3 out of 10 businesses still operate 10 years after they opened their doors.
Whether you have an online business or a brick and mortar storefront, it's possible for your small business to succeed with the right tools.
But businesses have a lot on their plates. From creating a website to hiring the right people to manage the books, starting a business is not for the faint of heart.
We all want our businesses to grow and expand. We're passionate about what we sell and the services we offer. But, how do we get others to be just as passionate about our products and services? And, how do we get customers to buy into our services and vision?
Our customers are the lifeforce of our business. Without them, we would even exist. We need loyal customers and we need our businesses to grow by bringing in new customers. Read on to learn 10 easy steps for growing your customer base so that your business can thrive and expand.
How to Grow Your Customer Base in 10 Easy Steps
We need our customers and we want our customers to need us and our products. Explore these 10 easy steps to grow your customer base so that your business can get the profits and notoriety it deserves.
1. Research Your Target Audience
It's likely that you've already researched your target audience when beginning your business, but it's also helpful to revisit your target audience research on a reoccurring basis.
When you began your business, your customer base may have been women in their 30's. But, when you look into more recent trends you may find that your target audience expanded to include women in their 20's as well. To target this newfound customer base you may need to adjust your marketing strategies.
Also, find out where your target audience frequents, how they search for businesses, and what they're interested in. Tailor your marketing strategies to meet these changes.
2. One is Silver and the Other's Gold
“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold.”
Most of us have heard this popular children's song, but if you replace “friends” with “customers” the sentiment is applicable to your business, too.
In our quest to grow our customer base, we shouldn't forget about our repeat, loyal customers. It's more difficult to bring in a new customer than it is to get repeat business from a past customer.
When we keep our current customers happy, we retain our business profits and make way for our loyal customers to spread the word for us and bring in new customers.
3. Show Up
It's tempting to remain within the four walls of your business or behind your computer, but customers want to see you in the community. People do business with people they know they can trust. When a potential customer is able to see a face representing the company and pleased with the interaction, then they are more likely to entrust your company with their business.
Participate in community functions, volunteer, and speak at events to expand your customer base.
4. No Strings Attached
Encourage a relationship with customers by offering them products, knowledge, and discounts with no strings attached. Provide them with free content, coupons, and product samples. Have an organic conversation with potential customers without the goal of selling them anything.
5. Team Up
Team up with other businesses and organizations within your community. Having great relationships with other companies creates space for joint business opportunities and more customers.
Small businesses may also not have the means to put on an event, such as a health fair on their own. Having business contacts who are willing to help with these sort of events or can tell you when other events are occurring can be priceless and beneficial when growing your customer base.
6. Utilize Social Media
These days, social media is not just used to speak and share with friends and acquaintances. Potential customers are using social media to also connect with businesses and find products.
Social media also allows business to create ads. An ad on social media will target potential customers with ease by identifying within the ad your target customer preferences.
In addition to keeping active on social media, create a website. A website allows all of your business's information to have a home base. Having a home base allows potential customers to gain information about your business's prices, products, and vision.
Websites, unlike social media, allow you to be creative. They give potential customers a feel your company, what they can expect, and how to get in touch with you. You can also provide links to your social media pages which can allow customers to share information directly from your website to their own social media pages.
On your website, encourage customers to leave reviews and make these reviews visible so that potential customers can not only trust your word but also repeat customers' experiences.
8. Focus on Customer Service
Train your employees to be excellent in customer service. In fact, hiring the right people in the first place can be a great way to bring in potential customers, too.
Put the customer's needs first. If your customer needs more information before purchasing your product, then take the time to walk them through the process. If an issue occurs, resolve it quickly with an attitude of keeping the customer happy in mind.
Bad reviews and negative customer service experiences are easily shared on social media and by word of mouth. These negative experiences could not only cost you loyal customers but potential customers as well.
9. Ask for Help
When in doubt, ask for help. As a business owner, it's impossible to be good at everything.
Ask other companies how they expanded their customer base. Find a mentor and ask them how to improve customer relationships.
If needed, hire outside businesses to assist in tasks such as graphic design, website building, or marketing.
Always look for opportunities to improve. Improve your sales procedure, improve your website and social media. By improving your business, you remain relevant and in tune with your customer's needs and wants.
Feeling Confident in Expanding Your Customer Base?
Visit our blog to learn more about expanding your customer base and improving your small business's reputation by knowing what customers are currently saying about you.