Knowing the answer to this question will save you tonnes of stress and financial loss.
A customer is someone who has a need or a job that they need done. This is someone who is actively looking for a solution or has a solution that is makeshift or that could do with a facelift and you have that facelift.
In order to know who your customer is you have to do some shortlisting. You have to attract as many potential individuals or enterprises, learn about their problem or the job they need done, educate them about what you are offering and how it meets their needs, find out how many of the ones in that crowd are interested in your offering and then endeavor to close on those sales.
This is an iterative process that you have to do over and over with as many customer segments and potential customer groups.
Here’s an ideal customer description for a website design business I am part of.
“My ideal client is a new small business owner. His budget is small but acceptable and he understands the value of having an online presence through a website, though he may not have the skills or time to work on it himself. He also invests in basic automation of their business as well as a social media page. He visits websites owned by other entrepreneurs or talks about getting a good website developer (which is how he found my company). He values building a win-win relationship with Authentic and also prefers having staggered costs. He finds our prices a little high, but knows that the investment is worthwhile.”
In relation to your business idea, carry out the activity below as a way to define your ideal customer.
- Who is my ideal customer in terms of occupation, gender, education level, income group, location, marital status etc?
- What other products do they purchase that are similar to what am selling?
- How does my ideal customer get to know of others offering similar products? Is it social media, word of mouth, print etc
- Are there restrictions placed on my ideal customer by the current service provider that affects them switching to me? These could me binding contracts, Joint ventures etc.
- What does my ideal customer perceive as important to them in terms of meeting their need?
- What do they think of the value, price and presentation of my product?