Who are my customers?
- We are going to expand on this in the Industry component but, for now, we simply want to prove to ourselves, and anyone else who may be reading the business plan that we know who our customers are. Have we fully thought through whether or not there are people who actually want the service or product we wish to provide? This is important. The businesses that succeed are those who have clarity around: who their prospective clients or customers are; know where to find them; and understand their needs. We can demonstrate this in the business plan by answering this question up front.
Here are some answers using those Case Study examples again:
- Geoff says “As a personal collector of classic vehicles, I regularly meet and talk with other exhibitors at car shows and through online forums, and so understand their unique requirements”.
- Jennifer says “Spending 5 years running the health food store has enabled me to have on-the-spot experience talking with my customers about their requirements on a daily basis”.
- Mike says “Moving into the commerical field is a new venture for me, and so I have researched online and narrowed my focus on serving a specific industry which requires a specialised service: financial institutions”.
- Cindi and Wayne say “We are currently experiencing an upsurge in requests for service from the domestic sector (single family home owners) in the Sherwood Park area which we cannot currently accommodate”.
- Ensure that when you respond to this question in your Business Vision component of the business plan, you create a statement that displays clarity regarding who your customers are. Do this by addressing:
- who they are (in terms of general demographics),
- where to find them (not just their geographic location but, if relevant, where they tend to congregate)
- and finally that you understand their needs (ie what they require from you).
We will expand the subject of Clients/Customers in the Industry component but for now, Jennifer came up with this completed answer which attempted to explain the 3 points above:
Spending 5 years running the health food store has enabled me to have on-the-spot experience talking with my customers about their requirements on a daily basis so that we can stay up to date with the latest trends that they have heard about and want to try. The idea for the organic produce delivery service has come directly from the busy professional women and parents in our customer base in West Edmonton who want easy access to fresh, organic products but don’t have the time to shop regularly.
- Time for you to create your own answer to the question:
Who are my customers?