When you decide to take your company out of the rat race of competition and to focus on a specific market, you leave the competition behind.  Increase your success with more focus, clarity and strategy.  One of those steps is to clarify what target market you are developing or expanding into.  Once you identify that group, then comes the strategy followed by implementation.

Target MarketOver the last 14 years of my business UltraClean offering multiple services has had to have many streams of lead generators.  Some of those require relationship building with a business development person and others are forms of paid advertising.  We’ve had subscriptions to online lead generators, memberships to organizations that charge you per lead, event building to generate relationships and brand building advertising.  The list goes on and on. In order to market our small business to our community we’ve had many types of sales and marketing strategies.  They all require time, money and many don’t produce results.

Developing a target market allows you to narrow your focus.  In our business we offer one service, water damage restoration.  Narrow it down even further, we provide emergency response and structural drying for water damage in residential homes and commercial buildings.  Now that we have defined our service we need to define our client.

In a residential home market I ask the question “who would the homeowner call first?”.  Some would call a plumber or their insurance agent, friend, family, neighbor, contractor or their 1-800 claims insurance company number.  Then I look who I can target out of that group, develop the strategy and then focus on getting results.

The friend, family or neighbor would be mass marketing so that would be to hard to get them to know our company and then for them to remember us when the service need is there.  The insurance company 1-800 claim number will go to a franchise who has low price vendors performing their work, so there isn’t any opportunity there for a local contractor.  A contractor in a high end community may be the go to person for the homeowner who relies on their contractor as the go to person.  Targeting a contractor would be easier, but the results that they would provide may not be cost effective.   That leaves us a plumber and an insurance agent.  There are lot’s of plumbers and insurance agents.  Some agents care about who serves their clients and will refer directly the contractor to their client.  At the same time there are lot’s of plumbing companies that may get that first call.  Decide who you want to target that your company will work well with.

There need’s to be a match.  To develop a referral source you must understand their demographic and target market.  If an agent or a plumber works on price only, then chances are the client they are serving will be price orientated.  Many times these will be your more difficult clients, consume more of your time and cost more because they are expecting a deal.  Leave these for your competition, low profitable customers aren’t worth the time.  It’s ok to not focus on getting every available project just focus on the right ones.

We just identified identifying the right referral source that will get you to the end consumer of your services.  The next question for us is how do we develop a relationship with those that they turn to so that we can then have them refer us.  Developing a strategy and executing is where those that succeed in small business grow their business.

Break out of the rat race from your competitors and focus on a specific market.  In the example that I’ve used, narrowing who you want to focus on that will produce enough volume for your company is crucial to maintaining the level of revenue your business needs to stay profitable.  Any business that has too many focuses on lead generation can get caught up in not maximizing the return on any of them.  Find your target market, then generate all your resources to building that specific source to produce for you.

Once your target market is producing the results you want then look for another target market.  If you don’t focus on maximization on one before starting another you won’t get the results that you’re looking for.  The key to getting results is your execution, a strategy that isn’t strong can still have results if you put the action to start it and keep with it.  Develop your target market and become the company that they turn to, become a trusted partner, you will get results.  Experience the freedom of breaking away from the competition by dominating in your small profitable target market.

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