By Kevin D. Johnson, Jr.
Open Environment Patronage Decisions
If the goal for a small business or entrepreneur is to provide their product or service to a higher-end clientele, one must think about where this market dwells. A business owner has personal decisions to make such as what hair salon or barbershop they will patronize, for example. These shops can take on various price points and business models. Some barbershop services range from $15-20, whereas others start at $50 and up.
There’s a vast difference in the type of people that will frequent these types of establishments, based on the prices and environment. One would hope the more expensive hair salons will have the service and décor that warrants their asking price. If these fall in line with the premium pricing structure, they will attract clientele that can consistently afford these rates. This is where the entrepreneur that is seeking clients with a bigger budget or are willing to pay luxury prices should spend their money.
The environment will attract people from various industries with higher incomes that are accustomed to paying premium rates. Thus, relationships can be formed with like-minded individuals who are accustomed to paying for higher-end services and products. If they are not interested in your business, perhaps they can refer you to a more suitable salon. Of course, this isn’t a 100% theory, but it is based in possibility and probability. The best thing a business owner can do is create opportunities in every environment that they frequent.
One-on-One Patronage Decisions
The barbershop environment is huge because it has various people coming and going. Thus, you can develop many organic relationships. However, I believe this way of thinking also applies to one-on-one services that businesses need- such as accountants and lawyers. The key is to pair yourself with someone that is willing to keep an eye out for opportunities for you via their clientele or other vendors. Their price point can play a part in this approach but their mentality should be analyzed. They might have high-end clientele but aren’t willing to open up their network. Focusing on the personality traits of the individual is just as important as their skill set and resume. The goal is to get the most out of your money spent. You want to be able to advertise at the businesses that you patronize.
Creating advertising opportunities is always in the best interest of an entrepreneur, small business, etc. This should be considered in a large environment and also a one-on-one patronage scenario. Try getting as close to your target market as possible. If you have commonalities that require services, take that into consideration when determining where your money will be spent. This would be a great opportunity to make vital connections. There isn’t any way to avoid spending money on one’s needs so, let your patronage be a way of gaining new clientele.