THE BLOG
02/25/2014 01:42 pm ET Updated Apr 27, 2014

The Missing Piece of the Entrepreneurial Puzzle

Many persons have wonderful business ideas. Opportunities for combining factors of productions to create value and convert that value into cash seem to stare us in the face on a daily basis. Many entrepreneurs are very ambitious, and as soon as an idea for a new business hits, they are ready to put in all the required resources into this business, to make it happen and this is good.

However, as is evident especially in countries such as Grenada, entrepreneurs tend to go full speed ahead, without first understanding one of the fundamental principles of business planning, and that is first identifying their customer profile.

Someone may have a great product, however, the success of their product does not depend on how they see their product, but it is dependent on how the people they will be selling to, views it. The product may be ideal for them, but is it ideal for the persons they will be selling it to? One would need to ask him/herself what are some of the aches and pains their customers have, and how their product will help prevent or resolve those aches and pains that they are having? Or more specifically what are the needs of their potential consumers and how will their product or service satisfy this need

I have come across business owners who make all the assumptions about a product they are about to launch, or a business venture they are about to start from their offices, but who have never really taken the time to do market research to get information from their potential target customers themselves. This is one of the biggest mistakes one can make as an entrepreneur. You need to go out there and get first hand information. . Donald Trump in his book the "Art of the Deal" said, he does not believe in fancy marketing surveys, he said he does his own surveys, and draw his own conclusions. He further stated that, he found that he learned more from conducting his own random surveys, than he could learn from the greatest consulting firms that exist.

It is very easy to get information from your target customers nowadays, you can go out and ask persons their opinions just like Donald Trump does., I am in the process of working on a social enterprise together with some colleagues, and I have found that going out and asking the target customers their opinion, is helping us a lot, to gauge how successful our product will be. Thee internet is a great resource to use to reach your target market. Internet surveys are a great way to engage your target customers, using tools such as survey monkey, which is free of all costs. Social media is also another great way to engage potential customers, and get feedback as to whether one's product or business idea is going to sell and become successful.

It is noteworthy to mention, that whether or not one may think people will be willing to pay for their product, he/she should do everything within their power, identify who are their potential customers. By conducting a market research, one would be better able to assess how much people would need the product or service. However, if they are not willing to pay for it at any cost, or if they are not willing to pay the amount one is charging for it, then it is important to revisit the drawing board and redefine your business ideas (or plan).

However, it is too easy today, to properly identify a clear customer base, for an entrepreneur not to do so. Understanding and segmenting your market is very important, and this is one of the first things that need to be done, if you are to be successful in the world of Entrepreneurship. Identify your customer profile, and then you can move from there. Your success begins with answering this simple question, "Who is my target customer?"