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Out of School

Targeting customers far from your college halls? Here's how to get them.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're in college, and you've come up with a brilliantnew product or service. The problem? Your target customersaren't your college classmates--rather, they're peoplelocated off-campus, who fall into a wider age range and lack thecollege mind-set. That presents a challenge: How do you target thisgroup?

Very deliberately and with plenty of market research to back itup, says Kathleen Allen, director of the TechnologyCommercialization Alliance at the University of SouthernCalifornia's Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies."You have to work harder to find the potential targetcustomer," she says. Use the same market research strategiesyou would to start any business, such as scouring industry tradepublications and talking to community business leaders. Allen alsosuggests using on-campus resources, from state-of-the-art librariesand computer labs to tips from your professors and advisors, whocan provide guidance on marketing outside the university.

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