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Find the Target Market for Your Micro-Entrepreneurial Business

The target market for your micro-entrepreneurial business is the people whom you specifically choose to communicate to about what you have to offer. To start figuring out who your target market is, first look at what you have to offer, and ask what need or want your product or service will fill.

You can approach a target market from two different angles: You create a product/service first and then you seek a target market, or you find a target market first and then find suitable a suitable product or service to offer to it. This article focuses on those who have something to offer and need to find a target market.

A good tool to help you find your target market is an approach called the grid of possibilities, which helps you organize your thoughts and zero into your target market.

The Grid of Possibilities for Selling Gift Baskets
Event Married Couples Engaged Male Business Client Additional Identified Client
Valentine’s Day Might purchase if it creates a special at-home night Baskets that say “I love you” with flowers and candy? Do advertising at a male-oriented website in late January Not applicable to business And so on
Anniversary Might purchase a basket with flowers from their wedding. Market at wedding-related sites Not applicable Not applicable to business And so on
Birthday Might purchase basket of gifts for wife, husband, or child Might purchase basket of perfume, jewelry, flowers for girlfriend Send client a gift basket on his birthday And so on
Christmas Moms like baskets for everyone on the list. Advertise about sending a gift to mother-in-law Contact small businesses in November about sending a basket to their best customers And so on

The following walks through this table to help you understand how you can use it in your attempt to identify your target market. In this example, say that you sell gift baskets. You need to figure out who wants the gift baskets and why. Look to see what the reasons are for someone to buy gift baskets. Follow these steps to use the grid of possibilities:

  1. At the top of the grid, put in each box a particular type of client who would want your product.

    For instance, in the first box, you can add married couples. In the second box, you can add an engaged male. In the third box, you can put in another type of client, and so on.

  2. In the side boxes, add the reasons why someone would buy your product or service.

    Since it’s likely that someone would purchase a gift basket for a particular holiday or event, in this example, in the first box, add “Valentine’s Day”; in the second box, add “Anniversary”; in the third box, add “Birthday”; and so on.

  3. Wherever those boxes intersect, add a statement that explains the rationale that type of customer would have for buying your product or service.

    Examine why a certain customer would buy the product. For this example, would a married couple buy a gift basket for Valentine’s Day? Which type of customer would buy a gift basket for someone on an anniversary or birthday or for someone at Christmas?

  4. Fill in all the boxes and wherever you find the most compelling case for a particular customer along with a compelling reason for buying, make that a marketing campaign you will implement.

    Find ways to make the marketing connection in that situation. Do a search for those websites, groups, forums, and so on where the potential buyer (your target market) is and see how you can get them to view your message or advertisement.

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