The biggest mistake businesses make

You know one of the biggest mistakes that businesses make - and I include businesses that appear successful in that - is that they are not clear about their target market. And I mean REALLY clear!

In fact, I would take that one step further and say that they struggle to differentiate between their target market, their niche and their ideal client!

Why? Because those terms are used many times interchangeably - as if they all mean the same thing! But they most definitely do not!

Let me concentrate on “target market”.

It truly never ceases to amaze me how we can be so “blurry” about it. I have to say, and admit, that when I started my own business I was equally blurry - but experience has taught me that that is not a good basis for a solid strategy.

Let’s be honest, unless I know what I am aiming at, any shot looks good!

Intellectually, everyone will agree that you need a target market, but when it comes to analyzing how we spend our time day in, day out, it is not reflected in our activity.

Why? Because we just get “busy” chasing things!! The impact of that is we lose focus!

So, why must we put the effort in to determine our target market and then line up all our activities to support that decision?

Truthfully, there are many reasons, but the key ones, as I see it, are:

  1. We have limited resource in terms of time and money and we must make sure that we do our best to optimize that resource. Not having a clear target market is going to guarantee that wastage!
  2. Once we have identified that target market, and become established there, we can develop our business in 2 ways - we can sell more product or service to that target market, or we can sell our current offering to other target markets! Not rocket science!
  3. Once we have identified our target market, we know where we can find them - be that online or offline. If online, it can be LinkedIn groups, communities on Google+, Facebook, forums, discussion groups etc. If offline it is their associations or representative bodies.
  4. Your target market will see you as someone who understands their business challenges and issues - and that you are focused on them!
  5. Every target group has their own natural network - so the opportunity to get really good referrals is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I know this is so obvious - but I can tell you that I have had this conversation in so many businesses - and, truthfully, many started off with a clear target market and it got fuzzy over time.

Helping companies become really sharp at this is a fascinating process - and the benefits to the business when they have clarity is incredible!

Also, and do not underestimate this, but the value of having everyone at the top in full alignment on the target market is quite extraordinary.

*So - how clear are you about your target market? *