Tips to Identify and Attract Your Ideal Customer

January 04, 2024

When running a small business, one of the top priorities of any owner is attracting customers. With customers, their companies will thrive and succeed. Have you ever heard of a successful business with no customers?

Small business owners, however, should resist the temptation of assuming every consumer is their dream customer. When they do, they target everyone and often need to work on forming strong connections with consumers who need their products or services. They can expect them to return to do business with them repeatedly.

A car mechanic, for example, would have little success targeting people who do not have or use a car. Instead, they would have much more success focusing on those who have cars as they will be the individuals needing their services. It would be a waste of time and resources for the mechanic to attempt to attract people who primarily use public transportation. Therefore, by identifying consumers with vehicles as their ideal clients and cultivating relationships with them, they create loyal customers needing their products and services.

However, when it comes to identifying one’s dream customer, it is not always that simple. Small business owners must take time to think about the key characteristics that make up their ideal clients.

Here are six questions small business owners should ask themselves to help them define their dream customers:

1. What is their age and gender?

This is one of the most straightforward questions small business owners will ask themselves when identifying their ideal clients. However, it is only sometimes the easiest to answer. Some businesses may target people of many ages and gender identities, while others may only target a few. For example, a laser hair removal company would primarily target women over the age of 18. However, small business owners must be aware there will always be some things that could be improved in their customer bases. For example, the laser hair removal company may find some men who want to obtain their procedures and those under 18. Small business owners need to think broadly when answering these questions. They may want to consider the characteristics defining the most significant percentage of their customer base.

2. What is their income?

While this may be an uncomfortable question for small business owners to consider and ask themselves, ensuring they genuinely identify their ideal clients is essential. Deciding the appropriate income for their customers is imperative to ensure they can successfully and consistently pay for their products and services. Business owners do not want to target individuals who cannot afford their products and services over the long run. By targeting those who will be able to do so for an extended period, small business owners help cultivate a customer base of loyal consumers whom they can rely on.

3. Where do they live?

When contemplating who their ideal client is, small business owners should also consider where they would live. This is important as it primarily impacts consumers’ access to their businesses. Furthermore, small business owners should consider if they can reasonably only serve customers locally or those who are out of town. If they can serve customers remotely or ship their products to them, their dream customers may live in a larger radius than they would if they could not. Also, small business owners should identify dream customers who live in locations where their products or services would be needed. For example, it would make little sense for a company that sells snow tires to target consumers who live in Florida, where it does not snow. Therefore, where consumers reside greatly influences the small businesses they will loyally support.

4. What do they do for a living?

Small business owners should also identify what their dream customers do for a living. This will help them identify their need for their products and services and how easy they will be to afford them. For example, a company that sells suits for the workplace will want to market to the right demographic, including job title or industry. Therefore, it is incredibly imperative for small business owners to consider this information. It will help them identify the characteristics of their ideal clients and the breadth of their occupations.

5. Do they have a family?

Another question a small business owner should ask themself, which is often overlooked, concerns their ideal client’s familial status. Are they a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or cousin? Their relationships with their family members could significantly impact whether or not they are a small business owner’s dream customer. For example, a company that sells maternity clothes would consider not only their dream customer to be a pregnant woman but also their partner and close family members who may buy apparel for her. Therefore, it benefits small business owners to reflect on their ideal client’s family as their family members greatly influence their purchasing decisions and may be ideal clients due to these relationships.

6. What are their interests?

Small business owners can also pinpoint their dream customers by reflecting on their interests. They want to consider their activities during their free time and understand their interests. The more information that can be gathered will allow them to understand their prospective customer better to cater to their needs.

Furthermore, small business owners can better understand this by contemplating who or what types of accounts they follow on social media. For example, do they follow and interact with specific influencers or accounts that focus on a particular topic for their business? Or do they generally follow and interact with family members and friends? Also, small business owners may find defining where their dream customers get their information helpful. They should consider not only what media they use to do so, such as the TV, newspaper, or magazine, but also which outlets they enjoy, such as NBC, the Food Network, Cosmopolitan, or Esquire. Identifying their ideal clients’ interests will give small business owners a more holistic understanding of them and strategies for better connecting with them.

For small business owners setting out to identify their dream customers, the process may initially seem overwhelming. They may ask themselves, “How can I possibly identify every quality or trait of my ideal clients?”

However, they must remember it is about more than precisely pinpointing every detail that makes up every target customer. Instead, small business owners should strive to create a spectrum of qualities they may have. Furthermore, they should remember that only some customers will possess all the traits they identified. They may only have a few.

Identifying one’s ideal client is about better understanding the individuals who will be attracted to a small business’s products and services and return to purchase them repeatedly. Small business owners can simplify the identification process by asking themselves these questions. Build strong connections with their dream customers in no time.

PaySmart is a payroll provider in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, supporting small businesses in the Central PA region. We are dedicated to helping small businesses take care of their payroll needs. To learn more about how PaySmart may provide payroll solutions, please get in touch with us at 717-766-1777. Our New Client Concierge is waiting for you!