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“Beating the game, not playing the game”  – Tim Ferriss

Today I decided to start a bit different than other times. This is one of the topics that I feel very strongly about and I will give my best to bring you in my side (or at least I ‘ll try…..).

Our today post will be devoted purely in one critical dimension for building our startup business. This is the starting point that each aspiring entrepreneurs should start from, it’s the foundation. It’s a completely different approach than what the mainstream viewpoint suggest.

Nevertheless, is something that in particular for young aspiring entrepreneurs is the must know and apply because is tailored on the specific particularities that describe us.

What’s our today topic!

Our today post will be; Why to not follow any of the conventional segmentation tactics for finding the target group/audience for your startup business and what to do instead.

Why you should care about?

Because that alternative will facilitate us to overcome some of our so-called weaknesses such as: our young age, our limited “experience” and our “invisible” startup capital;  all of them can be addressed by a single only strategy.

As always I will not attempt to reinvent the wheel, but I will just suggest one of the recommendations that are given by one of my favorite startup gurus. That guru is often named as the most interesting person in this planet. What can I assure you, is that is one of the most practical guy in this planet and bear with me a bit for revealing his powerful anti-segmentation strategy.

I could say is the ultimate segmentation tactic for finding your target group, but because I don’t like that fancy terminology whatsoever I would say, please have some patience, read the rest of the post (hopefully you would do it…….), and decide by yourself if the suggested approach worth your time…..

What is the problem with the current segmentation tactics

Unfortunately the mainstream idea about market segmentation doesn’t take into account the very specific particularities that a young aspiring entrepreneur has and their suggested path might be appropriate for many but not us.

What is often recommended as the must follow path for segmentation is something like that:

  • Define the market; Clearly define the market of interest
  • Create market segments; What type of customers/segments form that overall market
  • Evaluate the proposed market segments for viability (make sure that they have good potentials)
  • Create segment profiles (the demographic traits of each segment)
  • Assess their attractiveness and select accordingly

You might say, ok what’s the problem Mr. Douche…. it seems good for me.

Permit me to be blunt, no is not good for you.

If you are interested to follow the path that larger-scale companies follow, which implies that sizeable resources shall be devoted in this direction (money and time mostly), feel free to go for it, if you have these resources it might be a good idea.

Nevertheless all the recommendations that are given in this blog, is how to build your startup without losing your shirt, how to play smart and go against the conventional root for market (often is a strategy go out of business) following the footsteps and advices of people that they already followed that path and found unprecedented success (our startup experts which I use as reference for backing up my posts).

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Long story short here we are, this advice is super powerful let’s dive into it.

“Be one of your target group” -Tim Ferriss

That’s the solution; be one of your target group. In this post I will stick on why you need to do it, and I will touch on the how to do it aspect in future post because is a lengthy but not complicated process.

In our free foundation Guide I included this step as a part of a of a 6-step process method how to build the foundation for a passion-based startup.

Basically in the question why to select that root instead of the conventional approach that I described above I would answer like that:

a) Avoid the Fatal mistake #1: Based your future on blurry market assumptions

As I explained in a previous post named regardless how knowledgeable you are about your market your product/ vision is full of assumptions that you have to attempt to convert into facts through “customer proof”.

Nonetheless, if you chose a market segment other than one that you belong in (be one of your target group), your goal will be through market research (part of the segmentation process) to try to create some basic assumptions about how other people (that probably you can’t relate with them) will potentially perceive your future offer via addressing their pain points.

More often than not many startups due to lack of any correlation with them (with the market segments that they attempt to shed some light via research) is nearly impossible to have an accurate picture about the needs, wants and particularities of that segment (except if they have the resources element that we referred above).

b) You already have a deep understanding of your target group

Because you are one of them (belong to that group; you live their struggles, confront the same problems, you hang around in the same places) you know from first hand which are their pain points (you don’t assume you know). Thereby you will have far higher probabilities to create a product/service that accommodates that wants, needs, problems or wishes.

Never forget that any kind of business is not anything more than: it’s simply a process of identifying a problem and finding a way to solve it that benefits both parties.   -J.Kaufman

This is your goal not forget it, I believe I made my point from that respect.

c)  Limited learning curve

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Even if you chose that strategy (be one of your target group) you will need to go through the validation process (validate or invalidate your business assumptions). However by following this path you’ll decrease the time devoted in this step at least 3 times comparing with choosing another target group than “yours”.

d) Wipe out the experience factor

One of the myths that surround aspiring entrepreneurs is: “But you don’t have experience you don’t know your market well (how the market works)”

Bam, problem solved. You already have experience of your market because you simply live it, leave the douches still wonder.

e) Gain confidence

When you truly believe that you know your target group like the back of your hand, you “gain” immediately a direct boost in your confidence . This will have a positive domino effect in your  decisiveness of taking business decisions. Knowing your market and in particular it’s pain points is the half of the game/battle. The other half is simply (not so simple believe me) to find out a way to address that pain point via your product/service better or different than your rivals.

f) Take advantage of the niche strategy

The niche strategy that I reiterate/preach always, is not simply about your business field but for your target group as well. Thereby ,by selecting that particular segment you automatically niche down the market in a narrower segment. Keep in mind if you target for everybody you eventually target for nobody, never forget it.

That’s it guys, I am really happy sharing with you that groundbreaking tactic. I hope you share my enthusiasm about it.

Please tell us your opinion regarding that core principle and how do you think will affect your future entrepreneurship plans.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.