Most small businesses determine who their target market is before they ever get started. The thing is, this can sometimes change. Sometimes you throw out your hook for catfish and bass end up biting. What if you start to notice you have tons of bass and not as many catfish? You could change your bait, or you could enjoy the bass. The same is true of customers. Maybe you can work on increasing customers by re-evaluating who your customers actually are. Please them better, and more will come.
Ask Who’s Coming
Who are the people that are currently coming? How old are they? Are they male or female? What stage of life are they in? Do they have small children or teenagers? Are they single or married? There are so many questions you can ask, but ask enough and you will get a pretty accurate demographic. Once you know who is actually coming, consider whether this is the demographic you expected to come when you started. You can simply keep marketing to the same group and hope to earn more and more business. However, if you see that you missed the group you were aiming for, you may have an issue. Put first things first however, and make certain you are working to keep the demographic you have.
Ask Who Is Not Coming
If your target market is not the market you seem to be attracting, ask why they are not coming. What are you doing that is missing them? What other bait could you use to try to get more of them more often? Are your prices in line with what other firms are charging in the marketplace, or have you set them higher than the local market will pay? Change up the menu, the music, the décor, the inventory, or the hours? There is a fine balance between marketing to your desired demographic and not alienating the customers you already have that are not in that market. Walk the line carefully, because after all, a customer is a customer that offers profit regardless of demographic.
Make a Decision
You may have discovered that the majority of your customers are exactly who you thought they were. If so, keep trucking on and maybe give some thought to increasing your customer base in this market. However, if you discovered your customer is totally different from what you thought, you have some soul searching to do. Do you change anything? Do you change to better accommodate a different demographic? Do you try to attract the customers you thought you were serving while keeping your current customers?
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