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Knowing market can lead to success

January 30, 2014

 It is imperative that any new business identifies and understands its target market.

For some business and industries, this is easily determined. For others, it is more difficult.

For example, it is fairly obvious that an infant and children’s clothing boutique will target parents and grandparents with infants and children that are within a certain age range. For the business to succeed there must be enough parents and grandparents to generate sufficient demand for such clothing and an evaluation of the number of competitors and their strength.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — It is imperative that any new business identifies and understands its target market.

For some business and industries, this is easily determined. For others, it is more difficult.

For example, it is fairly obvious that an infant and children’s clothing boutique will target parents and grandparents with infants and children that are within a certain age range. For the business to succeed there must be enough parents and grandparents to generate sufficient demand for such clothing and an evaluation of the number of competitors and their strength.

Not all industries’ target market is so easily identified. Research must be done to identify the target market. Sometimes the business owner is surprised at the research results. They may have been expecting 18- to 24-year-old single males to be the target market, only to learn that 38- to 55-year-old married couples with no children left at home are their ideal target market.

Understanding your market this way affects how you promote your business. If you are considering a radio ad campaign, you want to choose a station that has programming that your target market listens to. Not many 55-year-olds will listen to rap or the newer genres of music, but you might find them listening to an “oldies” or country station. If that age group is in your target market, then those are the stations you would consider using.

Additionally, target market analysis is something businesses should continue to do periodically. Markets change.

An obvious example is hair styles. The styles that the 16- to 24-year-olds of the 1950s had were not the style choices of the same age group of the 1960s, 1970s, or any decade since. In fact, each decade had its own style. So a barber who only knew how to do 1950s haircuts eventually ran out of customers. But, the one who adapted and learned new styles and created the environment the target market desired had the greatest potential for continued prosperity.

Whether you are considering starting a business or you have been in business for 20 years, it is important to know and understand your target market. This knowledge and understanding helps position you to promote your business in the most effective and economically advantageous way possible.

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    James Leavelle, ASU-SBDC Business Development Specialist

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