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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

Choosing a Target Market Tricky but Critical

Susan Baroncini-Moe, Author of Business in Blue Jeans and Business and Marketing Strategist, contributed this article to BusinessNewsDaily's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs find it nerve-wracking to choose a target market for their business. They worry that if they narrow their target market down too much, they won't have enough business or they'll miss someone who wants to do business. There's a delicate balance here: If you've defined a target market too narrowly, then there may not be enough people in that market to sustain you and your business. On the other hand, if you've defined it well, you'll find plenty of business.

These tips show how to create and grow a business that works for you. Some specifics about defining your target market include:

  • The first place to go to choose a target market is within. Work with people you like working with and you'll enjoy your daily life much more than if you just choose those whom you think you're "supposed" to work with. Design the business you want to run.
  • Have a target market that isn't well-defined enough. This (i.e. "professional people in their 30s and 40s") doesn't give you enough information to create and support a brand that will draw that audience in. Plus, your marketing campaigns will be vague and unfocused, which means you'll be unable to attract the people you most want to help.
  • Define your market more thoroughly. You can name your company and create a brand designed to attract them, rather than choosing the wrong name by focusing on your own point of view.
  • Figure out what keeps your target market up at night. Find out what they need help with and what their attitudes are about those problems — and the solutions. Then you can design your business or product to meet their deepest and most driving needs.
  • Can the target market you defined afford to buy your products and services? Your market can help determine if you'll build your business on pricing or on volume.
  • Are there enough of them out there to sustain you? It is possible to narrow your target market too much, so you want to ask this question to make sure that you've hit a sweet spot where you've narrowed it just enough that there are enough people in your target market to keep your business going.

Your target market is at the heart of your business success. Everything you do in your business flows from your choice of target market as well as how well you understand them and their needs. Get that right and everything else in your business will be easier.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

Business News Daily Editor

Business News Daily was founded in 2010 as a resource for small business owners at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Our site is focused exclusively on giving small business advice, tutorials and insider insights. Business News Daily is owned by Business.com.