Having a clear definition of your target market is vital for several key reasons:
Once you have a target market definition in mind, imagine that you are meeting with a venture capital firm and preparing to solicit $1,000,000 of funding to further your practice. Let’s assume they know nothing about your geography, products or market. What information would they want to know before they write the check? What information would you provide to them to substantiate your request for their funds? How well could you describe your specific market opportunity? Here are a few questions you might consider answering about your market:
Go to your chamber of commerce websites and begin collecting relevant information about business growth in your communities and markets. This could take weeks or months to do correctly. Using a three-ring binder, simply gather information as you go and file it under a “Market Assessment” section. You will begin seeing trends and information that have direct impact on your business. You may begin to see opportunities or macro movements that could be capitalized on in your plan — trends or movements that heretofore you have likely not seen or recognized.
As you review and assimilate all this information, begin to distill the most salient points down on one or two pages. I like to have a couple of pages that detail in bullet point form where the market opportunities are and how they are evolving. This understanding of your market will ultimately influence your marketing efforts later.