The Enterprise Hub supports Liverpool City Region businesses from pre-start to year three. Here, it provides some tips on how to secure more customers…
Convincing people to spend their hard-earned money on a new product or service can be tricky business. That’s why its so important for small businesses to have a stellar growth strategy in place to attract and retain a strong customer base. Whether its improving your product or streamlining your internal processes, there are plenty of ways small businesses can improve and grow.
Start with your existing customers
They say change starts at home. And the same goes for growing your customer base. Before you even think about GROWING your customer base, make sure that you’re offering your current customers a product or service which keeps them coming back again and again. Retaining this group is central to business growth. Not only will repeat custom (if your product or service allows) enhance your cashflow, but word of mouth referrals play a key part in customer decision making and the buying process.
Many business growth gurus will tell you that the key to selling is solving a problem for your customer. If you can, find out what made your customer choose you in the first place. If you know what challenges you solved for that person, then you can shout about this in your marketing to attract new customers.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to any returning customers or send a questionnaire out to your database. Offering a small reward or incentive can help to encourage uptake.
Pinpoint your unique selling point
Knowing what sets you aside from your competitors is key to attracting new customers. Perhaps your service offers a solution to a problem faced by businesses, or maybe your home-baked cake has been voted the most delicious in your local town. Whatever the nature or scale of your business – find your unique selling point and play to it.
Use your marketing channels to let them know why they should choose your service or product before they spend their money with a competitor.
Call on your contacts
Did you meet a really helpful contact at that business networking event last week, or did a happy customer leave a five-star review on your Facebook page last night? If you’ve made a positive connection with someone, don’t be afraid to ask for their help!
Could they recommend your business to any of their contacts or friends? Likewise, don’t forget to return the favour for their business if the time comes.
If the prospect of networking fills you with dread, we’ve also put together some top tips for networking effectively.
Build your online presence
It goes without saying that your online presence can help you build your customer base. After all, your virtual shopfront can be found 24/7.
Many would-be buyers will take to the internet to find out more information before deciding which product or service they want to buy. So, make sure you’re there to tell them why it should be yours.
For some small businesses, investing in a website might not be the best use of resources. But with social media its easier than ever to build an online presence – and for free! From building your brand to sharing key sales messages about your latest offers, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram could work for you.
Play with your marketing strategy
Your digital marketing strategy can easily be overlooked in the day-to-day stresses of running a business. But it’s so important to dedicate time to getting it right. If you just have twenty minutes a day to update your social media or send out a newsletter to your database, you need to make sure your investing your time wisely.
Set yourself some key goals and make time to analyse whether you’re reaching them. Most platforms will offer analytic tools to help you investigate how well your marketing activity is going. For example, if you’ve set a goal to build your presence on social media, then use Twitter or Facebook’s analytics section to check your engagement rate (the number of people who interact with any given post) or see how many new followers you have accrued. That way, if something isn’t working you can experiment until you get it right.
If you’d like to find out how else you can grow your business, or need help with any of the practicalities mentioned in this blog, get in touch with Enterprise Hub to find out what support is available to you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 706 8113.
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If you’re not sure what sort of help you need, get in touch and we’ll help you work things out.