Small business owners have to continually seek out new business to grow, while continuing to offer value to existing customers. Growing too quickly or too slowly can both have repercussions, so having a game plan on how you are going to attract those new sales to your business can make execution easier down the line.
Here are some ways small businesses can reach new customers:
1. Build Partnerships
You can find new customers by partnering with a similar business that has the same targeted demographics in a similar market. Partnerships can be beneficial for both you and the other business, creating symbiotic opportunities to grow both businesses. Using this system also known as a host-beneficiary marketing and finding a business that has customers that run in the same circles as yours is a refined process. It’s important to create an offer that is cost effective for you but can be seen as extremely valuable to potential customers as well as the partner organization you’re working with. Have a clean, simple, printed strategy you can give to the other business so you can attract the mass of qualified optimal customers to your small business. This approach is a win-win for both you and your partnered business owner.
2. Marketing Ramp Up
It does pay to advertise — you just have to be smart about it. Targeting everyone, including those not even close to your targeted market is like throwing money away. Proper targeting is the key to any effective marketing campaign.
Coming up with a new campaign can be tricky. Utilizing the partnership you are building with other businesses to attract the same demographic can ramp up your advertising game, too. Effective marketing campaigns — be it social media retargeting, SEO, display or affiliate marketing — can get your product in front of the right people and over time you can grow sales and build customer loyalty.
Attending select niche networking events with other businesses and/or your target audience can be just what you need to put your business in front of a whole new group of potential customers. It may require coming out of your comfort zone and adjusting to a more social environment, like conferences or happy hours. If you do have the chance to network with your target customer, use this time to listen — not sell. Take in what they are telling you and connect with what’s important to them, so you can improve your product or service for customers just like them.
4. Sponsorships and Charity Projects
The best part about owning your own business is taking on projects with missions that are close to your heart. Hosting charity projects or events can be a very effective way to doing something good while also finding new customers. By sponsoring a charity event, you can get your business name, logo and mission out in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of new customers. You could even ask your team to volunteer their time as a way to boost their morale while promoting your business by handing out company swag while engaging with potential new customers. For example, you could sponsor a charity run and have your logo appear on water bottles given to every runner. It’s a win-win. You get do something good and you can find new customers.
5. Improve Your Customer Service
You should focus not only finding new customers but improving relationships with the customers you do have to improve repeat sales and word of mouth marketing. Improving the level of service you provide to your customers is a great way to make them happy, which can in turn lead to them talking you up to their friends and family. It can also lead to positive reviews and engagement on social media. No matter what, a positive customer experience can lead to good things for your business and for your sales.
When someone refers your business to a friend or family member, you should take that as one of the highest complements. You should also pay them a thank you, too. People trust the opinions of friends and family over anonymous online reviews so encouraging happy customers to refer your business is an easy way to increase your customer base. For example, you can use social media to encourage customers to tag a friend on your post to receive promotional information like a coupon code or giveaway you’re hosting. You are giving them incentive to give you the name of one of their friends and bring that friend to your social media page, which can help you grow your audience.
7. Reconnect With Past and Current Customers
Also get with connecting with your new potential customers on social media, your current and past customers have a lot of growth potential as well. Dig in deeper with feedback from your customers. Are they in need of additional services or products that you do not offer but could if the demand was there? Is your service or product something a customer might need agin? If not, could you tweak your business model to allow for repeat customers?
With so many competitors vying for your customers, find what makes your business their first choice (or why it isn’t their first choice). Is your price point keeping current customers from purchasing more? Could you offer a loyalty program to encourage your current customers to return for exclusive gifts for discounts? Giving customers perks may entice them to make purchases they usually would not be making.
The Bottom Line
Finding creative and non-pushy ways to reach new clients can be out of any new small business owner’s comfort zone. Utilize the gifts and strengths you have to open up the doors for new clients to walk in. If that means hosting charity events or hosting a giveaway on social media, whatever the method is, do it well and without hesitation. Meeting and customizing new advertising and marketing strategies is just part of the many ways you can find new customers and grow your business.
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