Entrepreneur Library

How to Find Your Target Market

How to Find Your Target Market

By Samantha Garner, GoForth Institute


Does a market for your product or service exist? Is it big enough and sustainable enough that your business becomes profitable? Small, scattered, unpredictable or unstable sales spell early doom for many small businesses. There’s a lot to know and understand about your potential customers. The better you know them, the better you can meet their needs and solve their problems.

Use primary or secondary market research to get information about your target market. Primary methods are often more accurate, but secondary methods are less costly and less time-consuming.


Elements of a target market analysis

  • Customer demographics
  • Customer geographics 
  • Customer psychographics
  • Customer behaviours 
  • Market size
  • Market need
  • Market communication
  • Competitor evaluation
  • Volume
  • Prototype feedback


How to understand your target market

  • Complete one definition for each of the market segments you can identify.
  • Define your customers in terms of type (consumer or business), demographics, psychographics, behaviours, and geographic location.
  • What are the unsatisfied needs of this market that your product or service would fulfill?
  • How many of each of these target market customers would be in the area(s) where you wish to sell?
  • How much would they pay for your product or service? How much would they buy?
  • Why would customers buy your product instead of a competitor’s?


Once you’ve got a fairly good idea of who your customers are, narrow down your list into customer segments. Then, pick one segment you can catch and forget all the others until you’ve got that initial target in the bag. Don’t waste your time and money chasing customers randomly and frantically. It takes time, but focused customer research is a worthy investment for your business!


Samantha Garner is GoForth Institute's Director, Communications.  Contact Samantha by email: samantha@goforthinstitute.com

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