The right market for a business start-up

CHENGDU, CHINA - DECEMBER 31:  A shop assistan...
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When we are starting a business it is easy to take on every prospect who comes to our door and every project we may be asked to do. It is easy for me to say that it is important to be selective, but I have been around long enough to know that we do need to be choosy.

Whatever business we are in we need to decide what our market is. It is very tempting to take on a lot of small value bits of business, but they tend to be fairly routine and unlikely to lead to bigger things and bigger fees later. Large volumes of small customers or clients also tend to be very labour-intensive. We are likely to create a treadmill for ourselves, especially if we offer a service which will be called upon over and over again. Repeat business is worth seeking out, but repeat business which occupies all our time tends to keep our income down.

If we are choosy we can look for clients and customers who appreciate the individual touch and a customised service. We can charge higher fees because we know our clients value us and value the service. Value is what a good client wants and appreciates. Value business is what allows us more time for seeking new and valuable business and even more importantly allows us some leisure.

Knowing what our market is, offering value especially in a niche area not only sets us out from the crowd; it allows us to leave the crowds behind when we need a little downtime.

Don’t you agree?

© Jon Stow 2010

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