Business Plan Mistake #4 – Poorly Defined Customer

by Feb 12, 2010Strategy | Entrepreneurship

Today we look outside your business to your customer to find our next mistake.

Business Plan Mistake #4 – Poorly Defined Customer

Everyone is not your customer! Too often small-business owners, afraid to walk away from even one potential customer, try to define their market so broadly they include everyone. The danger? Without a focus, you end up spreading yourself so thin you do not effectively reach any particular customer.


The chiropractor who defines his target as anyone with a spine may think he is indicating he has unlimited potential. In reality, he is showing a lack of understanding of the buying characteristics, beliefs, and biases of consumers in his market. There are people who do not believe chiropractic treatment is “real medicine.” It is often expensive to convert nonbelievers. Selecting a narrower market would allow him to concentrate his marketing efforts on those customers most likely to buy.
Once you truly embrace the idea of focus as the key to a successful business, you are ready to begin developing the rest of your plan. With a clear definition of your customer, it is easier to answer the questions that follow.

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