Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business | 2018 Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business - Page 47

o From Whom? Do they want to purchase? The owner, a sales representative, distributors, customer service/inside sales? Characteristics of Your Target Customers • Consumer Product Customers • Geographic location • Age • Gender • Marital status • Family size • Education • Income • Occupation • Ethnic group • Buying frequency • Attitudes about your product Group prospective customers into like categories in order to reach and serve them more effectively. Describe your “target market segments”. • Example: Dog owners; age 30 – 60; with household income over $60,000 (above average); are likely to visit a dog park once a week. How many flea collars will they purchase each year? Business-to-Business Customers • Geographic location • Industry (NAICS or SIC code) • Size (number of employees or annual sales) • Length of time in business • Type of product (s) • Import or export products • Buying process • Decision maker • Need for your product • Loyalty to vendors • Buying frequency Customer Profile Segment customer groups by • Common characteristics • Need for your product • Buying frequency • Determine size and growth of potential market(s) Competitive Analysis • Identify direct and indirect competitors • Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, relative to what customers value: • Quality • Customer service • Price/value • Location • Convenience 45