Using a shopping list to grow your small business

By Amanda Falconer

1 April 2011 | No Comments

If you want to grow you business, chances are that what's at the top of your must-get-help-with list is how to target your marketing activities to the right audience - with maximum effect. But what if I said that something that comes before that is going shopping?

Last week, I had the privilege of working with a group of small business owners in an intensive marketing workshop. For two days, the Sydney Small Business Centre hosted what was virtually an intimate think tank to help each business owner develop a marketing plan to grow their business. One of the most striking things to emerge was that the people who really fleshed out the profile of their ideal customer were the ones that then found it much easier to work out:

  • How and where to find them
  • How to speak to them
  • How to structure the right kind of offer

But putting flesh on the bones is easier said than done - which is where the shopping list comes in.

As well as knowing how old, how wealthy and how educated your ideal client is likely to be, it also helps to work out what they're concerned about - what's the problem they're trying to avoid, or remove, or fix.

Once you've worked that out, it's time to put yourself in their shoes.


Look from where they're standing

For example, the blog coach targeting creative design professionals like architects and graphic designers said that she thought they were also:

  • Time poor
  • Overwhelmed
  • A little 'dragged kicking and screaming' to online marketing when what they'd really rather do is be designing
  • Unclear about what they could say
  • Unconfident about their writing
  • and so on

Working the profile out at this emotional level allowed her to then put herself in their shoes. So if you do this, then ask yourself: if I am the ideal customer and I'm looking for, as an example, a graphic design agency, or a hospitality trainer, or an exercise system that will take away my lower back pain, what's on my shopping list? If it were me, what would I be looking for - in detail?

Once you develop your ideal customer's shopping list, you can then begin to develop - or re-pitch - your perfect solution. And with that kind of solid foundation, growing your business will be targeted at the right audience with maximum effect.

Amanda Falconer


Amanda Falconer

Amanda Falconer

Amanda is passionate about SMEs and marketing. To her, marketing is a story. Your brand is an experience. Why not make it authentic, clear and consistent? Not to mention relevant and compelling to a targeted group of customers. The thing is, most people don’t really know what marketing is. And if ...

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