Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Do you know your community?

As a business owner, do you know your community? Most people would probably answer yes to that question, but very often the way we perceive everything around isn't based on actual data or facts but our own personal observations. While instincts and personal experience can certainly be valuable, they don’t provide all of the information necessary to make strategic and tactical decisions that can result in long term success for your business. 

First step is pulling up the data in your community to get a better idea of what you are working with. This type of market research can reveal information about trends that may impact the future of your business. This research can bring to light opportunities and potential challenges, and can help you re-evaluate your marketing, products, and service. Having a strong understanding of your community's demographics is important, and you can learn more right away just by pulling up these stats:
  • Total population
  • Gender mix
  • Ethnicity
  • Income
  • Education
  • Marital status
  • Age distribution, with an emphasis on age 65+
These data points help analysts determine a great deal about the future of a community. Here are some examples of how understanding the characteristics of your community’s residents can impact your firm:

Total population Examining this data can provide insights on population trends, such as whether or not your community is growing. You’ll also have the opportunity to plan for what this data could mean for your long-term business viability. It’s great for a community to experience growth, but you’ll need to be prepared to expand your business (staff, facilities, etc.) in order to meet demand. If the data indicates a trend of population decline, what actions would you take?

Ethnicity The United States is experiencing notable shifts in ethnic makeup. If the population is expected to change in your area, how will you alter or supplement your firm’s services to meet the needs of your client families? Consider how you and your staff can acquire the knowledge and skills required to best meet your customers’ needs.

Income It’s important to gather data about income, as this can drive your service offering and pricing decisions. You’ll also want to measure and assess the expected income trends for your area. Of course, income is just one of the factors that may affect your pricing model. Don’t forget that “price shoppers” still want to receive high value for their money.

Age distribution Research indicates that people ages 65+ are receptive to the benefits of advance funeral planning. People in this group may be more emotionally and rationally prepared to prearrange their funerals. Is the number of people in this age group expected to grow or decline for your community?

When you know your community you'll have the base you need to improve your services and be better equipped to serve your families, which will only help your business's long term success!

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