Written In Stone

I. Know your audience

Ask some entrepreneurs who their customers are, and they'll reply with an enthusiastic "EVERYONE!" Although some markets are broader than others, no company in the world markets to "everyone." You need to be aware of whom, specifically, you expect your customers to be. Begin listing their characteristics: Are they from a certain area? Are they affluent or do they make an average income? Are they married? The customers you want to attract should fit the profile of your "ideal" customer--those people making purchases at levels that are most profitable to, or best serviced by, your business. As you group your target audience members into categories, you'll start to see the types of marketing vehicles that work best to reach them.

Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the July 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Written In Stone.

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