In business, the term “low hanging fruit” refers to opportunities that are practically right in your lap. It’s the easy win, the little tweak that can have big returns, or it can refer to a customer base you already have, but haven’t identified yet. In this latter case, it is most likely those return customers that you know you will be able to market to. But it also might be new customers that will be easy to target once you’ve identified them.
So how do you identify this low hanging fruit? First, you have to take what you are passionate about and create a niche for it. Then, if you can, niche it again. A niche market is what helps a small business owner compete against larger companies who may even charge less. It is this expertise in a narrow field that allows your passion to drive your business, and drive business into your store or office.
It is important to understand precisely who you can best serve and have a passion for working with. First, study exactly what your customer wants. Second, innovate your business so that you can give them exactly that. Then, find more ways to serve them incredibly well. Problems occur when small businesses try to be all things to all people, and devalue what they have to offer. Potential customers have no way of knowing the value of what is offered and will default to the best price.
There are four things you will need to identify. Physical description (your ideal customer), their emotional motivations which will cause them to choose you over another company, which of these motivations meet your passion (your niche market), and a revised physical description of your ideal customer, based on the preceding.
The physical profile is the universe of available prospects who need what you sell. These are people who have a logical need for what you offer. You will use this later to target customers with your advertising. The physical profile is only responsible for about 10% of the success equation for small business owners.
The other 90% is the emotional profile of the target customer. The emotional profile identifies what the available pool of customers wants. These are the people with an emotional reason to buy. Understanding their emotions lets you create a targeted marketing campaign that will drive these people to buy your product. Find what resonates with them and you will not only attract them, but compel them to take a specific action.
Once you know the parts of your business where people have various wants, you need to understand what customers expect from you. You must exceed your customers’ and prospects’ expectations in order to compete against larger companies. These are your opportunities for you to innovate, which in turn helps to solidify your niche market.
Don’t be afraid of the number of prospects disqualified by a niche market. Innovation to fit the wants of a specific market shows them that you offer exceptional value. A passion-based, innovative niche market will dramatically increase business and create a sense of continuity in the minds of customers who fit this niche. This in turn dramatically increases a target customer’s lifetime value.
Everything we’ve covered so far comes down to value. You get customers by offering something of value- creating value in a service or product. But having value isn’t enough; you must also communicate that value to your customer base. In order to do that you must identify your customer base and the most accessible of that customer base is your low hanging fruit. They are the easy win, the most likely to respond to targeted marketing, and the most likely to benefit from your passionate innovations.
Show your potential customers your passion and value by reaching them in the ways that matter to them. Offer an exceptional service, yes, but also show that coming to you has added value. Create valuable free content in the form of blogs, newsletters, How-to videos, and podcasts. The more unique and valuable you can show your business to be, the easier it will be to reach not only your low hanging fruit, but also your larger customer base.
Take stock of your assets, those talents already at your disposal, see where they meet your passion and look for new opportunities. Low hanging fruit are those easily reached goals that are doable with what you already have. Yes, it is easier to get an existing customer to buy more than it is to hook a new customer, but that is only the case if you are looking for customers outside of your niche market. If you are taking exceptional care of those customers with an emotional need to buy your product, then new customers are only a matter of targeting those customers with that emotional need who have not yet tried your product. Once you reach them, you are within reach of your goals.