Continuing my periodic posts on my progress in the Right Brain Business Plan e-course, the next topic is determining your target market and finances.
Up to this point, we’ve discussed values and our business vision, the business self-portrait and the business landscape. However, now that you’ve got this great product or business idea, you have to think about who you’re selling to; your target market.
Unless your product or service is geared to a specific customer base, determining your target market requires a bit of educated guessing. Historically, I’ve known that women are my primary market. But which demographic of women?
Some areas to consider when determining your target market include the potential customer’s age, education, financial background, career, and location (urban/suburban/rural.) Those are the fairly straight-forward, easy to answer questions.
Then there are the demographics that might not be as easy to answer, such as shopping preferences, forms of entertainment, and likes and dislikes. We refer to those as the “I’m making up these answers” type of demographic questions.
As I started to write down the details about my ideal customer, I realized the description seemed to fit me. I guess it is good to know I might actually buy my own artwork. However, it is also important to stretch beyond the familiar.
To that end, I came up with two groups women for my target market:
The mid 20’s to 40 year old group
I’ve defined the 20-40 year old market as those entering their professional or career world, D.I.Y, Etsy or handmade nation supporters/creatives; supporters of the green movement, including recycling/up-cycling. They shop online and are technology savvy. They have an interest in art/craft and learning something new and would like to earn some money using their craft skills.
These women are making a name for themselves and are entrepreneurial. They enjoy social networking, social media and have an interest in self-care and holistic areas. They are primarily college educated. May be dealing with debt issues, especially student loans. This may effect what they buy and spend money on.
The 40’s to 70’s group
This target group is comprised, primarily, of college educated, professional women who are questioning the “next step” in their lives. They want to express themselves creatively but may not know how to access and express their creative muse. Therefore they are seeking guidance on creativity; how to be creative, how to make art/craft.
Within this group are those who will be or are empty-nesters, including active retirees. All of these women want balance and fulfillment and seek how to make meaning in their lives. For the most part, these women are comfortable in their own skin.
I put the two collages shown above in my Vision Book in an envelope titled “Target Market.” On the back of each collage I wrote down some of the demographics as listed above.
Playing With Numbers
After we determined our target market, it was time to look at the finances. (Or, as Jen puts it “Making the Moola.” Doesn’t that sound more fun?) Not always a pleasant task and probably the one area that many creatives hate to deal with. We like to bring in the money; it is the money going out that pains us.
Way back, I used to keep track of my finances with an Excel spreadsheet. As my business grew, I switched to Quickbooks. QB is great because you can generate a variety of reports, depending on your needs. This year I was better about setting a budget for those costs which are fairly static and for some expenses I knew were coming up this year.
However, setting financial goals and writing them down has never been my strong suit. We all have our issues with money; voices and impressions from childhood that stick with us. Another reason this has been difficult is the feeling (an excuse???) that I can’t make someone buy my artwork. So how could I possibly set a revenue goal?
However, with encouragement through the RBBP process, I set a financial goal for the year. Then I looked at all the areas where the business generates revenue, including 3 new areas that I’m pursuing this year, and determined the percentage of income each area needs to produce. In July, I will review these goals, see how I’m doing and determine the appropriate follow-up action.
How about you? Who is your target market? Have you set any financial goals for the year? How do the money ‘voices’ impact your progress?
Next: Creative cohorts and goal setting