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Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network

It is important to be thorough and specific when creating a description of the target customer for your product or service. This description defines the characteristics of the people you want to sell to and should indicate, among other things, whether your customers are cost or quality conscious, under what circumstances they buy, and what types of concerns they have. If you have an existing business, list your current customers and the trend in your sales to them.

To create a customer definition, describe your target customers in terms of common identifiable characteristics. For example, a catering company could target professional couples in the metro Chicago area who need to hire caterers for their kids' parties. Or it could target corporate event planners in Massachusetts responsible for procuring caterers for internal meetings. A windshield wiper blade business can sell directly to automobile manufacturers, or to aftermarket parts distributors.


  • Narrow the field by briefly describing customers you don't want to reach. High-end general contracting services would not have people who buy on price as customers. An association management consulting service might not be interested in selling to associations with 1,000 or more members.
  • A common mistake is to describe customers in general terms, such as all "people who want to buy a bicycle," or "anyone who needs a resume created." To avoid this stumbling block, use the Customer Profile Worksheet to make a list of the characteristics of the people or companies that will buy your product or service.
  • Be sure to include details of what geographic region you plan to sell to. Is your market national, regional, international, or local?
  • Do not use industry jargon or regional slang that may confuse readers. If you must, define the terms in your business plan.
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Samson Samarasta  |  May 21, 2014
how do i write a good poultry farming business plan
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faith Egwu  |  May 27, 2011
agriculture bussiness is on the decrese amongs youths today,i ve a pineapple orchird of over 100,000 stands,iwill like to sell to a juice processing company,but getting the right contact has been challengin.pls assist me.when i get it right,im sure other youths would like to extalish thiers.thank you.
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ADEOLU AKINTIMEHIN, LAGOS, Nigeria  |  March 18, 2010
i am a shoe maker that spesialise in men footwears. i want to make my shoe business official in relation to: having a mailing adress, registring my business, writing a business plan opening a banking account and so on.<br/><br/>but my challenge is that i need a counsellor,lawyer or an athorny to help me out.<br/><br/>akintimehin adeolu a.
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nathan okpighe  |  January 02, 2010
i am nathan i want to setup a producing company in my location i neeed advices
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Lola Fayomi, Lagos, Nigeria  |  November 17, 2009
Customised for SMEs in creating a standard and effective business plan.
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Marc-Raymond Agber  |  October 13, 2009
A concise but comprehensive way getting started on a sound foot.<br/>you hit the tarmac running.<br/>Thanks.<br/>Marc-Raymond Agber
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Rinky Singh  |  October 07, 2009
Very good blog post, especially the title is wisely selected. I just wanted to add more. Business planning is basically used by the managers to calculate the market strategies and set up a business plans. A good business plan opens several new outlines for the development of business; hence, it is required for any business to run successfully. While making a business plan, it is important to check the financial performance of a company against its respective industry. The most current financial statement is used to verify the validity of the forecasts. This also helps to point out the possible problems and ways to correct them. Therefore, careful planning is needed to ensure business success. <br/><br/>I have seen this website which throws light on different aspects of business planning. At least have a look, you will definately get benefit from it.