Yes, I'm getting to the nitty-gritty, facts and figures sections of my business plan, and despite the horrible needle-in-a-haystack work that it is - I am learning a ton about my market.
I'm focusing on women - now, male readers, feel free to say "hey, what about me??!!!" - cuz if you're out there, I would love to know. In the three or four years I've been doing this, my customers have been almost exclusively female. Twice I was contacted by a man - and both times they seemed a bit dazed and confused by my questions. Usually, if there's a party to plan and food to be eaten, the ladies are taking care of that. Am I right??
Ok, so I'm narrowing my research down to women...in Indiana...in a nine-county region I think most likely to order from me on a regular basis. I have the occasional call from the Indy region, sometimes from the hinterlands of Illinois, but mostly, I'm heading to Terre Haute and various other nearish-by destinations.
I hit up census data for Greene, Vigo, Clay, Owen, Lawrence, Knox, Daviess, Martin and Monroe Counties, and I've learned a ton. We all have a general idea of where the population centers are near us, but it's a bit more impactful to see it in government-font black and white.
Not surprising anyone here, but my main market is focused on three cities: Terre Haute, Bloomington and Vincennes. There are more pastry chefs than I can count in B-town, so I am not going to spend overmuch time there. But Terre Haute and Vincennes, I can make some noise there.
Looks like the future holds a few conversations with campus newspapers, taking out an ad or two, and maybe someday, if my cake-ship comes in, finally having the moolah to join the Wabash Valley Bridal Society. Le sigh...
Make no mistake, I'm still a Greene County gal - and this is a Linton business. But with only 2,598 women between the ages of 20 and 34 living in my little corner of the state, I have to think bigger or not bother.
Now, back to those census reports...