Apple Growth Partners

Be at One with Your Customer

Article #3 in the New Business Owner Series

By Toby Kaye, CPA/ABV | Manager, Tax

Toby Kaye, CPA/ABV

As a business owner, you will always be juggling multiple priorities. Regardless of the situation in your business, your attention must be laser-focused on your target market. Helping your customers is the reason you entered the business. You must understand them and anticipate their needs. You have an opportunity every day to make a positive impact on their life. 

Where do you add value?

Customers are only going to pay you if they feel that you are solving their problem. The value of your service corresponds to the importance of the problem to the client and the quality of your solution to the problem. In other words, how does the customer feel before and after you provide your solution? 

Your target market is the group of people that will perceive the most significant value to your solution. 

It does not matter how much the product costs you to make. It does not matter how much education you have. It does not matter how much you think you or your product is worth. All that matters is the customer’s perception of your value.

You don’t sell a hamburger; you satiate the customer’s hunger.

You don’t provide party planning; you create a stress-free celebration experience for the client.

You don’t deliver speech therapy services; you open a new world of communication to your consumer.

Understanding your value to the customer grants many opportunities to improve your service and delight the customer. Take our hamburger example. Use a mobile app to reduce waiting in the restaurant. Add additional topping options to match to the individual customer’s unique taste. Give a free hamburger benefit to frequent customers that they must share with the person they think will enjoy the hamburger the most. Keep innovating to satisfy more of the hunger quicker with better taste.

There will always be competition to your business in the marketplace. You are likely not even aware of the existence of all your competitors in our global and digital world. How do you maintain loyalty and pricing strength under these conditions? Customize and personalize your product and service delivery to each target customer as much as possible. Customers will pay you a premium and be more loyal if they perceive that you can solve their problem in a better way for their specific situation. Standardized solutions are an inevitable race to the bottom.

Get the message out

A great solution to a problem is fine. But the customer still needs to know that you are the location to find the answer to their problem.

The tactics of marketing have changed with technology, but the principles are the same. Customers need to know, like, and trust you before they will work with you. Trust grows slowly. Your branding message should have a consistent theme tying into the value you provide with your solution. All your messaging should look and sound the same.

Customers know you if they see you or hear about you. People may still interact with traditional channels: radio, newspapers, and television, but social media has become a relatively inexpensive and versatile way to market your brand and product. Make it real for the customer by using video to build connection. Personally demonstrate how your product works. Ask a friend to interview you about your service and post it to your website and social media. 

People trust other people’s opinion of you more than your own. Use of word of mouth marketing to your advantage. Ask satisfied customers to write online reviews for your product or service or recommend you to their friends.

Content marketing is another method of developing trust. The content showcases your skills for a prospective client to help to build trust. This article is a great example. Consider how you felt about me before and after you read this article.

You have your vision set and your market targeted. My next article will discuss the benefits of a legal entity and sprinkle in some tax planning treats. Follow me for my fourth article in my New Business Owner series: “Setup for Success.” Sign up here if you would like the articles sent directly to your inbox before publishing.