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The entrepreneur bug bit you early, and your ten-year-old self was out in the neighborhood selling lemonade out of your rusted red Radio Flyer wagon. Your secret, aside from extra sugar, was hustle. You didn’t have a lemonade stand, you had a lemonade wagon. You met your customers where they were, and your reward was loyalty.

Nothing has changed. Your grownup business also meets your customers where they are, and they are loyal to your business because of it. It’s time to grow your business, though, and you’re not sure how to get more customers. You can probably get more customers like the ones you already have so let’s start there. Identify who your top three customers are, and then analyze their characteristics.

Step 1: Give each customer type a nickname. This will help you think of them as categories of customers and not as individuals you have a personal relationship with. For your lemonade wagon, there’s Old-School Grandpa who appreciates that he doesn’t have to go far for lemonade because he doesn’t walk too well anymore, Busy Mom who wants to buy fresh lemonade for her kids but doesn’t want to have to load them in the minivan to go get it, and Independent Tween who has a little of his own money from mowing lawns and is excited to see you coming around the corner because mowing lawns is a sweaty business and he could use a refreshment.

Step 2: Break down these customer types demographically. That means age, gender, location, etc. You’ll notice similarities and differences right away. For example, all of your customers live in your neighborhood.

Old-School Grandpa: Male, 65+, retired, lives in your neighborhood

Busy Mom: Female, 25 to 45, stay-at-home mom, lives in your neighborhood

Independent Tween: Male or female, 11 to 14, self-employed, works (probably also lives) in your ‘hood

Step 3: Describe these customer types based on their personalities. Think about their beliefs, hobbies, and other traits that are more complex than demographics. It’ll require some assuming on your part but that’s okay because you aren’t talking about real people. These are types of people who you want as customers.

Old-School Grandpa: Hard-working, believes in the neighborhood and being a good neighbor

Busy Mom: Overwhelmed but happy, cares about her kids, goes to church

Independent Tween: Self-starter like you, likes music, books, TV shows that feel like they’re made for them

Step 4: Ask what value your business provides each customer type.

Old-School Grandpa: Convenience, plus the idea that he is supporting someone from his neighborhood  

Busy Mom: Convenience, plus the idea that she’s feeding her kids something fresh and homemade

Independent Tween: Convenience, plus refreshment and a low price point

Step 5: Think about what message will inspire each customer type to buy from you.

Old-School Grandpa: You’ve already worked hard. Let us work hard for you now.

Busy Mom: You manage a lot. We’ll manage your lemonade.

Independent Tween: Nothing tastes as sweet as lemonade you paid for yourself.

That’s great! You’re ready to hit all these customer types with messages crafted just for them. How will you reach these potential customers? For marketing tips and more, sign up for access to our free Pathway to Business Ownership plan, and learn how to turn your lemonade wagon into a lemonade truck.

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