Do You Really Know Your Lexington Audience?

May 10, 2017 | Posted By: Connor Watkins

Pete Oliver, Columbia-area manager of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of South Carolina, showed members at Tuesday's breakfast how the SBDC helps thousands of small business owners each year with free private consulting sessions, resources and seminars geared to help small business owners succeed.

Oliver began by asking members: “If you are starting a business and you are opening next month, what should be your main concern? If you’ve been in business for 5 years what should be your main concern? If you’ve been in business for 20 years, what should be your main concern?” The answer to all of these: Customer development.

One big part of developing your customer base lies with knowing exactly who your customers are and by looking at the demographics in your target area you can better understand your customers and their needs.

Did you know that 19 percent of households within a five-mile radius of the intersection at Mineral Springs and Highway 378 have a net worth of $500,000 or more? On top of that, the total dollar amount of retail trade and food and drink within that same five-mile radius is $1.2 billion. This is the kind of information that can assist businesses, large and small, as they look to develop and grow their client base.

There are 66 different market segments that a business owner can view, each with their respective goals, wants and needs. By understanding each and knowing the types of people in the Lexington community, we can better offer services and products that will meet the needs of our community now and as we continue to grow.

While only three of those market segments were covered at Tuesday’s breakfast, Oliver will be hosting a seminar at the Chamber in June that will offer a more in-depth look at this topic.

As people left the breakfast, they noticed a little extra bling on the registration table thanks to Troy Simpson, Chamber Secretary and VP of Member Services for breakfast sponsor Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative. Simpson was the winner of this year’s Dancing with the Stars competition, a fundraiser for the Lexington District 1 Educational Foundation.