business-103 Are you taking advantage of your full potential market?
So, you feel like you've reached everyone you can in the market niche you've carved out. But are you sure? And if that's the case, is it time to expand your niche a bit?
Finding new ways to target customers, paired with new customer groups to target, can invigorate your business and boost your bottom line quickly.
Step 1 is to research the market you're serving now. You may think you know it inside and out, but what if you're appealing to a group you didn't even know about? For example, what if you create a tool for gardeners that is so lovely interior decorators are using it as decor? What if your quilting fabric swatches are being repurposed by furniture decoupage artists? You'll never know until you ask. Try sending out a survey, asking customers through signage to let you know how they use your products, or even hiring a company to do demographics research.
The next step follows the first: It's time to get creative. Think of ways your product or service could be used that are "outside the box" you first placed it in when you launched. Are there segments of people that could use what you offer in a new and novel way? Again, it might be useful to get public input. Hold a contest or offer a discount and solicit new ways to utilize what you sell.
Step 3 is updating your marketing efforts. You can gradually add in the new categories of customers, or open things up in one fell swoop. But be careful to tailor the marketing if your market segments differ — don't send quilting ads to furniture makers, or vice versa.
Remember, there's almost always a new way to think about even an old product. So get thinking, start researching, and create new and exciting channels of demand for what you have to offer the world.

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