Writing a Business Plan - How to Define Your Market

Dr. Linda Hancock Business Business_And More Other Business

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Often people who have never been in business before think that the world is their marketplace. But that is not a realistic view. When you write a business plan you will need to identify your market so that you can focus your time and effort on that segment of the population.

There are several things to consider when you are determining which people are in your target market as follows:

1. Age - Is there a specific age group that you prefer to work with? If you do not like children, for example, it really doesn't make sense for you to be involved in an enterprise that sells toys. Products or services need to be matched with the age group that is most suitable. Many new businesses have begun recently to serve the growing seniors demographic who not only need health and recreational services but also have the income to purchase them.

2. Finances - You need to consider which segment of the population can afford the items that you have to offer. Those who have just graduated from university might not have the funds to purchase time-shares or recreation vehicles. Adolescents are likely not the best group to consider for buying expensive vehicles.

3. Your expertise - When you consider the competency that you have and the credentials that you hold, it will be easier to identify your best target market. If you have training, expertise and licensing in a specific area, you will be able to easily identify future clients.

4. Need - The key to all successful sales in business is to find a need and fill it. People do not usually invest their money into things that they really don't need unless they think that in some way it will bring a benefit. People who can walk do not usually buy wheelchairs. But, if a person does have a specific need, s/he will often go out of their way to do research and find the product or service that best suits them.

When you begin developing your marketing plan, you will need to clearly identify those who you would consider an "ideal client". This is the person who is in the most suitable age group, has the finances to afford the expertise that you offer and definitely has a need for your product or service. Once you are able to describe the target market, it is merely a case of finding them and making sure that they know you have what they need and want.

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com

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