A lot of small businesses I’ve met have been marketing like a blindfolded darts player. You have some guess, mostly based off of a handful of people you’ve spoken to and your own personal perception of the market needs. However, before you start marching down the street trying to sell, it might pay to consider all of our cultural stories warning against this.
Take the concept of the ‘rose colored glasses’ that warns you may be looking at a market in it’s best light, rather than it’s reality. What about the story about the three blind men who each tried to describe what an elephant was based on where they stood? Maybe you’re only looking at a tiny fraction of your market’s reality.
That said, how does one go about figuring out what the market is in reality?
First, talk to people. Lots of people. Attend conferences, read articles written for your clients. Visit blogs written by people in the industry and get active in industry forums.
Are there meetings locally? Attend them. Not only can you advertise and promote there, but you can also listen and learn what things your clients are looking for or worried about.
Consider offering discounts or promotions for clients who complete a short questionnaire. The information you glean will be worth it’s weight in gold.