It's a tough pill to swallow when we think about turning away money. The reality is, not every customer is the right customer.
When we started our business, we had an image of what our perfect customer would be like. Their age, income, and regularity within the walls of our business would play a huge roll in whether we failed or experienced massive amounts of success.
Then the day came when we opened our doors. We accepted any heartbeat who wanted to spend their money. No matter if they fit the mold of our perfect customer or not. The motivation to become a shining star in a dismal economy temporarily blinded our vision of the future.
Suddenly, you find yourself branded as the local teen or housewife hangout. While neither is bad for business, if that's not the image you were hoping for, it's insanely important that you make changes, and create a branding solution that fits. If you fail to take action, and correct your perception within the community, it is going to be very difficult for you to make changes once that demographic has been absorbed by your couch cushions.
Many businesses have made drastic changes in an effort to draw attention from a different set of eyes. While it's not impossible, morphing the perception of your business will prove to be the hardest entrepreneurial decision you ever had to make. Even scarier, the success rate is super low! Very few businesses have been able to pull it off. And those that have, experienced a social identity crisis for several years before the public started to embrace the change.
If your business is in need of a social facelift, here are three tips that will help you crank the wheel in the right direction.
1. Make sure your advertising reaches your desired audience.
If you choose to advertise in print, be sure that the customer you are trying to reach is actually reading that publication. Massive exposure of your ad does not result in a higher conversion rate! If you are trying to market your hand painted pig figurine business, spending money on an ad in Rolling Stone magazine is probably a waste of money.
Do some research, and find out what your customers love. The best site ever created for conducting narrowed niche research is none other than Facebook. Likes, shares, favorites, TV shows, movies, music, all of this info is available at your fingertips. The best part is it's FREE!
2. Brand yourself first.
As a new business on the block, you have complete control of how the public views your existence. Logo, colors, decoration, interior design all play a part in the type of people you attract.
When you sit down to design your logo, be sure the image conveys your desires, dreams, and aspirations. If you're trying to impress a younger crowd, then it's a good idea to design something a little crazy and "out of the box." If you want the calm, tranquil feeling of a health spa, then be sure to incorporate cooling colors, and flowing lines.
Just be sure that before you go slapping a logo on everything you own, that you are completely satisfied with the message your image conveys.
3. Share your vision.
Don't keep your description of the perfect customer a secret! When people ask you what your business is all about, be sure to describe in detail what you offer, and to whom you are looking to sell.
Even if the person asking the question doesn't fit the mold, they know someone that does. Word will spread, and you'll quickly experience an influx of repeat customers. It also appeals to the human desire to join a group. A sense of belonging emerges, and soon, you'll notice the existence of customers that frequent your location so often that they have assigned seats!
If you’re happy with your customers, they'll be happy with you! And a happy customer spends money.
Andy Sokolovich is the owner of small business marketing firm Bent Business Marketing. He can be reached at andy@BentBusinessMarketing.com.