This step involves a close analysis of your business. Much like an investigative reporter, you need to determine the who, what, where, when, and why of your customer base. Ask yourself the following questions: Would your product or service appeal more to men, women, or both genders equally? What age range does your product or service appeal to? (Note: if your business sells products or services for children, parents are your target demographic). What is the range of income and education level of the people who may be interested in your product or service? Are they single? Married? With children? Retired? How will your customers use your products or services? Is there a potential for repeat business? Does your product or service fall into the category of needs (food, clothing, shelter) or wants (luxury items)? What makes your product or service unique Is your product an impulse buy (books, shoes, gourmet food) or an investment (cars, boats, computer hardware or software)? How are transactions for your product or service typically carried out - online, mail order, or in person? Cash, check, or credit cards? A single payment, multiple payments, or monthly recurring fees? How do your potential customers typically become alerted to new products or services? Online, through public advertisements, from the news media, or some other method?
You may even want to develop a profile of your ideal customer (for example, 20-30 year old single college-educated females, or 40-50 year old married males with middle-class incomes) to help you pinpoint your target market.
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