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When you’re just starting out as a business, you might have lofty goals of selling to anyone and everyone. While this is a nice sentiment, it usually doesn’t shape up to be reality. It’s not impossible to have a product or service that appeals to many different people, but the fact often remains that you’ll have a few key demographics of customer who frequent your place of business. Identifying who these people are provides tons of benefits from knowing how to target your ads, where to advertise, and even how to improve your services based on the feedback you get. To get you to this point, here are three key tips you can use for finding your demographics.

1. People Watch

Probably the simplest way to identify who uses your business is to see what kind of people are currently buying from you. This works for both a physical store and an online storefront as you’ll have plenty of ways to learn information about your customers in either format. In general, seeing who your existing customer base is will help you to nail down the kinds of people who tend to use your kind of business. Once you’ve got a good idea as to who these people are, you can start to focus your efforts on attracting more people like them. It’s as simple as that.

2. Check the Competition

There’s a lot a savvy business can learn from their competitors. In this case, it’s seeing who’s going to the other guy to get the same thing you’re selling. Not only can you better understand your demographics this way, you can identify new demographics you may want to market to if you see people using a competitor’s business but not yours. It’s also helpful in more generally understanding what kind of shortcomings you may have if you try to figure out what another person’s store does better than yours. While this is most helpful when you look locally, doing these same kinds of assessments to businesses in other areas of the country or online can be just as illuminating. In fact, getting as many different perspectives on your industry is a great tactic for improving at what you do.

3. Understand the Demographics Data

Even if you’re able to collect demographic data on your customers, it won’t be of any use to you if you can’t interpret what it means. The simplest solution here would be to hire a marketing expert or a data analyst, but learning some of the basics for yourself is invaluable in its own right. The United States’ Small Business Administration has some great resources related to market research that can really help you understand what goes into collecting the necessary data as well as how to interpret it. To briefly summarize one of their main points, some of the things you should really be looking at when you collect data (especially as a whole) are the demand for your product or service, the size of the market, the income range of your customers, your business’ location, how saturated the market is, and your pricing.

Summing It Up

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do in order to get more customers is to be a good business that does quality work. That said, understanding who you’re selling to and how you can get more people like that to become regulars is also super helpful. If you’re struggling to grow your small business, try looking at these three key points to find the demographics that use your business so that you can better serve them. And if you’d like a little help with that, don’t be afraid to get in touch with me, Eric Elliott, for some expert branding, marketing, and advertising tips.

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