One of the most important things you can do to have a successful business is to properly identify your target audience. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that they should try to sell their products or services to everyone on the planet, but that ends up being a recipe for disaster – or for mediocrity, at best.

For your business to succeed, you must find your niche and market your goods and services to the people who are most likely to be interested in them and who will end up buying them.

Below are four tips to help you determine your target audience.

1. Analyze Your Current Customer Base

If you want to know who to market your products to, start by looking at who is already buying them. If you already have your business up and running and are making sales, take a look at those customers. Who are they? Do you know anything about them? If not, then you'll need to start reaching out to customers and get some feedback so that you can understand their needs and motivations as well as their shopping habits. That will help you figure out where to look to find more potential customers, just like them.

2. Create Realistic Buyer Personas

Once you have some data about your current customers, you can create some profiles of what your typical customers might look like. Analyze their demographics in terms of gender, income, location, interests and spending habits. Create customized advertising campaigns that will target those specific personas.

Next, test those ads and measure their performance, sticking with one persona at a time. Then make one change and test some more. Limit the changes you make in your advertising campaigns so that you can accurately pinpoint the factors that influence your conversion rate.

3. Go To Where Your Customers Are

Once you have a good starting point at determining who your target market is, you then need to find out where they are. You can't just put up advertisement anywhere and everywhere. Limit your scope to maximize your effectiveness.

For online marketing, go to where your customers are. Find them in Facebook groups and forums. Jump on the same hashtags they tend to follow. Follow the influencers they follow and connect with them.

The same idea applies offline in the real world. Buy ad space in publications in their local communities. Put ads into magazines that relate to your industry. Have flyers delivered to their homes and businesses.

4. Check Out The Competition

Look at what your competitors are doing. Perhaps they've already done the heavy lifting for you by effectively defining their niche and determining who their target audience is. If you are offering the same products and services as they are, then hijack their methods and target those same demographics.