You need to know a lot about your business, your niche or industry and what your customers need and want. When I first started Dawn's Work at Home Blog, I had an idea of what I wanted to blog about. I didn't think so much about what my readers wanted to read about, just what I thought they wanted to read about. I was not being selfish and posting what I wanted people to read like it or not, I just didn't do my research to see what my readers really wanted. I assumed I already knew what people wanted is the best way to put it. My blog is a little different as I am not actually selling you something so you are not really a customer, just a valued reader who I appreciate. But it is the same concept really. You are appreciated here and I would like to make sure you get information you need or are interested in when you take your time to visit my blog. This is how I am comparing the business mistake with the same mistake I made with my blog. It wasn't until I started to put in some research time that I started to see what my readers wanted. I still do not know everything you want to read, I think I will put a survey up so you can anonymously let me things you want to talk about.
Now with my blog, I just started posting stuff that I thought was helpful. Notice I said that I thought. I have grown a bit along the way and started to research what was working and what wasn't. I started to get an idea from comments and emails what you really like and didn't like to hear about.
Let's change this around to a business looking for customers. Yes, people who you are going to be asking to whip out their credit cards. Do you think that somebody is going to buy something because you want them to and you are telling them they should have it? Probably not. Think about the market you are looking to sell to. You will not get a single product to sell to every person, we all like different things. So you need to do your research to find out who is the most likely to need your product. Make a list of benefits your product offers. Figure out who would truly benefit from this. You wouldn't sell a CEO with a billion dollar company a work at home program-just for example. He or she probably wouldn't really be interested, but somebody who is unemployed would probably benefit (as long as it was legit.) There are many examples of this, but you probably get the picture.
Know your audience or your customer. Know who you are looking to market to based on the benefits of your product. Don't focus on getting your business out there in front of the wrong people. Try to get it out there in front of people you know are more likely to buy. Don't be afraid to ask your current customers to take an anonymous survey. Explain to them that you are trying to better their experience in the future. Many people will be honest and of course some will not take it so seriously. But showing you care about your customers and taking the time to research your customers can build a great professional relationship with them. You can be the go to person when they need something.
Research is very important, your business needs it to survive! There are many more details about researching and I will write another post about it if anybody would like me to. I just wanted to mention it as it is a common business mistake whether it is an online or offline business.