Finding Your Target Market
I was talking to my cousin who is a high-end pave stone installer over the July 4th weekend and he was telling me how bad business was for him and that his phone just wouldn’t ring. I had asked him what he was doing for advertising and he told me that he was advertising in the “Val-Pac” coupons. I said “hello McFly”, do you really think people who are looking for a high-end pave stone installer are looking in the Val-Pac?
This made me think how there are a lot of power washing business owners that do the same thing, they just spray and pray. What does that mean, well you know how you can buy 5000 post cards real cheap, the spray and pray people will take those 5000 post cards and just send them out to anyone and everyone they can find an address for. They have no strategic plan and they have no clue who their target market is. They say something like “well, my service could really help just about everyone.” Here is something to think about: “If you have everybody for a prospect, I can guarantee you will have nobody for a client!” Read that again and again until it sticks into your brain.
This spray and pray type of power washing business owner is running a hit or miss type of marketing that becomes expensive and frustrating, and the next thing you know they are complaining about how this stupid marketing crap just doesn’t work.
This lack of proper planning and a lack of a clearly defined target market will kill your business. Power washing is a niche business; however, there are niches within this niche of a business. You have residential and commercial and you can even break it down more.
On the residential side you have house washing, roof washing, deck cleaning, driveways, walkways, the list can go on and on. The commercial side is even larger, you have fleet washing, flat surface cleaning, hood cleaning, large building cleaning, mine equipment cleaning, rail car cleaning, boat and ship cleaning, and again the list goes on and on. The fact is the more narrowly you define your market the easier and less expensive it will be to fill your business with new clients.
You see, building a business is like fishing, and the reason I am using this analogy of fishing is because I once owned a commercial fishing vessel as well as had several commercial fishing licenses, so I can say I know a lot about fishing. Ok, you go out to fish, the first thing you need to know is what kind of fish you are going to go after. Why? Because knowing what kind of fish you are going after that will determine what type of equipment you will use and what kind of bait you will need.
Now let’s put that into business terms. Most power washers bring a fly-fishing rod and lure to the monster shark tournament at the local lake. Hello, they are going after the wrong prospects, looking for them at the wrong places and using the wrong approach! Think about it.
In other words, why try to convince someone to use your service when they don’t even know what it is. Go after the prospects that are already using power washing services. If you see a fleet of trucks that you know are being washed, or if you see a neighborhood that is always being cleaned, go after them, after all you are the best out there. And I will say it again if you don’t have the best product or service out there, CHANGE IT, so you do have the best product or service.
I want to leave you with some questions that will help you define your target market of your business:
- Who is my audience?
2. What do they want?
3. How can I reach them?
4. What will they buy from me?
5. How will I make money?