The 7 rules of creating market segments

By Samantha Garner | August 10, 2019


In order to make better use of your marketing dollars, we recommend that you narrow down your market into specific customer groups (anywhere from one to four groups) that will be most profitable and accessible to target.

Our rules for creating customer segments? Glad you asked. Essentially, your segments should be basically different from one another, but members of each segment should be basically the same.

Understanding your target market

When visualizing your target market, consider the following main elements:

Demographics – Age, income, gender, education, family status, income level, occupation, social class, ethnicity.
Psychographics – Lifestyle, personalities, attitudes, opinions, values.
Geographics – Cultural, climate, regional and national differences, population density, population growth rate.
Behaviours – Buying patterns, usage rate, price sensitivity, brand loyalty, benefits wanted.

The 7 rules of customer segmentation

Rule #1 Each segment should be measurable; you should know how many potential customers you have.
Rule #2 Each segment should be large enough to be profitable.
Rule #3 Each segment should be basically different from other segments; they should be unique.
Rule #4 Members of a segment should have common, unsatisfied needs.
Rule #5 Each segment should have strong growth potential.
Rule #6 Each segment should be suited to your company’s goals and capabilities.
Rule #7 Each segment should be accessible through communication and distribution channels; you have to be able to reach them with your message.

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Download our free Start-Up Costs Calculator!

By Samantha Garner | August 3, 2019

Small business startup costs

Start-up costs, the one-time expenses you need to incur before you make your first sale, are one type of cost you’ll need to estimate when starting a small business. Our free Start-Up Costs Calculator is a template that’ll help you get an idea how much it will cost to start your business. Download our free Start-Up Costs Calculator here!

Carefully consider your start-up needs, and be honest about how much your start-up costs will be. It’s better to make a mistake on paper than on opening day!

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How to write a job description

By Samantha Garner | July 27, 2019

job description
Being able to hire your first employee is a big milestone in a small business. But before you jump in, consider the job description.

Why is a job description important?

A good job description gives prospective hires a clear idea of what you’re looking for, and will attract people you have in mind. On the other hand, a poorly-written job description can lead to confusion and wasted time – for both you and the prospective hire.

What goes into a job description?

When you write a job description, include the following information. Take the time to sit down and enter in as much info as you can in each of these sections. You can build upon these features if you like. They’re key in creating a strong foundation to work from.

  • Job Title
  • Job Purpose
  • Duties & Responsibilities
  • Relationships & Roles
  • Qualifications/Requirements
  • Job Location
  • Salary/Wage
  • Hours & Days of Work
  • Equipment to Be Used

Good luck!

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5 ways to use video in your small business marketing

By Samantha Garner | July 20, 2019

5 ways to use video in your small business marketing

Videos can be a valuable and effective tool in your small business’ marketing arsenal. Slick, high-quality videos are great, but using video in your small business marketing doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are five ways you can use videos in your small business marketing:

Video testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to show your potential customers why others love doing business with you. However, video testimonials extend that person-to-person connection even further. Next time you’re asking happy clients for testimonials, consider asking them to film a quick video testimonial as well. If your product or service has received good reviews on sites like YouTube or Instagram, consider reaching out and asking if you can use the video on your site. Tip: While keeping brevity in mind, let your customer talk about their unique experience with your business. You never know what other customers will find useful!

Explainer videos

Explainer videos are short, 1-3 minute videos guiding customers and users through the salient features of your product or service. It’s similar to an elevator pitch, and can be a great way to quickly introduce your customers to what you’re offering. A recent survey of American consumers showed that 73% of them are more likely to buy after watching an explainer videoTip: Write a script and read it aloud to someone – if they don’t get it right away, try again!

Event videos

Events are a great way to engage with your audience and show off your expertise at the same time. Will your handmade candle business have a booth at your city’s big craft expo? You can film short snippets of how you prepare for the craft expo and what the event space looks like on the big day. Does your accounting firm sponsor an industry event every year? You can record your introductory speech, or the discussion panel you hosted. Tip: Don’t feel the need to lug a heavy, expensive camera around. As long as the lighting is good and the sound is clear, today’s smartphones will do just fine!

Product demonstrations

A strong small business website will show your product to its best advantage. However, seeing it in action can entice customers even further. Consider creating videos that show off the exciting and useful features of your product so customers can get even closer to the full experience. Tip: Be clear and communicate lingo-free where possible.

Sharing your story

Your compelling story is a vital component of your business concept. It’s a great way to show why your business exists, and what drives you to put in the work every day. Why not share your story in a video? When your customers can actually see and hear how passionate you and your team are about your business’ story, vision, and mission, they get a valuable connection that goes beyond text on a screen. Tip: Be genuine and unscripted. You can keep some talking points in mind, but your authenticity is what your customers will really connect with.

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How to offer warranties in your small business

By Samantha Garner | July 13, 2019

How to offer warranties in your small business

It happens to the best of us – no matter how good your product or service, sometimes a customer or client won’t be happy. What do you do? This is why your small business should have warranties.

What is a warranty?

A warranty sets expectations for your product or service. It helps your customers understand what they can do if they run into an issue, and it helps you cover your bases. Warranties show that a company is willing to stand behind what they sell.

Some examples of warranties include a full refund, partial refund, store credit, or even no refund.

How to set up a warranty

The length of the warranty you offer depends on your industry and your products or services. Sometimes, products will come with warranties from the manufacturer. Warranties on services cover satisfaction with the service.

Here are some questions to ask when creating warranties:

  • Will your warranty cover all products or just certain ones?
  • Will your warranty terms differ across products or services?
  • Should the same warranty be offered in all markets, or just some? This decision will rest on local laws.
  • What must the customer do or not do to keep the warranty valid?
  • Who will honour the warranty – the manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, or dealer?
  • Who should be responsible for responding to a warranty claim?

Warranty claims involve a cost to the small business, but the potential cost to your business of providing no warranty at all can be very significant.

A new small business may find it hard to estimate the problems that could come up with its product or service. We believe warranties are an important aspect of a small business, but you can take steps to minimize their necessity. Careful field-testing of a new product or service will help to take care of product reliability or liability issues once your product or service sees the light of day.

As always, we recommend that you have a lawyer or other professional review your product or service warranty program, so you can get advice on the extent of risk your business is potentially carrying.

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