By Alina Dizik
APRIL 15, 2013 – The better you understand your customer, the faster your business will grow. But new ventures often struggle to define their target market and set their sights too broadly.
“We often overestimate the market size, and in many cases there may not be one at all,” says Robert Hisrich, director of the Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz.
Here are 10 questions that can help you determine whether you have a target market and what it is:
Who would pay for my product or service?
First, try to understand the problem that your product or service can solve, says Greg Habstritt, founder of SimpleWealth.com, an Alberta, Canada-based advice website for small-business owners. Then, use that information to help determine who would be willing to pay for a solution. “Not only do [your potential customers] need to have the problem, but they need to be aware they have the problem,” Habstritt says. He recommends using Google’s keyword tool to see how many people are searching for words related to your business idea.
Who has already bought from me?
To refine both your target marketing and your pricing strategy, see who has already bought your product or service, says Amos Adler, president of Memotext, a medication compliance app maker in Bethesda, Md. You can gain valuable insights by releasing the product in a test phase and letting potential consumers speak with their wallets.