Know your target market- It’s easy to get roped into “blanket” advertising opportunities in order to overwhelm as many people as possible. That, I must admit, has been my biggest mistake since my start back in January of 2008. The money it costs to do so is not worth the type of business you are looking to get. Owning your own business means you are providing a product or service that has a need to fulfill. With that being said, there is a precise group of people looking for your particular product and/or service. It cuts into your valuable time and money to throw darts blindly at a target. So do some research and find your demography.
One of the first things you need to do is to refine your product or service so that you are NOT trying to be 'all things to all people.' Become a specialist!
For the Invitation side of my business my target market is shared with photographers and various wedding boutiques; generally consisting of young woman ages 18-35 looking for a modern flair to accent their wedding. I specialize in offering modern invitations with a stunning quality and personalized accents, which is a niche amongst all the different styles girls are looking for to make their special day perfect.
Next, you need to understand that people purchase products or services for three basic reasons:
· To satisfy basic needs.
· To solve problems.
· To make themselves feel good.
Their need: announce their wedding and celebration. I solve their problem by catering to their taste and style and that makes them feel good. Those women will most likely one day start a family and be in the need of shower invitations, birth announcements and birthday invitations which expands then expands my business.
· You'll need to determine which of those categories your product or service is the solution to, and be prepared to market it accordingly.
· Your product or service may fit more than one category, too
A good place to start is by researching the 'demographics' of your community, and divide it into market segments:
· Age: children, teens, young, middle, elderly
· Gender: male, female
· Education: high school, college, university
· Income: low, medium, high
· Marital status: single, married, divorced
· Ethnic and/or religious background
· Family life cycle: newly married, married for 10 – 20 years, with or without children.
This information should be available to you through your local town , hall, library, or Chamber of Commerce – and the more detail you can get, the better.
There may be a lot of work involved to put your thumb on those that are looking for your particular product and service; but it is work well worth it. You can now stop spinning your wheels and focus on the tactics successful business currently use to break through their completion and stand above the rest.
Specifically, if you are a card maker, with greeting cards steadily inclining from a $7.5 Billion Industry in which 80% Market Share is held by Hallmark/American we can’t afford not to break into the cutting edge of our completion. The average consumer buys 10 cards per year and most often has a need for 70 cards per year. Due to sheer inconvenience they often don't get around to it. Online it’s even harder to compete with the convenience of going to the store.
Make it convenient.
1. Offer free shipping
2. Offer a reminder service
3. Sell “Yearly Survival” Packs
Don’t be scared to get creative; it will pay off by helping you stand out amongst your completion.