Skedsheet Blog

Where we talk about the product, calendars, organization, and business

Building a buyer persona

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mannequins in lima After reading World Wide Rave, and The Inmates are Running the Asylum, I got interested in trying to build a “persona” of the person who would use, purchase, and share skedsheet.  This is a short description of our customer – who they are, what their job is, and how they might use our software.

There’s probably not just one buyer persona for us… but it’s important to figure out what our possible customers look like in order to get a good idea of how they would hear about us, what they care about.

We even need to think about what features they’re going to be excited about – to share skedsheet with their friends and co-workers.  Trying to make this specific is interesting, because if forces you to really think through your customers.  Here’s my first attempt.

Mike:

40-year old owner of a countertop installation company that has 5 employees, and does a little over $600K in annual sales.  Mike co-owns the business with his wife, Diane.  He is responsible for managing the two fabricators in the shop and two installers.  Mike goes into the field to measure customer’s’ countertops and he occasionally helps install them.  Diane is the primary salesperson, and they also have an admin assistant who answers the phones and does some sales work, too.

Mike plans to grow the business, and has invested a bit in technology – high end routers and a nice edge-profile machine, but most of the CNC saws are a bit too expensive and he doesn’t have the production volume at this point to justify them.  In addition to his own Ford 350 truck that the business occasionally uses for installations, he also has a box truck that the installers use daily.

Because being a small-business owner in a niche construction trade is a little unusual, Mike spends at least a few nights per week looking at online forums where a community of other countertop business owners exchange ideas about business, technical details of what they’re doing, and talk about the latest tools.

Mike has spent some time building spreadsheets to help with a few of the daily tasks around the office, including a spreadsheet that Diane uses to make estimates for customers, a spreadsheet of details of the jobs they have scheduled.  They also use an outlook calendar to keep track of the measure and installation appointments.  Though he’d never admit to being a “computer guy”, he likes using his iphone and has considered buying a Macintosh to make a nice website and online photo gallery of his work.

The only software that Mike has ever bought for his business are Quickbooks, and the CAD software he uses to draw out the designs that they’re going to build.  Mike feels some pain because of the way they’re managing their schedule now, but there’s no way that he would spend thousands of dollars on an ERP system.  Maybe when his business is doing $2M in sales it will be time to look at that.

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Written by Harry Hollander

March 25, 2009 at 6:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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