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Growing Your Biz by Reaching More Customers

Want to start catering to a new demographic? Here's how.

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This story appears in the February 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Tiffani Kim noticed female customers of Tiffani Kim Institute Medical.Spa bringing in husbands and boyfriends, she started reaching out to the male market. After renaming men's manicure/pedicure treatments "sports buffs," instituting couples' nights to encourage women to introduce men to the Chicago spa and otherwise exploring the new demographic, Kim, 47, reports that a significant portion of the 80-person company's revenue now comes from men. "It will never be like the women's spa business," Kim says. "But it has gotten to be a good 30 percent of the business." To bring your company's offerings to a new demographic market, consider these tips.

1. Do no harm. "Don't expand in such a way that it's going to get you hurt," says Clarkson University marketing professor Larry Compeau. Appealing to a new demographic requires changing something about your offering. Before doing it, make sure the changes won't alienate the customers who got you where you are. Retail businesses should be especially aware of how a new group of patrons can change the experience for existing customers. Kim clearly had to make sure that having increasing numbers of men in her spa didn't turn it into a boys' club.

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