Imagine there was only one person you could sell your stuff to. Just one. And you could clone that person enough times to make your new business profitable forever. Who would that person be?
I design business plans around the Ideal Customer. Being able to visualize and define that customer makes everything about business planning easier. The more you know about who you want to sell to, the easier it is to make decisions about how to price your product, what marketing campaigns to use, whether you need a physical store or not, and so much more.
No, it’s not the conventional approach to writing business plans (but the conventional approach is a waste of time).
You will never reach every potential customer in your target market. You can’t. For some reason or another, a lot of people in that group will just not learn about you, or they won’t respond to you. That’s okay; it’s what you want. Knowing your target market is important, but that’s still too many people to effectively market to. Writing a business plan that talks about your target market in general terms doesn’t help you at all. You’re never going to go back and read that. Because it’s simply not relevant enough. Once you start your business, you’ll be too focused on a way smaller group of customers to bother thinking about the size of your target market any more.
That’s one reason why no one goes back and reviews a business plan after they’ve written it. A business plan becomes irrelevant really fast if all you do is chime on about target marketing without really being able to visualize a real person you can sell to.
So how do you focus your business plan on your ideal customer?
The first step is figuring out who that person is. And because your business only has one customer, that customer better be damn perfect for you in every way. From their age to the city they live in, from their preference for a matcha latte every morning at 8 am to their unwavering commitment to volunteering at rehabilitation centres – this customer is unquestionably the one person who would definitely buy from you.
The key is never to stop asking questions about who your ideal customer really is. She will surely change and evolve over time, and so will your business; that’s why you have to keep asking the questions. With a business plan that clearly describes your one perfect customer, it’s so much easier to envision how that person would like to interact with your business. So you can plan your company to attract her, and people just like her.
Once you start communicating with your ideal customer – even if that person doesn’t exist in real life – your message will start to resonate with people who are somewhat like her. They are close enough to her that they’ll love your business, too. And they’ll buy from you. They’ll buy the experience you’re offering. And keep coming back for more.
That sounds a lot more exciting than “target market research”, doesn’t it?
Now, if you want to get deeper into learning about your ideal customer and designing a plan around them, you’ll want to be part of Rebellious Business Planning. The interest list is open right now and those lucky people are getting a bunch of freebies. So why not sign up? The program might just be perfect for you…if you’re like my ideal customer.