You know you have the perfect product or service, you’ve got some clients, but you’re having problems taking your business to the next level. And you’re wondering why.
Maybe you’re not fishing where the fish are or maybe you’re trying to be all things to all people and you’re so busy trying to provide every service in the book that you’re run ragged and too tapped out for real growth.
When you first start your business, any business seems like a good idea. Any customer with a pulse and a wallet will do. And yes, cash flow is king, but any customer is not necessarily the best thing for your business. Here’s why.
Only the ideal customers/clients will see real value in what you sell, pay on time, sing your praises to other potential clients just like them and actually be great for you to work with. And let’s face it, as business owners, we spend so much time at work, we might as well have fun whilst we’re there.
So how do you get to define your ideal client? First, you have to put aside the notion that all your best clients are totally unique. They’re not. There will be similarities – you just have to find them.
5 steps to distil ‘ideal-ness’.
- To define your ideal client, it’s important that you define your business first. Because there really is no point in trying to find out who your ideal client is if you don’t know what your business is truly about. What exactly is the good or service you are offering? For example – a shoe store – doesn’t sell shoes. It sells foot protection, retail therapy, walking/exercise comfort, happiness, first date confidence, excitement, outfit perfection – or a combination of any of those. Once you understand what your business really does, it will give you the focus to find out who your ideal client really is.
- Let’s enter the past now. Have a look at your past clients and think about which clients you enjoyed working with the most and why. Brainstorm some words that could be used to describe one: fun, positive, experienced, goal-oriented, passionate, driven, crazy, committed, decisive, hands-off, etc. Try to be as descriptive as possible so that you can get a clear picture of who that person is. Then do the same for the top 10 clients you love working with.
- Once you have made a descriptive list of the clients you enjoyed working with the most, take a little look at the characteristics they share. Do they work in a certain geographic area? Are their companies from the same industry?
- Now you need to review what their common problem was. Why did your product/service work for them? What challenges and fears do they have in common? Once you truly understand what problem many of your clients have, it can allow you to focus your business, so that you are able to offer them the solution that greater fits their needs and wants.
- And finally we get to numbers – how much are they spending with you. Look at each sale, project and then over a quarter, a year and then however long they’ve been a client. Look for similarities across the group. (NB: Don’t be tempted to put people on to your ideal list just because they bring in cash if you really don’t like working with them – they are NOT your ideal client.)
After you have a greater understanding of what many of your best clients have in common, you will be able to create a picture of who your ideal client is. Once you know that, it will make it a lot easier for you to know who you should market to, what to say to them and how to reach them.
It isn’t easy to just say, everyone, is my client and have a loosely defined target client if you’re able to offer a solution to a certain set of clients you may find yourself creating beneficial long-term relationships with many of your clients. Knowing exactly who your ideal clients are and how you can focus your efforts towards them is extremely more effective.
PS: if you’re wondering who our ideal client is – it’s a business owner who’s most likely been in business for a couple of years or who’s come straight from corporate and is used to being able to pick up the phone and have things just happen for them (like IT problems sorted, meeting arrangements made, phone calls looked after). They love their business and in fact, they’ve probably set out to change the world (at least in the eyes of their clients) through their business offering. Last and by no means least, they’re interested in growing their business and finding ways to get more done each day with limited time.
Now that you know who your ideal client is (and ours), if we can help you move your business grow by helping you find more time in your day to achieve your business dreams, by taking care of answering your phone, doing admin or organising your next meeting, you can call us on 9994 8000 or drop us a note.