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4.7 Target Market Education Profile Analysis Questionnaire

What purpose does the Educational Profile of Cuyahoga have on the business plan for Lights On Electrical, Inc.?

The education profile for Cuyahoga, gives the reader of the business plan for Lights On Electrical, Inc. a very good analysis of the level of education that the population of Cuyahoga has attained. The reason this is important to know for any firm in the Electrical Contractor is that this analysis, just like the owner occupied housing analysis covered in the previous section, gives us a sense of the tastes, preferences and buying power of a target market like Cuyahoga.

What is the data in the Education Profile analysis for Lights On Electrical, Inc. compared to?

The data for the Education Profile analysis of Lights On Electrical, Inc. in Cuyahoga is compared to the education profile data for the entire state of Ohio. The reason we do that is that until you compare the existing target market data to a regional or national average we will not be able to understand the relevance and descrepanices that may exist in the target market. It is important to note that education metrics can differ vastly just like occupied housing statistics depending on which part of the country you are in.

The following are the education attainment categories that we use when looking at the Education Profile analysis of Cuyahoga and Ohio:

  1. The percentage of the population of Cuyahoga and Ohio that have attained an education of up to the 9th grade.
  2. The percentage of the population of Cuyahoga and Ohio that have attained an education of between the 9th and 12th grade but did not get diplomas.
  3. The percentage of the population of Cuyahoga and Ohio that are high school graduates (including those who passed equivalency tests.
  4. The percentage of the population of Cuyahoga and Ohio that have some college under their belt but did not graduate.
  5. The percentage of the population of Cuyahoga and Ohio that were able to attain an associates degree.
  6. The percentage of the population of Cuyahoga and Ohio that were able to secure a Bachelors degree.
  7. The percentage of the population of Cuyahoga and Ohio that have Graduate or Professional Degrees.

When you have a high proportion of the target market with a high school graduation or lower it generally implies that your target market is composed of folks who were not able to get highly educated - this has many implications for you as a small business owner of a business like Lights On Electrical, Inc.. If your business requires the client to fill out a lot of paperwork (eg. mortgage broker or banker), you may need to take extra time to explain the contents of the paperwork to your clients due to their lack of comfort with documentation. Many times what we have found is that in target markets where a large segment of the population is not very well educated, there can also be a language barrier since these communities also tend to have a large amount of immigrants from other parts of the world that have come to make the United States their home. This further increases the pressure on a business to hire staff that is able to take the time to explain the paperwork in some detail. In the case of a language barrier, you may also need to have staff that are able to speak the native language of the community you serve.

This is very often the case in major metropolitan areas where many of the immigrant communities tend to settle. Even the United States, State and local County governments have now acknowledged this fact and you will find in the New York metropolitan area, that most government offices have forms translated into a few languages and also have staff that can speak those languages.

While there is no rule to this, by and large we find that there is a high co-relation between the average educational attainment of the population in any target market like Cuyahoga and the economic health of the market. Studies of earnings patterns done using Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data have demonstrated beyond any doubt that in the American economy there is a very high degree of co-relationship between how educated a person is and how much they can earn. Thus we come to the conclusion using factual and academic research that if your business is located in an area where the level of educational attainment is relatively low, you are most probably looking at a working class neighborhood. That does not mean however that business conditions may not be good - quite the contrary - if you price your services right, you will find that customers with relatively lower educational attainment can be much more dependable clients because they tend to do business with you based on your established reputation and trust. In upmarket populations, we have observed that while the local target market population may have better levels of education, they also tend to better informed and tend to conduct business based on price and don't necessarily make very dependable clients.

Educational Attainment and the Sales Process:

When formulating an online strategy, a small business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. will have to ensure that educational attainment of its target market is a factor in the formulation of its strategy that understands the four stages of the sales process:

  1. Attention: this is when a small business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. is looking to get the attention of the customer.
  2. Interest: During this stage we already have gained the attention of the propective customer, and are instead trying to engage the customer by generating an interest. Small businesses can do this effectively by addressing something that is of interest to the customer. Here we are looking to address a customer need.
  3. Desire: This is the critical stage of the sales process and if Andy Powell and Jose Garcia of Lights On Electrical, Inc. are able execute correctly, they will be able to turn the customer's need into making the customer want to to fulful that need.
  4. Action: In this final stage of the sales process, a small business has to be able to turn that interest and desire in prior stages into action. That action could take the form of a propective customer placing on order online, calling a number they see in an advertisement etc.

Should a business in the Electrical Contractor, operating in a target market with a relatively low level of educational attainment, have an online presence?

The answer is yes. We strongly feel that that internet is fast expanding and changing the way every sector of the economy and marketplace does business and goes about looking for products and services. Hence, not having an internet presence for a a business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. can be detrimental to its the long term success potential, even if they happen to be located in an area where the average educational attainment is not very high. Also, nowadays, given that the cost of buying a website, securing a domain name and hosting the site on third party servers, have become so affordable, we think it that every business should consider having at least a humble presence online.

With the proliferation of cell phones with global positioning systems (GPS), it is only a matter of time when small businesses will be able to reach out to its customers locally with specific product and service offerings. Small businesses like Lights On Electrical, Inc. need to be ready for that.

Quick Links:

  1. Go to the Corresponding Template section for this industry.
  2. Go to the Corresponding Business Plan section for this industry.

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