who are your customers?

When setting up a business it is important that you know who your customers are. Working through the NESTA tool kit I was able to undergo a short worksheet that allowed me to visualise my customers.  By doing this worksheet I discovered just how many of my customers are “unreachable”. As my customer group are the visually impaired I researched how many people are visually impaired worldwide. I found that a shocking 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide, and 90% of them are in developing countries. As the product I would like to sell in my business would retail around £150 – £300, a large amount of my customer base would be unlikely to be interested. This means that I would either have to redesign to cater for their needs or only sell my product nationally. For the ease of this exercise I decided to constrain my device to Britain for now. I discovered that visually impaired population of Britain was around 360,000 and then moved onto finding out how many of them I could reach. I believe that it is around about 2% of your total customer base that you end up selling to on average, and so that would mean that I reach about 7,200 people. At this stage I do not know if this is a good or bad number but what I do know is that the customer will only really have to buy the product once. I therefor do not have a returning customer base.

I had the good fortune to be able to talk to a visually impaired person last year and he told me a very inspiring fact. “The best gift you can give a blind man is his independence” this is why I believe this device has a place in the market. My business gives the user independence by giving them a choice.

Below I have posted the questions the worksheet asked and my answers to them.

  • What is your customer group called?

                Visually impaired

  • What are their needs?

                Devices/Products that rectifies or improves there understanding of the world

  • What are you offering them?

                The ability to make an informed decision, giving them their own independence

  • How many are there?

                285 million worldwide

  • How many will you reach?

                2% of 360,000 (the population of the visually impaired in the UK) = 7,600 approx

  • How frequently?


  • How much will they pay?

                £150 – £300

  • Potential total income?

                (In USA) $16,500 ($10,000 less than the average non-visually impaired citizen) 


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