Friday, January 07, 2011


Not necessarily.

But many new business owners are blinded by this belief.

Next week at the Toronto breakfast I am talking about how to find the ideal customer. A hot topic for small business owners.

When you start out, any customer will do as long as they pay and they pay on time. It’s all about keeping the financial wolves from the door and getting established. We also tend to offer a range of services or products in the hope that one will catch on and we will have found our niche. It is like a fishing expedition.

However, as time goes on, think about how much better it would be if you actually liked the customer, found the work interesting and yes, they paid on time. I don’t know about you but over the years, I have had some members who were, to put it politely “high maintenance” and when they didn’t renew for some reason, I was thrilled. That tells you something. How wonderful it would be if we could just work with people we feel connected to and akin with.

Initially we are just hungry for business, and so may not do the due diligence in determining who would be the “ideal customer.” Yet if we did, we could then be very focused in our marketing, and strategic in how reach and attract the perfect customers.

Being focused and clear on what you have to offer and who you want to serve is half the battle. It sounds simple, yet it doesn’t always happen and in fairness at the beginning, you just don’t know with certainty which of your offerings is going to be the one to take off.

I often compare this to the time we started a vegetable garden at the farm. We did not know what we were doing, but all enthusiastically we planted a broad selection of vegetables, many of which, I must confess did not survive.

One of the first to blossom and grow was the radishes. Now we don’t like radishes, so I questioned our wisdom in planting them in the first place. Likewise, when you start your business, you sow lots of seeds, not sure which will take off, but make sure you don’t throw in something that you don’t like to do.

Over the years at Company of Women we have narrowed down who we want to attract – from the broad definition of women, all shapes and sizes, to professional women in business (for themselves or someone else) who want to invest in themselves and in others.

Who’s your target audience? Be specific. The more you know about your ideal customers, the easier it is to plan a marketing campaign to reach them.

1 comment:

Cheryl Ambrose said...

Anne, this is a fabulous post. Not only does it ring true, you've offered lots of good suggestions to help out!
Well done,