We all understand the concept of a niche market-you need to satisfy a specific need or desire for a customer and the more specific that customer is, the more likely you are to succeed in small business or as an entrepreneur. So, how do define your ideal customer?

It’s best to focus on what you know well. If you start off as an expert in your industry it is easier to leverage your experience and knowledge later on as your business expands. Focus on customers you know personally, either because you’ve worked in the industry or because you’ve served it in some manner.

Who do you want to support? Michael Port explores this in Book Yourself Solid, calling your ideal client your “red velvet rope” client…the people who energize you, the ones who make you excited about serving them are your ideal clients.

Of these people you want to support, who has a specific need or desire that you can fulfill? This is why it helps to have a throrough understanding, preferably based on some type of personal experience, of the industry you want to serve. Spend some time with this group to find out where their “pain points” are. Ask lots of questions about what it would take to make their life easier or more enjoyable.

What’s your USP (unique selling proposition)? By definining, for yourself and team, why potential customers would want to do business with you specifically, you more easily narrow down who those people are that will want or need your services or products.

For a business to truly take off you need to define your market, but market is a vague term. By definining your ideal customer instead, you are more clearly laying the path for success in your future business.


by Steven Schlagel