Identify your customers. For some business types the customers are obvious, such as stores that sell baby clothes or sports equipment. For other businesses such as bookstores or grocery stores, the potential or targeted customers may be less clear. Consider both the demographics of the area, and of your average customer base. If your business has yet to establish a customer base, evaluate the demographic breakdown of a similar business in your area. You can use Data Access Tools based on the most recent U.S. Census, or demographic breakdowns provided by other online sources such as City Data (See Resources).
Define your customers’ needs and desires. For example, if your store specializes in accessories and devices used to aid people with physical disabilities, your customers need access to a variety of such devices, space to try the devices out, as well as easily accessible store entrances and shopping zones. Similarly, though consumers may not need a massage, they may desire one as a special treat or to commemorate an event, like an anniversary or a holiday. Consequently, if you ran a massage parlor, you might realize that your customers want your product more around particular holidays or during summer months when many people celebrate anniversaries.
Evaluate the spending power of your customer base. Use public records free services such as City-Data (See Resources) or by contact the municipal, township or city hall building that has jurisdiction over your business. Spending power is typically based upon such elements as the average yearly income, rate of ownership, age and education level of your customer base. For example, businesses can reasonably expect middle-aged homeowners with advanced graduate degrees earning over $100K to have more spending power than 20-something college students with no appreciable income.
Ascertain buying and spending trends pertaining to your goods or services. Trends exist based upon time of year (school supplies in late summer and early fall), popularity of related materials (jerseys during a sport’s playoff season) as well as shopping seasons (after Thanksgiving and around Labor Day).
Outline the objectives of your customer analysis in your introductory paragraph. One objective should be to define your business's typical customer, including demographics and spending power. A second objective should be to evaluate your current business's plan for reaching your typical customer. A third objective should be to recommend alterations or additions to your business's plan for reaching your typical customer.
Describe your typical customer in a section entitled "Customer Breakdown" or something similar. Define your typical customer's demographics (age, gender, race, socioeconomic status and so on), as well as the spending power your typical customer possesses.
Analyze and evaluate your business's current strategies for reaching your typical customer in a section entitled "Customer Targeting Strategies." List and describe strategies such as advertising, specials, sales and coupons, community interaction and charity, and in-business customer interaction policies and strategies.
Conclude your written customer analyses by making several suggestions for improving or amending current business strategies for reaching your typical customer, or suggestions for the implementation of new strategies (ad campaigns, interaction strategies) for improving customer relations.