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Step 4 to your Business Model: Customer Interface

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In our previous week, we discussed Step 3 to our business mode: Partnership Network. In the fourth and final step we will go over customer interface and how that impacts your business.

Establish your target market

Who is the audience you are focusing on? After you have established your product or service, you must figure out which type of customer you are trying to attract. One of the best places to start is to simply look at your competitors. See the client base they are connecting with and the demographics they have targeted. Keep in mind things such as gender, age, location, occupation, and ethnic background.

You may want to focus on the psychographics as well. What kind of lifestyle does your target market live? Do they have a particular hobby or interest that aligns with your marketplace? After you have taken these into consideration, you must develop your buyer persona to help guide your marketing in the right direction. Ask yourself, who would use my marketplace?

Fulfillment and support

How will you connect with your customers? Social Media channels have become one of the best tools to reach your audience. Especially because accounts are free to create, marketplaces should sign up as soon as possible! My personal favorites are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but depending on your type of marketplace, you may focus on more visual platforms like YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest. Social media is visited by new users everyday and filled with potential customers. Leveraging your accounts can help establish a relationship on a personal level. While not everyone is a new customer today, they may need your services or product sometime down the road.

Creating multiple social media accounts can be very time consuming to monitor, therefore hiring the support needed to operate is key. Depending on the scale of your business, multiple employees may be needed to keep track of accounts. Having a voice on your accounts is very important as potential clients and others do not want to be talking with a robot about a potential partnership or purchase. The customer service department of your marketplace must be very well trained to support all the marketing and outreach that is being performed to sell your product or services. Keep in mind that without the support, it will be very difficult to succeed.

Pricing structure

Have you studied your competitors? Pricing your product or service accordingly is huge for your business, as this can attract the perfect client.  See what your competition is charging for their services and product to help better understand what kind of pricing structure to establish for your own marketplace. Think about what you have to offer and if your features are similar to your competitor’s, adjust your prices. Take for example TaskRabbit. They offer different services at different rates. As they are a service to help get tasks done, they have numerous taskers with different expertise. While age ranges and experience vary, one may offer their services at $25/hr while another may charge only $15/hr. This multi-level pricing structure helps people from varying levels of income use the service to get things done. More importantly it helps bring in a wider target of customers to use the service and help the marketplace grow.

Customers are a huge part of the success of your marketplace and must be well taken care of. As you have received the last step in creating your business model, it is time to get started! If you have any questions or need any further advice, please leave your comments below! Thank you for following this 4-week series and stay tuned for our upcoming blogs.

Topics: Entrepreneur, Marketplace

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