Another place to research your target market is to talk to your competition. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Many successful business owners are quite happy to talk to new entrepreneurs.
The key here is to approach businesses that will not see you as a threat. Visit businesses that sell to different customers and won’t be competing for directly for the same sells as you. For example, go to a different neighborhood, or across town.
Here are some of the questions you might ask:
- If you were starting my business today, who would be your customers? Why?
- Where would you go to find those customers?
- What have you tried in your business that was successful? What made it successful?
- What have you tried that was not successful? Why do you think it failed?
- Do you have or know of clients (or former clients) that you cannot serve? If so, do you think my business would be a good fit for that client? (For example, a music teacher who may not want adult students or a pet sitter who won’t care for exotic animals).
Examples of target markets
Take a look at the following list of businesses. Then look at the list of target markets. Identify which might be a good target market for each business. Some businesses may have more than one. Explain your answer.
Daycare for infants to preschool age kids
Parents of teenagers
Subway sandwich shop
Homeowners in a historic neighborhood
Video rental store
Single males with above average incomes
Working parents of very young children
Health food store
Two income families
Parents who home school their children
Males and females, ages 18-29
Residential/commercial cleaning service
Middle aged women
Single women with above average incomes