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You continue to work with entrepreneurs from past cohorts. Can you explain how each of you have stayed in touch?
"I try to do a touch-point check-in with the entrepreneurs every six months if the calendar permits."
I try to do a touch-point check-in with the entrepreneurs every six months if the calendar permits. It is a very informal meeting primarily to talk about how things are going but normally cover:
� If the business is up and running, what�s working well and what is causing challenges? Are you on track with your business plan, ahead, behind, and do you need to look at the plan and make changes?
� If the business is still a concept, have you modified your original concept? What are the hurdles to getting the business kicked-off?
� What help do you need?
Your mister target market. What are some good tips for defining a market and narrowing your market?
"I think being as granular or detailed about your target market can help is so many ways"
I think being as granular or detailed about your target market can help is so many ways. In its most simple form here are the basic steps:
- Define the ideal customer model
- How many customers match that model
- Who are the established competitors
- Determine the size of potential customer market you can and will address
In a more detailed view:
� First think about your ideal customer target. Who do you want to serve? Is there a common attribute? For example:
o Single Moms
o Young Parents
o Target Age? Target Gender?
o A geographical area based on Zip Codes
o Other common attributes for the ideal customer
� Next, look for demographic information for your target market. There are many public sites available that can help define how many people with the attributes you choose are in your geographic target area?\
� I recommend taking a look at the number of companies or competitors currently delivering products or services to that target market. Also think about online providers that may be servicing customers without a brick and mortar location. You can get just about everything on the internet. That helps you determine the number customers that are not currently being served.
� Finally, if your customer base is pretty well served, that means you are going to have to be very competitive. You will need a better price, better offering or better service to win customers. If the customer base appears to be underserved, customer acquisition cost will be lower, and your primary focus will be on reaching and getting visibility to your potential customers.
What's your favorite moment from the last few years of Start:ME?
"The moment that an entrepreneur feels the sense of true pride and accomplishment from some element of the program."
There are so many great moments that I think it is hard to pick just one, but if I had to pick one, it is the moment that an entrepreneur feels the sense of true pride and accomplishment from some element of the program. It may be the completion of the draft Business Plan, or a successful business pitch, or winning that first customer, or a positive acknowledgement from the rest of the Cohort. It is the moment that someone achieves a milestone or completes an activity that seemed intimidating or unobtainable at the beginning of the program.
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