Unlocking Business Social Success: Essential Questions for Small Business Owners to Answer to Better Understand their own Services, Offers, and Target Demographic
Everyone is looking for new ways to sell sell sell, but I propose that the best possible way to build, grow and scale your business is to be consistent in the mundane. Niche down your offer / ideal client - that is where the ✨magic✨ happens!
Whether you're fully prepared to answer these questions at your next networking event, or you're put on the spot while you're out and about and an organic conversation about your business comes up - having the answers to these business questions will help you appear confident, collected, and worth a second thought!
**NOTE : this might be my shortest blog post ever, but it is important information that deserves a permanent spot on the web! Ok, here we GO -
For your business to thrive you need to understand your business, customers and target audience. Here are 20 questions to KNOW the answer to:
1. What is the name of your business?
This seems obvious, but its ironically not. Many people have a DBA (doing business as) title that is their url, social handles, etc. When you're telling someone your business' name, make sure it is one that they can easily remember / find again later!
2. What products or services does your business offer?
Have your offerings, products or services clear in one sentence or less. Bold, to the point, and HELPFUL.
ex. "We transform your home with our professional interior design services that bring your unique vision together with style and functionality"
3. Who is your target audience or ideal customer?
Now is the time to niche, niche, niche, NICHE! The more details in your ideal client description the better. Having a unique niche makes it easier for everyone to see what sets you apart.
4. What age group does your target audience belong to?
This is important to identify, because what speaks to one generation will usually not speak to another. Also, while financial stability is very possible in all generations, it's also important to determine WHERE the money that you are asking them to spend on your business is coming from. Their own small business? Their corporate job? Their trustfund? Their spouse? All key information for future marketing.
5. Where are your customers located? Do you have a specific geographic focus?
Of course if you are a local small business, it's important to know your geographic focus! And if you, like IMG, have services that are virtual - the best place to get the ball rolling is with your own community first. I'm not concerned with marketing to people in Pennsylvania, but I love networking with people in Washington, Idaho & California where I have lived!
Also, knowing where your target demographic lives is essential information in determining their spending habits, what cultures are influencing them, etc.
6. What are the primary interests or hobbies of your target audience?
Again, VALUABLE information to know! This is how you organically meet people and get that word of mouth spreading. It's also how you learn how to market to them more directly in your website, email campaigns, special offers!
7. Are your customers predominantly male, female, non-binary or a mix? What is their political belief? What is their religious belief?
These kinds of answers provide more information on how you should be marketing your offers. The energy you want to attract is what you should be putting out.
8. What are the common challenges or pain points your customers face that your business can solve?
Oooh this is a juicy answer to have!! Pain points are where you come in and save the day. And I know your small business is doing just that for your community whether you are service or product based! Here is an example -
You run a spa / fitness / wellness industry oriented business - you are melting the stress off your customer after their hard week at work dealing with their jerk-of-a-corporate boss who has no idea what is actually going on (yet gets paid more than they do), five nights of crazy kids who refuse to eat the dinner they were made, and the mother-in-law that dropped in unannounced to the chaotic home that hasn't been cleaned in two weeks.
How is that for pain points that you can relate to??
Knowing those pain points helps you create an experience (or advertisement) peaceful retreat the second they walk in the door. You help them feel better inside their own bodies - whether that is with a physically exertive service like Pilates or laying down for a luxurious 90 minute massage!
9. How does your business stand out from competitors in your industry?
Unless you're in insurance, I'm not a huge fan of the word "competitor" anymore when it comes to industries. An industry is really a big community of people who have different skills and techniques for their field. I've had many web designer friends over the years that refer work back and forth based on a clients needs, and we've all grown as friends in the industry together!
The better question to ask here, is what is YOUR secret ingredient? What makes you, YOU? Because there will always be someone who does what you do better, or cheaper - the reason anybody picks anybody, is *connection*. Getting your connection points out there is key.
10. Do you have any specific brand guidelines or tone of voice preferences for your copy?
What is the "voice" behind your business? Professional is always a great start, but if your brand is skateboarding then the suit and tie voice isn't going to get you far with your customers. And no matter you're industry, nobody wants to hear from a "robot". Again, it's all about that connection!
11. What are the main goals or objectives you want to achieve with your business?
Whatever you're starting point, GREAT. But always, always, ALWAYS keep in mind where you're going in the future with your business and keep it part of the present conversation.
12. Are there any specific keywords or phrases you’d like me to include in the copy?
Ah. Keywords. Now they may seem like something you're only going to use in your website, but the truth is you want to have them in your brain, like, all the time. Because when you're chatting with a future customer? Those keywords in the conversation are what they are going to remember, and look up later.
13. Do you have any existing offers that can be discussed?
Keeping in mind the current resources your business has available. Do you have a quiz on your website that will help them make the best choice from your products for themselves? Do you have a freebie waiting to be downloaded? Maybe a coupon waiting in their inbox if they subscribe? Always have an easy offer ready to go.
14. Are there any upcoming promotions or events that can be highlighted?
How about any events or future ways to connect with you in person? Connect, connect, CONNECT.
15. Are there any particular features or benefits of your products/services to emphasize?
So you know your products / services inside and out - how about the BENEFITS of them? Red wine is an antioxidant? Staging a home helps it sell 200x faster? Have those facts & stats ready to go.
16. What platforms do you primarily use for your online presence?
The better question, is which platform is better for capturing a lead and selling to them? If your instagram looks better than your website 1) we need to talk, and 2) then for the time being send them there to hook up with you later instead of your website (I shudder to even recommend that, REALLY, let's just talk and get your website set up for success).
17. How frequently do you plan to post on each platform?
This will help you determine which platform you want to highlight when you're out and about. Instagram, FB, Tik Tok? All work well, but only if you're consistent! Which one makes you look more like a boss?
18. Is there any specific call-to-action (CTA) that you're currently looking to press?
What is the current goal, and what is the action that someone can take today that will propel you towards it? Is your goal to hit 100K instagram subscribers? Maybe to capture emails via your website and grow your list? Whatever it may be, put a call to action in your mind that you can harp on whenever the chance appears.
19. Are there any competitor brands that your target audience is familiar with or that you’d like to differentiate yourself from?
Well, again, "competitor" isn't my favorite word - but hear it is somewhat practical to use. Who is the big wig in your industry that you want to snag some of their audience? How is their audience benefiting from their service / product, and how would YOU be providing something different or better than that?
20. Do you have any specific preferences for the length or format of info you share? (what feels most "you"? Bullet points, storytelling etc.)?
What feels most genuine to how you would convince someone to visit your store, try your product, or book your service? Is it a quick story about a happy customer's experience? Is it a quick list of reasons that it's necessary? Have it ready, and don't get too long-winded. 🤪
Ok, 20 questions might feel like a lot - but each of these answers will prove a vital key to unlocking your business' potential. Head to a coffee shop, your favorite cozy corner of the house, or sit in your car after you get home and knock it out in one go! OR, if you need more time for each question to ruminate, try tackling one answer per day!
James Clear, author of Atomic Habits says "If you master continuous improvement and get 1% better each day for one year, you'll end up 37 times better by the time you're done." Consider this a great starting point, or even continuing point if you've been in business for awhile!
Thanks for reading, and please drop us a comment if this was helpful or if you have any questions!
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