Let me give one more example of how other elements of your business model flow from your decision as to who you are serving.
Let’s say you decide that you want to focus on serving people in your community who are in the 20s and 30s and have children. So far, so good, but still awfully broad. Zoom in a bit more: people who are stay at home parents, homeschoolers, and child care professionals.
Now you need to “get out of the building” and talk to people who fit this description: what problems do they have that your company might be able to solve? What ages are their kids? What are the needs of pre-K vs older? And so forth.
I haven’t talked to these people, but I’m going to use my imagination to come up with a few themes that might have turned up (YOU, on the other hand, need to actually TALK to them).
Stay-at-home parents might tell you that they would really love to have an opportunity to have a break sometime during the day, maybe late morning of early afternoon. Just a chance to have a breather for an hour, maybe have a cup of coffee and talk to other adults, or run a quick errand.
How does this affect your thinking?
Well, one thing you might do is investigate open retail spaces at the local mall, preferably one not far from the food court. Parents could take their kids to the show/activity and then hang out at the food court or do some shopping. Maybe you do a show at 11:00 and 1:00, so either after or before parents could buy their kids lunch.
But a parent is not going to be comfortable leaving their small child without supervision, right? So you need to make sure the company members have been trained and licensed by the state. You also cap the max attendance at a number small enough to be supervised. You also might provide a free ticket for a couple parents to serve as observers/assistants for the show. Do you provide a snack after the show? Do the performers hang out with the kids afterwards?
What about the homeschoolers? This group of kids might be older, so anxiety about leaving them might be lessened. What you need to find out is how you could help the parent with the curriculum they’re covering. What topics are being studied by that age group? How might you create a show (or find one already written) that could connect? Because they’re older, you could schedule the performance later — say, 2:30 or 3:00.
You ask about ticket prices. Money is tight, you hear a lot. Maybe you start to think: what if, instead of buying single tickets, parents did a monthly subscription that allowed them to bring the kids as often as they like, or up to a maximum number each month? Might be worth asking them about.
But if you need to keep the price low in order to make these shows attractive to people whose budgets are tight, how will this be sustainable? Well, first you’d make sure that your shows didn’t cost an arm-and-a-leg to produce. Maybe you devise your own scripts, so you’re not paying royalties; maybe your designs focus on creative use of a small number of (reusable?) elements to encourage the kids to use their imagination; maybe the company is kept small, or other members of the company are involved in creating the evening show for adults (in the same space? Maybe.) Remember, once the parents trust you and know you personally, they might become curious about what else you do and join your audience for your grown-up shows in the evening.
Also, ask yourself: who else might benefit from what you’re doing and who might be able to provide supplementary income? Malls have started to feel the pinch of internet shopping, and many have a lot of empty storefronts. Might they find it worthwhile to give you free or reduced rent in order to draw people to the mall during the day? Might the food court owners be willing to kick in, even if it was something as small as, say, lunch for the cast? Worth a try.
Your choice of Customer Segment opens the door to so much creative thinking, but only if you get outside the building and talk to your audience before you start making decisions.