Where the audience for my business comes from
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By Stan Washington
After spending a tremendous amount of time and effort, a client of mine came to me, let’s call him Bruce, although this is not his real name. “Do you think I can sell this to Women over age 30?” was his unfortunate question. He equated the length of time and the money he spent on building his product or service as a rite of passage of some sort. “I have worked hard and spent a lot of money on this” was his story behind his business. He never once mentioned the people he was supposed to serve. [b]Target Audience[/b] Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of choosing a demographic versus a target audience. A demographic is a segment of the population. Ask yourself, “Can I serve the entire population of that [color=#111111][size=2][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]demographic [/font][/size][/color]right now, with the resources I currently have?” The answer for most entrepreneurs would be “No.” So what should the audience be? The one GOD defines for you. The target audience is a specific group of people GOD sends you to or sends to you. HE always has specific people in mind when HE gives you, the GOD-centered business owner, an assignment. Ask yourself, "If money were not an issue, would I serve this audience?" In other words, does the amount of money you have change the audience you serve? Would you serve an audience that was not as wealthy or powerful simply because they needed your product or service and are willing to pay for it? Since GOD looks at the heart, HE can see if you mean well versus doing what you said you would do when you committed to being GOD-centered. [b]Primary Purpose of the Audience[/b] GOD has a funny way of getting HIS message heard. HE sent numerous men and women to specific people to share HIS message of love and sometimes correction so all can be saved. One very memorable person is Jonah. GOD caused a large fish to swallow and deliver him to the people he was running away from. (Jonah 1:17). As mentioned in a previous article named “Where the vision for my business comes from” I mention there is not a need for you, the GOD-centered business owner, to become a pastor unless called to do so. GOD wants people who are not ashamed to mention the name of JESUS. Conversely, HE will be ashamed of those who are ashamed to speak about HIM. [i]Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:6 (NIV)[/i] Selecting a product or service without GOD can be detrimental to the business because the choice may be made from a path GOD wants to remove you from. If, for example, the business owner is a greedy person, then the target audience he chooses may not be the one GOD’s message will be heard. The GOD-centered business owner listens to GOD for the audience, location and size of the business. GOD is the center of the choice, versus answering the question, “How much can I make from these people?” When the GOD-centered business owner surrenders the audience choice to GOD, she becomes more open to hearing the needs of the audience. The product or service is then adjusted to fill the audience’s need versus trying to search for an audience as an afterthought. GOD’s message can be heard from those willing to be sent. [b]Target Location[/b] When GOD chooses the location, it may not be your first choice, but it will provide the fruit GOD is looking for. JESUS went to lesser traveled places to meet the needs of the people . HE broke racial boundaries to go to areas looked down on by everyone else. HE spoke to a woman at a well and met her needs. She, in turn, brought the entire town to HIM so they could have a relationship with HIM, see (John 4:4-26). She did this because of her excitement over JESUS’s forgiveness. HIS impact in that location was fruitful. [b]Target Business Size[/b] Many entrepreneurs work alone. This is not a problem, but was this decision ever run by GOD first? The willingness to have GOD stretch you to handle partners and employees should be up to HIM. Some people who have partners and employees should not until he or she has matured. If she lacks compassion, is lustful and abrasive, her customers and employees will feel a negative impact. If he is able to hear from GOD, then he will allow GOD to dictate the size of the business to serve HIS purpose. By allowing GOD to choose a specific audience, location and size, then the business will thrive . Next I will speak from the facilitator’s perspective of the GOD-Centered Business Framework class.