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How to Find Your Target Market

When getting ready to start your business or introduce a new product it is important to know who your target market is. You might have an inkling - and that's awesome! - but instead of going with your gut, go get yourself some proof. Once you have a few questions answered about your buyers, you can figure everything from products, to hours, to advertising.

Research Your Buyers/Potential Buyers:
To start your market research, survey your current buyers; or if you are getting ready to start a business you can speak to the general public.  If you are already running your business this could be done as a quick questionnaire after Checkout, or as a follow-up email.  When getting ready to get started, you can ask friends and acquaintances, don't worry about giving away your idea.

The more people you can survey the better, you do not want to jump into an idea after only speaking to a few people.

Your survey should collect the information that matters for your business. Here are a few common bits of information that you'll want to collect to find your buyer's demographic:
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Income
  • Education
  • Location
  • Occupation

Also ask about the psychographics of your buyers:
  • Hobbies
  • Values
  • Lifestyle

Building Your Target Profile
Once you have all your surveys in, you'll want to boil the information down. Draw connections between the questionnaires to build a profile of your most common customer. The most common one or two profiles will be your initial core market, while the following few should be viewed as your secondary market.

For example: If 55% of those you surveyed said they were women age 20 to 25 who live in Los Angeles, you can establish that they are your target market. If 20% of those you surveyed said they were men 20 to 25 in Los Angeles, you can assume that is your secondary market.

Another thing to consider when building your target profile is your who your competitors sell to. It may be that your competition sells to one part of your core market.  If this is the case, then you may want to try your hands at a niche in the market they are not exploiting.

All of this may lead you to find that who you thought of as your target market is not really there; and if you listen to your findings more than your gut, you'll be more successful in directing your sales and marketing.

Good Luck and Good Sales.