In any business venture, you will need customers in order to be IN business. Anybody can start a business – even tomorrow – but without the promise of a customer (in fact, a lot more than one), the chances of succeeding long-term are slim to none.
When you were growing up, you had needs. You were hungry, so your parents fed you. You were cold, so you were given clothes to wear. You needed support and encouragement, and your family and friends supported you and gave you the love and social interaction that we as humans need. So, how is this relevant to your business?
In one sentence, here it is.
** If you are not satisfying a need, you will make little to no sales – period **
If you are in the process of starting your business, you can research a category, idea or product on the internet very easily. There are websites that you can visit that will help you find out how many people were looking for a particular piece of information, according to the number o times a certain keyword search or phrase was used. A popular and well-used site for this is the Overture Yahoo! Keyword Search tool, found at the following URL:
By typing in a keyword or phrase, such as mustang car parts, you will be presented with the results for the previous month. For July 2011, a total of 1016 searches were done for this term on the Yahoo search engines.
What this tool doesn’t do is show you the searches in Google and other major search engines. But it does give you an idea of the potential customers for your product, and helps to highlight potential need in a product or service. The higher the number of searches, the higher the potential for sales.
Another great way to find out what your customer’s needs are is to ask them. You can do this in person, over the phone, by email or in the mail. This is great for all types of businesses – online and offline. You can also ask other questions that will help you in growing your business. Questions such as what products they would prefer, how much they would pay for them, and how they go about finding the information for that product. This information is invaluable when you are putting together your business and marketing plans.
Starting, growing and expanding your business is often portrayed as a complex process. Honestly, some of the stages are. But the part that truly matters – whether you are making sales or not – is whether you are meeting the needs of your customer. If the answer to that is yes, then your next stage is to let your customer know you exist.
By finding out what need they have and filling it, you will have a product that will interest them when they find you.