If you set up a small business and work hard, there may come a day when you have the means to take your company to the next level and increase your profits. One of the best ways to do this is to find new customers, so they bring that extra revenue to your company. Helping you utilise this strategy, Turner Little outlines seven ways to expand your small business’ customer base.
- Talk to your customers
You should always have your finger on the pulse. If you get to know your customers better, you can understand their needs, gaining the insight into your audience that you can use to broaden your customer base. It’s a good idea to carry out extensive market research to assess your audience’s needs, using everything from online polls (which you can create on sites such as Survey Monkey), to gain a broad picture of what your customers want, to focus groups so you can find more in depth insight.
- Manage your time properly
There are so many demands on your time as a business owner, as you need to oversee everything from hiring to financial planning. You cannot devote every hour of every day to looking for new customers, as if you do you will let your existing ones down. You need the stable income that existing clients provide to support business growth, so invest in effective time management measures – perhaps hire strategically and take on someone to handle your less important responsibilities.
- Measure your business successes
Find out what your business does well and do more of it, to create extra demand and increase custom. It is vital that you monitor your business successes to achieve this aim. You could measure profits for each product or service, so you know which are in demand. You can also use online tools. If you set up alerts for your company name using software such as Brandwatch, you can monitor what consumers are saying about your business on social media, allowing you to assess whether you are catering to their needs or falling short of the mark.
- Shout out on social media
Social media can be a great tool for expanding your customer base. If you utilise sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you will market your business to a broad share of your customer base, generating more consumer awareness. Be careful though – different sites are best suited to different audiences, for example Instagram caters to a younger crowd than Facebook, so target the right platform to leverage social media marketing effectively.
- Provide excellent customer service
Word of mouth marketing can work wonders. Provide excellent customer service, so consumers will then go on to tell their friends, colleagues etc. about your business, growing your customer base. Remember that in the online age, people express their opinion about businesses on review platforms such as Trust Pilot. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so even one great review could really help you attract new customers.
So how can you take your business’ customer service to the next level? Again, it is about listening to your customers, so it is vital that you use market research to determine how you can improve service. One really important thing you need to do is to make sure that if a customer complains about your business, respond promptly and address the issue quickly, so the spurned customer does not air their grievances on review platforms such as Trust Pilot and damage your firm’s image with other consumers.
- Work on your relationships
If you establish good relationships with other professionals and businesses in your industry, you can tap the support you need to make your customer base bigger. It is a wise idea to attend networking events for your sector to forge these relationships. One good resource here is Meet Up – an app designed to help people plan and attend gatherings – as it lists professional networking events across the world. Also look to form partnerships with firms that provide complementary services e.g. you could partner with a packaging business if you are an e-retailer, so you find that crucial support.
- Keep your options open
If you rigidly stick to your business model, you may miss an opportunity to bring more customers to your door. You may find, for example, that while your company’s primary customer base was local when you started, over time people have started coming to you from further afield, finding out about you on social media or Google. As your customer base changes your firm must too – cater to these consumers to retain business. For example, in this case you may want to embrace e-commerce so you can sell and transport goods to customers who are further away from you than your local clients.
Manage your money properly
If you want to leverage these strategies effectively, develop a robust financial infrastructure. This will allow you to manage your cash flow efficiently, so you can allocate funds towards customer expansion projects. It is key that you choose the right banking provider to handle your cash flow and we can help. Turner Little can supply you with the UK business banking advice you need to grow your customer base while keeping your operations stable, so you can develop a strong, sustainable enterprise!
Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.