The Australian Small Business Blog

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Are Your Customers Cats or Dogs?

Our dog is not particularly active, suffering as he does from a touch of arthritis, but he loves his food. If you give him fillet steak, or just plain dog food from the can, he eats it with equal gusto. He will eat what our cat doesn’t finish from her bowl. In fact if she throws any of it up, he will eat that too. He is just not that fussy. In fact the only thing we have found he won’t eat is brussels sprouts. (I can’t say that I can blame him.)

Our cat on the other hand is quite fussy. She is rather partial to mince topside- and won’t eat cheap cat food. It has to be the type of food you get from those small containers which are twice the cost of the larger cheap brands. If you put out something she regards as inferior, she will leave it… for our dog. She would never go near the dog’s bowl.

So what are your customers like? Are they cats or dogs? Are they only interested in the premium cuts, or couldn’t tell the difference between topside and reprocessed meat.

The problem many business owners create for themselves is trying to sell a service that only felines will appreciate and pay for to their canine clients and then are upset when they focus on price. There is nothing wrong with having canines as clients, but they will not appreciate and pay for topside.

If you have canine clients (and there are a lot more of them than the felines) make sure that your service is designed to meet their needs rather than your ego.

You can of course have both feline and canine clients but make sure the message you present to each does not confuse.

When you understand if your clients are dogs or cats, you will know what food they will appreciate and pay for and be able to keep them happy and faithful for many years.

All you need to do now is to Empower yourself and take action ...

May Your Business Be - As You Plan It.

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.

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Becky said...

Wonderful post- great analogy! I am in the process of starting my own business. For research purposes I have been reading successful business books. I stumbled across a great one titled, "Take the E Out of EGO & GO!" by Donna and Jerry Goven, that has taught me how to have fun while pursuing this business, and has also taught me to keep my ego out of my decisions. I am now on the homestretch and am just getting to the marketing- so thank you for the post, it really has helped me think more clearly about who I will target. said...

Great analogy ... I seem to attract mainly "Cats" as clients which although fun and appealing to my own nature makes for time-consuming and potentially stressful projects.

I'm currently researching ways in which I can deliver appealing services to more "Dogs" without affecting my services to the "Cats".

Andrew said...

When this post arrived in my inbox I thought maybe Greg had lost the plot, but, as always, he was bypassing the jargon and had found a way to express an important distinction. These little emails (always short, so I've always got time to read them) get me thinking about my business in different ways. And that inspiration is always welcome.

I deal mainly with 'pedigree cats', who are not only fussy eaters, but have all sorts of special needs and desires which make life interesting to say the least. Since reading this post, I've also started looking for ways to bring in some dogs. The trick is how to do this without scaring off the cats!

Becky said...

Stopped by your site again and noticed that I had spelled the author's last name wrong. It is Donna and Jerry Govan.


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Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
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