A business without customers is nothing. We all know that, especially investors. That’s why when you approach investors you need to have done the groundwork to prove to them that your business has a solid future of consistent customers.
In your strategy to become investor-ready you need to set aside time to have a complete understanding of the customer aspect of your business and be able to prove it to potential investors.
This article will give you 3 important customer research tips that you should consider when preparing for an investment pitch.
Understand who your customers are
Though this might sound obvious, you need to really dig deep into understanding who is buying your service or product.
It always surprises me how many companies take their customers for granted. This means they don’t fully understand the customers which makes it impossible for the business to achieve good business growth and reach its full potential.
You should also have an understanding of who you want your customers to be in the future because then you can create a strategic plan to reach those people.
If your business is selling to consumers then you need to ask yourselves why are they coming to you? And why do they like your product or service? Asking these questions might also lead to you as a business seeing areas you can improve upon.
The ultimate goal is to achieve customer loyalty. And by understanding the customer, you have a great basis to create an actionable plan aligned with your strategic direction to achieve customer loyalty.
If your business sells your product or services to other businesses then the same logic and questions you should ask still apply.
Evaluate how you reach your customers
Once you have identified who your current customers are and who you want your future customers to be, you then need to evaluate how you reach them.
If you already have a solid customer base then maybe that’s because of a strong marketing campaign you had previously done. Look at what worked and what can be improved upon in the future.
If you sell your product or services, you may have a different route to your customers such as trade sales. The point is you need to know the best way to get to your target audience.
Don’t waste time creating general campaigns, get to the people who are likely to buy what you sell.
The investors will want to see a clear strategy regarding acquiring customers based on previous experience and diligent research. Keep your research clear and concise, you want to convince the investors but not overwhelm them with your research.
Research your competition
You always need to know where your business sits in the market and who is around you. I’d almost go as far to say that you need to know as much about other competitor’s businesses as you do about your own.
This is how you will get ahead of them.
If a competitor is offering a similar product to you, analyse their marketing campaign. Does it work? You need to find a way that both shows you’re different from this competitor and that you’re the option the customers should choose.
The investor will want to see this level of preparation in order to have confidence that your business is viable and has a profitable future.
Essentially, ask yourself; why should a customer choose you? The answer to this should inform your marketing growth strategy and your pitch to investors.
To sum up. When you enter the room to pitch to an investor, you need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the customers you have and want to attract.
Investors tend to be risk averse, so it’s your job to ease any concerns of their’s by proving you have an achievable strategy to attract customers to your business.
Your strategy must be aimed at your target audience and have a marketing campaign that separates your business from your competitors. You need to know your competition because that makes it a lot easier to be better than them.
Customers are paramount to all businesses so it’s important, especially when looking for investment, that you do the groundwork and research everything you need to know.