It is absolutely CRITICAL that you understand who your target market is for any business you decide to start. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling ice cream or prescribing testosterone replacement therapy, you need to know who you will be selling your product or service to. This is CRITICAL. Let me repeat that one more time. IT IS CRITICAL YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE SELLING YOUR SERVICE OR PRODUCT TO!
I hear time and time again from nurse practitioners who tell me what their idea is for a practice and I ask them “Who is your target market?” Way too many folks have no idea… Listen, if you start a medical practice and have no idea who your target market is, you will fail. Just stop right now and figure it out.
You might be asking yourself why this is so important. The reason is because identifying your target market will give you 2 pieces of vital information:
- Does your market need the service you are providing?
- What is the socioeconomic class of my target market?
A 65-year-old retired teacher who has no history of opioid addiction does not need Suboxone. A 34-year-old soccer mom does not need men’s health and testosterone services. The congregation of the local First Baptist church does not need medical cannabis. You will waste your time and money if you are advertising to the wrong market.
This is why developing a NICHE is so vital. It helps you advertise to a targeted demographic/market.
It is very important you determine what your market needs. Give them what they want! Don’t shove it down their throat. Let your customer/patient base tell you what they need and want. Just because you think your service is fantastic, does not mean the world will. Find out what your market needs or find out what market could use the service you want to provide. This is VITAL.
Once you identify your target market, figure out what socioeconomic class they are in. This will tell you if you will be playing the insurance or cash game. If your market is poor, you will be playing the Medicaid game. If your market has money, you will be playing the CASH game. Try to play the cash game, it is so much easier.
So, figure out if your target market has money or not. It will shape the structure of your practice.
After your target market has been identified and you have determined your service, it is time to market. The other critical reason you must identify your target market is because it will shape how you market your new practice.
You need to understand the basics of marketing. When you market, you target the advertisement to a group of people. You would not advertise your golf store in a quilting shop. You won’t see advertisements for luxury vehicles during Judge Judy. You will see advertisements for luxury vehicles during a golf tournament though. You would not advertise your suboxone clinic in a local church publication. Do you see why it is important to know who you are providing services to?
I target wealthy men for my men’s health and testosterone clinic. I target lower socioeconomic individuals and put ads in smoke shops for my medical cannabis clinic. I advertise my vacation rental to skiers because it is down the street from a ski resort.
You must determine what your target market consumes and shove your business in their face. It is the only way you will build a successful business/practice. So many nurse practitioner practices fail because they were to focused on menial things that don’t matter, like the font color of their website, which EMR to use, how their business cards look, etc. This shit doesn’t matter, what matters is marketing. Marketing is the number one function of your business. This is true for medical practices as well, don’t think otherwise. As such, marketing should be your number one expense.
Determine who your target market is first before you ever pull the trigger on a business/practice. This really is the FIRST step in starting a business. Once you determine your market, then find what service they need, and get started with getting that practice up and running!