One of the most difficult questions that entrepreneurs get from prospective investors is who exactly is going to buy this product?
The answer to this question often determines who receives funding and who doesn’t. Yet most business plans and pitch decks fail to describe in adequate detail the precise characteristics of the ideal client. Without such information it will be difficult if not impossible to develop marketing plans or financial pro-forma income and cash flow statements. Many investors that I speak with often say they would fund more projects if the presentation contained more credible details on customer attributes.
For entrepreneurs beginning the process of building a business plan or pitch-deck it might be helpful to consider the following questions:
(These surveys can also be found at the StratIQ website)
1. What is the age range of your target customer?
2. Are they married, single, other?
3. Are they Male, Female?
4. Where are they located (virtual or physical location)?
5. What types of activities do my ideal customers engage in (try to name at least 3)?
6. What is the education level of my ideal customer?
7. What is the income level of my ideal customer?
8. How many ideal customers exist?
9. What are the marketing tools that effectively reach this pool of ideal customers?
10. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most confident) I feel confident that I could easily show a prospective investor where I obtained the data to support my projections (list sources)?
1. What is the specific industry, service or profession of my ideal client?
2. How long has my ideal client been in business?
3. Where are they located (virtual or physical location)?
4. How do my ideal clients deliver their products and/or services?
5. What is the revenue of my ideal client?
6. How many ideal clients exist?
7. What are the marketing tools that effectively reach this pool of ideal clients?
8. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most confident) I feel confident that I could easily show a prospective investor where I obtained the data to support my projections (list sources)?
These questions are simple starting points that a prospective entrepreneur might consider in starting to effectively define their ideal client. The extra effort required to research and define an ideal client is often rewarded with much higher success in the capital funding process.