understand your customersUnderstanding your customers is one of the major ingredients of a successful business. Business owners who truly know their customers and what they want are bound to flourish in whatever venture they undertake.

That is why, before starting a business, you need to know who your target market is and what they want. This needs to be included in your business planning and business strategy.

As an experienced business advisor in Auckland, here are some tips to help you achieve this.

Tip #1 - Know your customers

If you want to understand your customers, you first have to know who they are. This may seem a little difficult but in reality it is not. A simple way that you can know your customers is by looking at the foundation of your business.

Whether you offer a product or a service, you've probably started a business because you found that no one in the market is offering that kind of product or service, or there is high demand for that product or service and limited suppliers offering it. Whatever your reasons for setting up your business, it will lead you to knowing who your customers are.

Once you know who your customers are, it is easy to analyse and assess their behaviour and needs. You can then use these assessments to customise your product or service to complement their buying behavior.

Tip #2 - Connect with your customers

It is not enough that you know and understand your customers. You also need to talk with them and ask them for feedback. This way you can fully tailor your product or service to meet their needs.

Connecting with your customers can be a lot of work, especially if you are targeting a large portion of the market. But technological innovations can make this job a little easier. There is the internet, specifically social media that you can use to reach out to your customers. Set up your own social media accounts and try connecting with them using these.

You can also send online surveys, questionnaires or feedback forms to ask how they feel about your business and your product or service. Let them know that you appreciate their feedback and use it to improve your business.

Tip #3 - Use data to understand their behavior

Your inventory, sales and other reports or data can be used to understand your customer. Any data your business can gather will greatly help to look for patterns of behavior, such as how your customers make orders or purchases.

Use this data to your advantage to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. You can also use this data to help you think of strategies that would increase your sales, like upselling or cross-selling.

Tip #4 - Research your competitors

If you've tried your best and used all the strategies that you can think of to understand your customers and still fail to encourage them to buy your products, you have to look for a different angle.

Research your competitors. Know what they are doing and how they present their products/services to the market. Don't copy their strategy, but use it as a reference and create your own ways of attracting customers.

These are just some of the tips that you need to know if you really want to understand your market and improve your sales. But if you are serious about improving your sales and business value, we would like to invite you to attend our seminar titled "7 Ways to Grow Your Business" happening this 23 March 2017 (Thursday) at 4:00 PM and 24 March 2017 (Friday) at 8:30 AM. The venue is Paul Martin Chartered Accountant Ltd Boardroom, Level 1, The Lane, Botany Town Centre.

In this seminar, you will:

• Be challenged to change your behaviour and look at your business like you never have before

• Learn how to set a roadmap and cruise control dashboard for your business

• Discover how to measure and maximise business efficiency

• Discover the 7 ways to grow your business

• See a worked example of the Growth Equation in action

Seats for this high value seminar are limited. To reserve your seats, just click here to register. You can also give us a call on (09) 576 4166.