Who Are Your Customers
We laugh at the compliment that someone could "even sell ice in Alaska", but in fact, that is rarely true. No matter how good the ice, in some markets, it's a tough sell.
In their enthusiasm, entrepreneurs often fail to ask hard questions about who is going to buy their products, and whether there are enough customers willing to buy at a reasonable profit.
Some great products are simply no longer in demand. Buggy whips and horse blankets come to mind. Other products are highly prized, but are out of reach for most people – luxury yachts and private aircraft might be examples.
I believe Psychologists provide a tremendous service but many of the people in that profession are impacted by a perceived value. No one questions that most therapists are superbly trained, and that many people could benefit from their skills. The problem is price, availability and perception of value.
In a society where "talk is cheap", and there continues to be a bias against counseling, many therapists cannot fill their practices and make a living. Both the therapists, and our society,
suffer as a result, but from a business standpoint, the problem is clear.
Not enough customers value the service highly enough to buy it. Period.
As a business owner or manager, here are four questions you should ask at least once a year, or every time you review your business strategies:
1. Who, exactly, are my primary customers?
2. Where are they and how can I reach them?
3. Do they understand and need the benefits I provide?
4. Are there enough of them and will they buy at a price that permits a profit?
Unless you can answer these questions, the best products and services in the world will not be enough to make your business successful. Focus on the customer!