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The Five Necessary Steps

Donald LaPlume

22 March 2020

8 out of 10 business start ups go out of business in the first 18 months. Even fewer turn a profit in this period of time. Assuming your pricing model is structured as a win-win as described in part 1 of this blog, each sale is profitable, we need enough customers to make the business profitable. So how do we get enough customers to turn a profit and continue to grow that customer base?

Step 1.
Write out your description of your bread and butter customer along with your ideal customer. These were defined in part one of this blog.

Step 2.
Write out why each of 2 types of customers like and purchase your product or service. Not from your perspective, from theirs. Many business owners look at their product or service and think because it is what they do that they know how everyone SHOULD want it. There are many books on personalities types, often broken down into 4 up to 16 key types. I keep it simple here and stick with the core 4 – The Helper, The Life of the Party, The controller and The Engineer Types. They each look at a product or service through different eyes. Looking at your product or service through only your eyes could exclude up to 75% of potential customers.

(Even if you have been in business for years and profitable, if you never did step 2 it could change your business prospects forever to complete the step.)

“8 out of 10 business start ups go out of business in the first 18 months… So how do we get enough customers to turn a profit and continue to grow that customer base?”

Step 3.
Now that you know who your key customers are what is important to them its time to locate them. Write out the follow answers:  Where do they hang out, who do they associate with, what forms of social media do they use, do they read reviews before buying, do they research before buying?

Step 4.
Now it’s time to write out how to reach your ideal along with your bread and butter customers. Will social media do the trick, how about live events, maybe they enjoy playing mobile games or just maybe they can be found  hanging out with friends?

Step 5.
Now we get down to dollars and cents – I can assure you there are many ways to reach your ideal or bread and butter customers. The questions are, which way do you target first? What is the most cost effective way to begin to get traction? Should I choose multiple avenues all at once? Let me caution you, many people often try to spread their limited resources over several options hoping one will work. If you have a full service agency assisting you and the budget to start with multiple marketing avenues that is great. By performing the steps above you already have a good idea on where to start. However, and this is the caution. If your budget is limited and/or you are doing the marketing yourself I recommend you start with only one avenue. Pick the one you believe will get the most bang for your buck and focus on that avenue until it is profitable or proves it won’t work.

Once you find one that is working well and profitable then have it automated. Yes, there can be a cost in paying someone else to do it but this will free you up to test the next avenue. As business owners we are used to wearing many hats but we can only spin so many plates effectively at one time.

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