As a small business owner, you face difficult decisions every day. If you’re smart, you find ways to better manage your time and prioritize based on both short-term and long-term goals. Because if things are working even decently, you won’t have time to get to your complete to-do list every day. As it relates to marketing and sales, small business owners face the same challenge.
You can’t do it all! Not only do you not have the time – you don’t have the budget. So you’re faced with difficult questions…What type of marketing should I invest in? Should I have a Facebook page? Should I have a Twitter account? Will I get more business if I run a print ad? What about running search engine ads?
If you want clear answers to these questions, you have to identify your target audience. Whether you are new, or have been in business for a while, you should be able to write this down in about 5-10 minutes. In fact, you probably have a primary and a secondary target audience. Write them both down. This includes gender, age (will be a range), marital status, income level (a range, probably an educated guess), kids/no kids, etc. This list of identifiers won’t capture all of your customers, but it should cover a large majority (think of the 80/20 rule).
Now think about where these people spend their time. Let’s say your target audience is a suburban housewives between the ages of 35-55, and their household income is between $80,000-$120,000 per year. You can either do some online research, or make some solid educated guesses about where your audience spends their time. Do both. Then cater your marketing plan and budget around your audience.
What do you know about your target audience? What challenges do you face with this audience?