Explain the Target Audience
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By Stan Washington
Hard work and time spent working are great qualities to have, but those who have switched from having a job to operating a business are in for a rude awakening depending on being noticed for putting in the effort alone. The mindset of getting a performance appraisal for working hard gets replaced by fulfilling the needs of customers. Many entrepreneurs dive into their skill or talent by developing a feature of their business, hoping people will buy it. After long hours of hard work and lots of money spent, the exhausted entrepreneur then starts looking for a crowd. When he finds one, the crowd quickly turns away from the entrepreneur because he built a product or service that is slightly off the mark or doesn’t quite meet their needs. [b]Build it and they will come is the first mistake[/b] Assumption thinking gets many people in trouble. Assuming that people will need the product or service provided starts a business owner to dream of all the money she will make after she writes that book or finishes that website or gets that brand name. She is working from the myth that if she builds the business, using her own thinking and skills, then she will be able to sell to her target audience. She then invests an incredible amount of time and money building from her assumptions rather than from fact. Other entrepreneurs use the “copy it and they will come” method, trying to steal other successful ideas and make it their own. Both approaches are not GOD-centered. [b]Hidden fear of meeting people[/b] Building without consulting customers or copying someone else’s idea may be a sign of hidden fear. Working on a business feature before knowing the target audience will be detrimental to the business. You, the instructor of the GOD-Centered Business Framework, must guide the participants to seek the audience GOD sends them to. Remember the thankfulness exercise? Remind the participants that GOD gave him or her skills and talents to be used by HIM. GOD provides the target audience. The desire to serve a specific group of people enables the GOD-centered business owner to meet the needs of that group. GOD sets the location and the people. HE will stretch the entrepreneur to serve people who may not look or act like themselves. Since GOD provided the talent and the audience to the business owner, help your class feel confident to approach their customers to identify their needs. [b]Identify the needs first[/b] Before developing a feature of business, the GOD-centered business owner meets people to identify their needs. This is not as easy as it sounds, but meeting people with a purpose helps. Having a heart of thankfulness and prayer enables an organic discussion to occur between the GOD-centered business owner and the stranger, otherwise known as the potential customer. People have different needs. Some work late schedules, others have children or pets. How will you accommodate the variety of needs? How can one know the specific variety of needs without speaking to actual people. Again, copying someone’s idea is not good for the GOD-centered business owner. He may be copying a business that does not leverage their GOD given gifts and talents. While the business may work for one person it may not work for another. [b]List Specific People[/b] Writing names versus demographics is an important step. If the business owner cannot point to a specific conversation where a stranger asked for the product or service, then he will start guessing at their needs. Guessing works sometimes. As the old saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. But guessing what someone needs versus asking can cause the business owner to slightly miss what the true need is. Praying for those in need is a crucial step to teach your class. Next, I will discuss leadership styles.