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Ideal Customer Profile for Small Businesses

Deborah Gallant
August 9, 2023

Exactly who IS the ideal customer for your small business? If you don’t have that answer (hint, it’s not the same as your target market), you could be wasting time, money, and a lot of effort.

What Is an “Ideal Customer”?

Your ideal customer or “ideal client” is the person/organization that’s a perfect fit for the services or products your small business offers. 

Your ideal customer will check these boxes:

✅ Pays full price

✅ Repeats purchases

✅ Stays with you for a while

✅ Values what you do/provide

✅ Refers others

Ideal Customer vs. Buyer Persona: What’s the Difference?

For a lot of small businesses, the ideal customer is also a buyer persona, although if your clients are businesses rather than individuals (B2B), you’ll probably have both. 

  • A niche women’s retail clothing store may have a single buyer persona — women professionals working in offices in downtown Pittsburgh — who is also their ideal customer.
  • A data security company may identify its ideal customer as professional offices (law firms, pediatrician offices), and the buyer persona – the decision-maker who okays the purchase – as the office manager or IT director.

How to Identify Your Small Business’s Ideal Client

To identify your ideal client, start by answering key questions about their habits and preferences. You’ll use a combination of demographics and psychographics to narrow the scope. Download the attached worksheet for details and guidance.

Additional Resources for Members of Entrepreneurs Forever

Members of Entrepreneurs Forever are encouraged to discuss their ideal customer with other business owners in their peer groups to understand more about where to find their ideal client, motivating them to buy, retaining them as a customer, and more.

Not a member? Qualified small business owners can apply for membership (it’s free) to Entrepreneurs Forever. Learn more about Entrepreneurs Forever and complete an application here

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Additional Resources

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