That may not seem like such a powerful statement, but if you start a business on your own, from scratch, one of the most important things you’ll have to do—and do quickly—is to define your target markets and find your customers.
- Are they online or offline?
- Responsive to TV, radio, print, or social media?
- Impulse buyers or do you have to woo them?
Without an existing customer base, a new business can have a very steep uphill climb to profitability. As an independent franchise business owner with Home Franchise Concepts (HFC), you’ll see that hill leveled by the many benefits of buying into a proven franchise business model, including target markets that are already clearly defined and “brand aware” through ongoing national marketing initiatives.
But isn’t everyone my customer?
It’s too simplistic (and inaccurate) to think that “anyone with a computer and a credit card” is a qualified customer for every business. According to Forbes.com, knowing your customers is vital. “The key to any successful marketing or branding campaign starts with understanding your audience. And any well-defined audience starts with a buyer persona. A buyer persona can be an easy and tempting step to skip in the strategy process. However, they are much more than a basic snapshot of your customers. Rather, personas are a foundational, strategic tool in making decisions that will affect your business growth and bottom line.”
While there’s no shortage of how-to strategies available to assist with defining a business’s target markets and developing buyer personas, it’s not an easy process and can take considerably longer than you’d expect or want. Here are just a few of the steps recommended by the experts for identifying your target markets:
- The first step in defining your personas is to look at your existing audience. (Problem: you have no customers yet.)
- Find new customers by cold calling names from a phone book and purchased lists of potential customers and use internet techniques like search engine optimization (SEO) to drive new business to your website. (You have a robust website, right?)
- Conduct market research to understand your target audience and their needs and define your demographics before you develop any advertising or marketing plan. (Hire experts.)
- Determine which lead generation techniques are best to broaden your sales horizons. (Big learning curve.)
- Get to know your customers and segment the market by:
- Demographics (Who)—statistical data, including income levels, age, sex, ethnicity, occupation, marital status, education, etc.
- Psychographics (Why)—the attitudes, values, and desires of a certain demographic.
- Buying habits (How)—how, what, and where customers purchase products and services.
Finding your customers is just one facet of starting a new business and there are other areas that will require comparable learning, time, and money. Setting up business systems, best vendors for products and services, IT, HR (if you’ll have employees), social media, content marketing, ongoing training and trying to keep on top of everything while trying to actually work your business is going to keep any new business owner busy enough for at least three people!
Franchising gets you to your customers faster
As a franchise business owner, you don’t have to figure out and do everything for yourself, including identifying and how best to reach your target markets. As a franchise business owner, when you open your doors for business, you’ll have been coached and trained with what you need to know to hit the ground running so you can focus on selling instead of all the ins and outs of starting a business.
- You don’t have to figure out what to sell, how to sell it, or who to sell it to.
- In-demand products, services, and trusted vendors are already identified.
- Target markets are defined with detailed customer personas.
- Buyer-centric, coordinated national and local marketing strategies are in place to drive brand awareness.
- Most effective social media platforms to reach your customers are in place.
- You receive comprehensive training across every facet of the business, including product knowledge, sales techniques, installation, and best business practices and systems for running your business day to day.
- Support teams are a phone call away for help with sales, product, marketing, business systems, customer care, and IT.
Be an independent business owner supported by a national company
With HFC’s family of brands—Budget Blinds®, Tailored Living®, Concrete Craft®, and AdvantaClean®—you’re not on your own to establish a presence in the marketplace. You become part of a national company with widespread brand-name recognition and over 25 years of franchising success. The stability and size of HFC’s franchise network provide opportunities and resources not available to you outside such a network:
- You can plug into knowledge, experience, and industry secrets that would otherwise take years to learn.
- Your own local business benefits from the synergy of marketing efforts on a national scale you’d never be able to accomplish on your own.
- The strength of the whole franchise network allows for advantageous pricing for products and services through Home Office negotiated vendor alliances.
- Ongoing training continues for the duration of your franchise contract as products, markets, and customer habits evolve, all factors monitored by Home Office teams so all the brands stay cutting-edge and ahead of the competition.
If you’re interested in starting your own business, franchising with any of HFC’s home services brands may be the fastest and most supported route to business ownership. To find out if franchising is the right path for you, call 1-800-420-5374 today or go online to Home Franchise Concepts to learn more about franchise opportunities within the HFC network. Don’t delay, your future customers are waiting!