline. Start hanging out in those places too and get to know the people. For example, if your product appeals to moms, join a few mom’s groups. When you connect with them, ask what their needs and concerns are. This is a great way to conduct your research – nothing like getting information directly from the source. You can then use that information to further develop products and services for your business.

Truth be told, I was terrified to choose a target market. I felt that I would be limiting myself. I was afraid that I would lose out on income. The truth is, because I chose a target market, I was more successful and actually gained more business. My advertising efforts were focused, and I positioned myself as someone my target market could trust with their needs. Having a target market has helped me work smarter and more effectively in my business.

Jenn Givler is a Business Empowerment Coach. She specializes in teaching new entrepreneurs how to get started in their business. Jenn can help you find your passion, create your business plan, and begin effectively marketing your business. For weekly business tips and advice check out her e-zine:

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