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Simpler,Easier and a lot Less Expensive

Growing = Knowing Your Audience

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When you think about growing your business, things like adding new products lines or expanding into new markets probably come to mind first. But there’s an important step you should take before leaping into any of those options.

“What we see over and over is companies that have not defined the audience they are trying to reach,” said Chrystal Neal, executive director of the Greater Richmond Small Business Development Center. “It sounds simple, but doing the research really makes a difference.”

Defining your customer base (or the group of customers you hope to reach) can help you with everything from product development to marketing because it allows you to learn more about them. “Find out the zip codes where they live, their incomes, their ages,” Neal said. “It can inform you on how to go about marketing to reach them.”

How do you find this kind of information? Look at resources like Nielsen’s segmentation research, the U.S. Census Bureau’s free data tools and your local library. You might even consider setting up your own online questionnaire to solicit information and feedback from your current customers. Even a small amount of research can yield valuable insights that will help you grow your small business.

To learn more about managing the growth of your small business, attend the Manta Trends webcast “Growth & Taxes: Expand Into Ecommerce.”