Thinking of buying a franchise?
WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET AND CUSTOMER HUNTING AND FARMING ABILITIES BEFORE YOU DO
Before you invest in a franchise you need to be absolutely clear about who will buy your product and why. You need to be able to identify them with great clarity. There’s no room for vagueness, guessing, crossing fingers or hopeful estimations when it comes to this stuff.
The skills and tools required to create an idea are very different to the skills and tools required to grow market share.
Having made the decision that you are going to invest in a franchise, you know this will provide you with a product or service that you think other people or organisations want to buy. But thinking this and knowing how and why it will happen are two very different things. At some point in their busy lives, with all sorts of other options available to them, you want people to look at your product and say, ‘Yes, this is what I need’. These people or organisations are referred to as your target market, and you need to know exactly who they are, how you are going to grow and service them.
Why is this so important? Because if you are investing in a franchise, expecting to shape your business from the foundations up, focusing on how you can serve your target market, you are going to try to be everything to everyone and actually be no good to anybody. It’s important to know who your target market are and how you are going to attract and farm for new opportunities.
SO, WHO ARE THEY ?
So now that you know why it’s so important to find out who your target market is, let’s have a look at how you go about doing it. There are six questions you must be able to answer about your target market. If you can’t answer all of these questions you won’t be able to meet the needs of your target market.
These six questions are:
WHO is the person or organisation you wish to serve? You need to be able to define them in detail. For example, ‘parents’ is not a well-defined target market. What age are they? How many kids do they have? Where do they live? Defining ‘parents’ as a target market is just the beginning.
WHERE do they congregate in their greatest concentration? Where are they being influenced?
WHAT is their desired #1 Big Outcome? What is the problem you solve for them?
WHEN is their highest level of frustration? When will they say, ‘I need to buy this’? One in 10 of your future clients is not ready to buy right now but is thinking about doing so. When do they say ‘now is the time’?
WHY will they choose you? Why will they discriminate in your favour and open their wallets for you? This is one of the hardest questions to answer. Whatever your product or service, your potential ‘A’ clients have other options available to them. Your challenge is to ensure you make it easy for them to buy from you.
HOW do you expect them to do business with you? How do you expect them to communicate with you, contact you, and correspond with you? How can they let you know they are interested in your services? Will this be online, face to face, over the phone, or a combination? In our modern, highly connected world it’s more important than ever to make it easy for people to interact with you and buy from you. There are always other businesses they can buy from if you make life hard. How can you let them know about you and your service or product?
The more you understand the who, where, what, when, why and how of your target market the better you’ll be able to shape your franchise. Remember, you need to create your own uniqueness within the guidelines of the franchise, customer delight is of paramount importance.
Your target market can be broken down further into niches that will help give you even more clarity about your customers. Each one of the niches you identify needs to be defined and dissected, just like your overall target market.
If you don’t know who your target market are and what they want, how you are going to service and grow them, the only way you can solve their problems is by getting lucky, and luck is not a strategy for success.
Stefan Kazakis is a renowned business strategist, sought-after presenter and founder of Business Benchmark Group, which helps clients from a variety of crossroads and industries seize opportunities to achieve ongoing business success and substantial profit growth. Stefan is also the author of From Deadwood to Diamonds (Major Street Publishing, $29.95) and has over 20 years’ experience running successful small to medium sized businesses – including a family business which he took from near bankruptcy to be a multimillion dollar business.
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