Regardless of whether your office is your mobile grooming van, a store front, or your home, you wouldn’t have an office at all if it weren’t for your customers. But do you really know who they are? Just knowing they are pet owners or dog show enthusiasts isn’t enough.
The good news for small business owners is you often have more access to your customers than a large corporation, so it can be easier to get to know them better. Once you do, you will be better equipped to spend your advertising dollars where they will be most effective. You will also have a better understanding of what services and products will best meet your customers’ needs.
To get the most out of your advertising dollars and to provide services and products that will best meet the needs of your customers, it is vital to truly understand who your customers are and where they’re coming from.
Know your audience.
Before you even begin to look at where to start advertising and how to start promoting your product/service, you have to know who your customers are. This means you need to know the answers to questions like…
- What is their average age?
- Are they single or married?
- Are they employed or unemployed?
- Do they travel often or mainly stay around home?
- What is their income level?
- Do they live in a home or an apartment?
- How active with their pets are they in their free time?
These are just a few places to start, but the idea is to have a well-developed picture in your mind of who your ideal customer is – much more than simply being able to greet them by name or knowing them by their pet’s name.
Once you know more about who your customers are and the activities they are involved in, you’ll be in a better position to spend your time and energy more wisely when it comes to reaching them and more people just like them. This process is called creating a customer profile. A clear customer profile can point you towards marketing opportunities you may have otherwise missed or previously ignored.
Next week we’ll explore one of these promotional opportunities in more detail.
What do you do in your business to collect customer information? Do you have a general form they fill out during their first visit with you? Do you use surveys or comment cards? Let us know what tools you find to be most effective in the comments below.