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How to Spot Potential Customers When You're an Entrepreneur

How to Spot Potential Customers When You're an Entrepreneur

By Subhan AhmedPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
How to Spot Potential Customers When You're an Entrepreneur
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that one of the hardest parts of starting and running your own business is finding customers. If you don’t have enough customers, your business will fail—it’s as simple as that. But how do you find the customers who are actually willing to buy from you? Do you go to events, or try cold-calling potential customers? Do you set up an online store and hope for the best? Well, luckily, there are strategies that entrepreneurs can use to figure out their customer segments so they can find potential buyers easier and faster than ever before.

Do market research

Do market research

If you want to know what is needed, ask people who need it. Gathering feedback from potential customers is a crucial part of the planning process. It's the best way to figure out what people need and make sure your product or service will be successful. For example, if you think a lot of people would love to have homemade lemonade but they just don't know about it, do market research! Find out where lemonade stands in comparison with other beverages and explore reasons why people might not buy lemonade when they go grocery shopping. After that initial research, create a survey for future customers on which varieties of lemonade are their favorite as well as how often they drink it and why.

Use your resources

Potential customers are everywhere, but they can be hard to find. Here are some ways to spot them:

1) Network with other entrepreneurs - You'll find that the vast majority of successful entrepreneurs have relied on word-of-mouth and social media marketing. Building a strong network of like-minded people can help you discover potential customers in your niche. This networking will also make it easier for you get feedback on your idea and increase visibility of your startup by letting others share about it on their networks. Plus, there's nothing better than having an insider who knows how to introduce you to key influencers in your industry.

2) Listen closely - In a world where information is always at our fingertips through internet access, podcasting, videos and articles, there is still no better way to understand what people want than by listening closely to what they say. Pay attention not only to how much time someone spends talking about something or sharing certain content on social media, but also the tone and language used when discussing it.

3) Utilize referral programs - According to Business Insider nearly 80% of customers are willing to refer products and services as long as there's something in it for them--a coupon code or discount being one example.

Put yourself in their shoes

As an entrepreneur, you know how important it is to find your target audience. Think about the people that visit your social media page or the audiences you plan on pitching your idea to. The key is figuring out who they are and what drives them to take action. Once you know who they are, then it's easier for you to make a product or service that suits their needs. If you haven't done so already, get to know your customers by using a marketing research tool like SurveyMonkey. Create a survey with questions that will help you understand the wants and needs of your potential customers. Put together at least 10-15 different demographics that you think might be interested in your business.

What do they want? What are their motivations? What drives them to take action? Use these answers to help formulate an effective strategy for reaching out to these potential customers in the future.

Start small

One of the best ways for entrepreneurs to find potential customers is through interactions with their personal networks, who are typically receptive and supportive. Find more information about your company, connect on social media, or attend a local networking event where you might spot someone that you could potentially do business with.

The goal of this blog post is not just to say here's how, but also talk about the why and what works best for me as a small business owner. We'll give some resources at the end so feel free to share this with anyone looking for help in their own entrepreneurial journey!

For myself personally, I'm very open on social media and my website about my products.

Have fun with it

Entrepreneurs can feel torn when deciding whether or not to talk with customers because it means investing precious time, but if you don't get out there and talk with people about your idea, you'll never know whether it's a good idea or not. By getting in touch with the needs of potential customers, entrepreneurs can bring their ideas into fruition. In order to do this, entrepreneurs need three things: a survey, a list of questions for feedback and speaking skills.

A survey helps frame the question before you even start talking to someone about your product. Once you've got the groundwork laid, it's all about having the skill set to approach a stranger and get them interested in what you have to say. Start by introducing yourself and asking them what they think is wrong with society today. If they say that healthcare is too expensive, ask them how often they go to the doctor per year and then figure out how much that would cost without insurance- around $3,000 annually according to this Huffington Post blog post by Dr. David Goodman MD MPH PhD FACP PHD

The next step is figuring out why they think healthcare is so expensive? Do they think we should be spending more on research or are they just frustrated by high prices?

Know what you are selling

There are many ways that entrepreneurs find out who their potential customers are, but it's a bit like fishing in a barrel. If you know what you're selling, your target market is much easier to identify. Take dog treats for example: Dogs need something to eat and owners of dogs often have the wherewithal and cash flow to buy stuff for their four-legged friends. But there's still more that needs consideration. In this case, chocolate can be particularly good for the pooch, but what about the owner? Humans love things too so when there's a sweet delight on offer that not only pleases canine taste buds but also satisfies human ones too then you have a match made in heaven - at least from a marketing perspective.

Get out there!

If you're just starting out, one of the best ways to get in front of potential customers is to go where they are. Sales calls and networking events are great opportunities for meeting new prospects. Prospects also might come from referrals from your current clients, so take a moment before each call with them to ask if they know of anyone else who may be looking for what you provide. And keep your ears open when you attend industry conferences or other events that can help introduce you to new people who may become valuable partners or clients. For example, I had been attending a seminar on understanding social media platforms. One speaker mentioned that he had hired someone through LinkedIn to create graphics for his blog. So I introduced myself and asked him how his experience was working with this graphic designer and did he have any recommendations. His recommendation ended up being my newest freelance graphic designer!

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About the Creator

Subhan Ahmed

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