In a previous post I have been talking about the way how you can start to create your own personal profile of skills and knowledge. For me this inner view is the first step when you want to create a successful strategy for your small business. It all starts with the question what you can do and what you would like to do. So to speak it is the research for your resources and your personal position-fixing.
Once you have roughly created your personal competence profile it is time to have a look at who you can serve best with your personal skills and resources. That’s why the second step of building your small business strategy turns to the outer view, the creation of your model target customer profile.
Basically there are two ways of creating a service or product. The first way is to develop a product or service at first and after it you search the potential customers for it. The problem with this way is, that you don’t know before if anyone will buy your product or if your product will solve anyone’s problem. But that is what selling is all about: Solving someones problem!
Selling is all about solving your target customers problem(s)
When you solve a real problem – perfectly the most important one – of your main target customers you don’t need to sell anymore. People are always looking for solutions that help to easy their life in any kind of way. When you offer solutions for urgent or important problems of your target customers, these people will snatch your problem solving product or service out of your hand.
In order to solve someones problem(s) at first you need to know who this someone is. That is the second and better way: Find your potential target customers first and create tailor made problem solving products or services for them. Once you define and know your target customers profile you automatically start to learn more about them. You will start to experience their problems and ideas. This will open your mind to their problems and you will start to see things more through your target customers eyes.
How do you find your model target customers?
Take your strategic planning notebook and check your skills profile. Start a brainstorming about your model target customer profile. Do it the just in the same way like you did when you created your skills profile. Again, don’t limit yourself and write down all ideas that will come to your mind when you answer yourself the following questions:
- Who do you preferably want to work for?
- For whom could your skills and resources be helpful?
- Which industry or business branch might benefit most of your skills?
- To which business or industry sector have you got roots and connections already?
I want to give you a little example from the beginning of my own business. When I started my personal strategic planning for my own small business many years ago I definitely knew that I wanted to work for business clients only and not for non-corporate customers. Due to my interests and hobbies I was also sure that I wanted to work in the construction business and become a service provider for a concrete branch of this business.
Write down all of your thoughts, preferences and exclusions who your model target customers might be. After the first push of ideas go on and sharpen this target customer profile more and more. Make it more and more precise. Create your perfect model target customer profile.