Customers are the lifeblood of any business and probably the most powerful force fueling small business growth. Attracting new customers can sometimes be difficult and keeping them can be an even bigger challenge. If despite your best efforts, you’re not seeing your goals realized, these tips could help increase your customer base and stimulate small business growth.
Your existing customers know who you are and where to find you but what are you doing to help make new customers aware of your business? In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to up your game when it comes to marketing.
In today’s competitive marketplace, that means having a strong online presence. You need a website that is up-to-date with relevant content and is also user-friendly. Also, having a site that is mobile friendly is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Don’t forget social media. Find out which platforms are popular among your target audience and get social.
Make a Good First Impression
As with any new relationship, it’s extremely important to make a good first impression. A new customer’s initial impression could make the difference between a one-time transaction and a long-term relationship. Even though you strive to always give the best possible service, with a new customer you want to exceed rather than just meet their expectations.
Offer an additional free service such as gift wrapping or expedited delivery. Provide a coupon for a discount on their next purchase. It is also beneficial to engage customers in a conversation to learn a little bit about them. If the first time transaction is online, offer free shipping for that purchase or a discount on a future purchase. Be sure to follow up with a thank you email.
Streamline the Transaction Process
Just like your website, it’s important to keep your business technology up-to-date as well. With today’s busy schedules and on-the-go lifestyles, customers appreciate hassle-free transactions. Complicated online purchases or slow, antiquated POS equipment can discourage repeat business.
If you are a B2B company, offer online invoicing and payments, allowing your customers to get back to their business. Providing customers with efficient service that permits them to get what they want and get on their way quickly will help create customer loyalty and repeat business.
Build Strategic Alliances
Do you do business with similar but non-competing companies? If so, this can provide you with an additional opportunity to increase your customer base. Network with these companies and set up a plan to refer customers to each other should either business be unable to provide what they need. Not only will this be a source of new customers. It will also help strengthen and build lasting relationships with the cooperating businesses.
Word of Mouth
This is more important than ever with online reviews. Studies have shown that 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017. Moreover, 12% looked for a local business every single day, and 85% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. When a customer expresses their satisfaction with your business and customer service, politely ask them to leave you an online review. It’s no different than asking them to tell their friends!
Funding Small Business Growth
Efforts to increase your customer base take time and in many cases, money. If unpaid invoices have you lacking the capital necessary to implement a strategy to attract new customers, CapFlow Funding Group may be able to help.
We specialize in factoring to provide businesses with short-term working capital. We also partner with other lenders to provide funds for businesses that require financial services other than ours. Contact us today and find out how we can help you grow your business.