Choosing Your Ideal Client
Starting up a small business can seem daunting, especially with all the initial start-up tasks. From a business plan to finances to determining the ideal client, this can all become overwhelming in the beginning. However, do not worry, because we have a few tips for you. Sit back, grab your favorite glass of wine and continue to read how we can make your life as a small business owner easier! Our plan is to address many of these start-up fears, but today we want to focus on sharing our process for identifying an ideal client. Selecting the right client for your small business upfront will give you a great jump start in preparing your business down the road in areas like branding, content creation and web design. It never hurts to be on top of your planning game, especially with the tasks you need to complete to push you in the right direction for you to solidify your business plan.
But, before we can dive into the process to identify your ideal client, you must have an established product or service. If you don’t already have a business idea implemented, STOP. You must first define your products and/or services before moving forward with the suggested guidance below. Defining your offerings from a customer's point of view is crucial, because if there isn’t a product or service, there can’t be an ideal client.
Whatever your business may be, there is a need for you in the industry!
Now that you have a definitive offering and have positioned it from your customer’s viewpoint, it’s time to think about your ideal client. First, let us define that phrase. An ideal client is someone who you offer your product or services to and the offerings are the exact solution for him or her. Since you are the expert about your small business, take your current offerings and think who would benefit from them the most. Are you a wedding photographer wanting to target newly engaged couples or are you an event planner for small parties and showers and planning to target pregnant or young, new moms? Whatever your business may be, there is a need for you in the industry!
Characteristics of your ideal client
You may wonder what you should be looking for in your ideal client. Below we shared a few characteristics and needs you should look for as you begin to think about your ideal client.
- An ideal client has an issue and your product or service can satisfy their need.
- An ideal client is loyal to your company with a high potential for him or her to return for repeat business.
- An ideal client will speak highly about your work to his or hers peers, family and friends.
- An ideal client will be willing to pay you for your services at your current price.
Your Potential Client
Now it's time to make a list of your potential clients.
List out all the potential businesses, people, categories and etc. who would benefit from your small business' offerings.
Along with the list above include the age range for each set of people. Think about your offerings, what age range makes the most sense? For example, a maternity photographer wouldn’t want their ideal age range 40-60 year old pregnant ladies, because most ladies are done having kids by then.
Now include your ideal gender. Will your products benefit ladies, men or both? This is just one benefit of knowing your services before determining your ideal client.
Your list is getting detailed but let’s continue. Now add their occupation and geography of where they live. You maybe comfortable having international clients or it may be best to keep within your country. Again, what makes most sense for your small business.
Finally, add any other items you may find valuable. Do certain values, morals, beliefs or other topics really pertain to your small business? If so, make sure to add these specific items to your list.
*Please note, the five steps above are not to discriminate, but it is very important you select your ideal clients. The only way to do that is to weed out the the groups not pertaining to your product or service.
ANALYZE YOUR FINDINGS
Okay, now that you have taken the time to make a list of all your potential ideal clients, analyze who will benefit from your offerings based off their needs. Does their need and your product and/or service match up? If so, highlight that category and move on. Once, this step is complete take a moment to review your findings. You should only have one specific description for your ideal client, but if you see there is a need for more then combine them. Now, is your list still way too big or does it showcase exactly who your ideal client should be? We’re guessing you’re not quite there, but if you are, congrats-you made it! It feels so good to have determined your ideal customer. However, if you still don’t feel 100% about your list, then read on.
Until this point, you have taken inventory of your product and/or services, analyzed the client's needs, aligned your offerings with those needs, and created a client list while weeding out the non contenders. There's one more task we would like advise you before moving on. Take your current list of potential ideal clients and reevaluate it. Do you want to interact and deal with different industries or do you prefer sticking to one or two industries? Do you want a variety of ages or do you want a specific range? Whatever the case maybe, now is your chance to put your own preference into selecting your ideal client. If you prefer to work with middle-aged women who have a knack for sewing, then choose them, or if you prefer to work with college-aged men choose them. Whatever you may decide, it all goes back to this one question. Whomever you decide is your ideal client, does your product or service satisfy their exact need? If so, you just determined your ideal client. From here, you can begin your next steps to building your small business.
Phew, you’ve made it! It’s not easy determining all of your ideal client attributes. However, it will be worth it as you continue to build your small business, because no matter your business’s focus, now that you have selected your ideal client, this will spring you forward in the right direction. Not only will it push you onto the next steps, but it will allow your focus to be on the fun and important items, branding your products and services. We might a little bias, but establishing your brand is one of the most important things you can do for your small business before launching. We’d love to talk to you more about this! Checkout our services or contact us with any questions you may have.
Oh and are you wondering who our ideal client is? Checkout our website and comment below if you think you know!
B&M Design Co is a boutique design studio from Dayton, OH. We design authentic brands for business owners to flourish. 🌿 We specialize in logo design, visual brand identity, web design and other design services. We know building a brand is not a simple task, so we want to extend an olive branch, a symbol of peace and victory to allow your brand to flourish.