After the euphoria of owning your own business and working on your own terms comes the sudden realization that you need to grow your customer base; not just a usual one but a base that will ensure that your business is profitable in the long run.
A lot of new business owners or existing ones find this part of managing the business very challenging so we have come up with a couple of helpful tips that will guide you through this important business stage/phase.
Focus on you identified target market
When you came up with an idea of owning your own small business, you would have identified a particular need that you want to attend to, a solution to a particular target’s problems. Hence, in building your profitable business, your marketing should be tailored to where you can meet these people, their interests, and their dislikes.
Don’t lose sight of the influencers
In targeting the audience, there are also influencers; these group of people influence decisions made by your target audience. Women may not be the main target for a car website, but an intelligent business will realize that a lot of these women have a hand or two in the purchase of cars in an average home. So the women in this case cannot be ignored.
Also worthy of note is the ads for children products where children are targeted, not because they have the purchasing power, but because they have the power to convince their parents to buy these products.
Attend Networking events
A lot of organizations are organizing free events for small business owners to meet prospective clients, so search for these events/seminars/workshop around your vicinity and attend.
Leverage on Word of Mouth
One of the first things people learn about sales is that you need to start with your circle of influence, that is, your family and friends. So how many people have you told about your brand and what peculiar services you offer? In your place of worship, do people know about your services/products? After speaking to them about your product/service and they have no immediate need for it, then ask for referral to someone they feel will buy into your idea. You can give them call cards/fliers to give to their own circle of influence hence expanding your possible customer base!
Deliver on your promise
Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth and reviews especially at this internet age where clients can easily go on-line to search for past user experience before buying into your services/products. So if you are a small on-line shoe business owner and you promise your client quality and timely delivery, please make sure you meet the deadline. If however you have issues beyond your control that will not allow you deliver on the promise, it is advisable that you call up the client and strike out a deal with them.
Remember, bad news travel fast!
Social media platforms are one of the cheapest means of building customer base, starting from building your likes, followers and circles. The social functionalities that enable people to share content will also be a bonus to your brand if you have quality and interesting content. For example, social media competitions where people are asked to perform certain action to win something sometimes garner lots of reach and engagement.
The number of possible audience on the major social media platforms cannot be ignored so if you want to build a customer base, go social.