Do you know who your customers are?

What type of customer do you want?

“Those are not the kind of customers I want”

A close friend asserted this intention, as she was verbally mapping out details of her new business venture. I admire her conviction. She knows what she wants.

But what if it doesn't go to plan?

What if, despite all her efforts to reach a particular niche, she attracts an entirely different market? I'm sure, in that case, she wouldn't abandon ship. But the mistake one could potentially make in this situation would be to continue trying to cater only for your original “goal market”.

Of course, if you've somehow grabbed the attention of a different market, there’s likely an overlooked need that has these customers coming to you. How is this case? Was the business plan and market research complete? Maybe; maybe not. But this shouldn't mean a business leader overlooks the unexpected result entirely as these sales and customer relationships are valuable.

Rather, the question becomes, “how do I continue to act in accordance with my business goals and values, while trying to meet my unexpected market on their level?”

This is where you want to take a bit of time to research your new, unexpected market. How did your customers find you? Why did they find you? What do they do? What do they like? If you don’t know the answers or can’t find them, that’s perfectly acceptable - ask your new customers. This provides a great opportunity to connect with them.
Next, updates to business plans, can make all the difference in customer experience for your new market – the customer will notice when you are catering to them.
You may wonder: should I update your plans, goals, vision, in accordance with your original blueprint, or adapt to those who have chosen you? This decision is yours to make but consider the drawbacks of missing both markets by not fully embracing your unexpected market while potentially never quite reaching your intended market.

When was the last time you considered re-wording your marketing and communication, to be more accessible to your market, for example?


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