You started your business, you did all the right things (business licenses, patents, bank accounts, built a website, etc). Things are going pretty well, but you know you need to grow your revenue in order to really grow your business. It can seem daunting to many business owners to decide which steps to take next. To make this process more doable, try to focus on a couple of goals. In this case, let’s talk about growing your business by getting new customers and boosting revenue from your current/retained customers.
1- Getting New Customers
As obvious as this may sound, one of the most commonly overlooked steps in growing a business is promoting it.
Promotion: Get the word out
Great, you’re onboard with promoting your business—it makes sense, right?
But where and how should you start? It’s important to remember that not only do you need to promote your business to potential customers, but also to your existing customers.
I know I’m “supposed” to promote my business online, but how do I actually do that?
Having and growing an online presence gives you a way to reach new customers. Here are five ways to get started:
- Claim local online listings (like Yelp)
- Create a mobile-friendly website
- Build a presence on social platforms
- Ask for online reviews
- Build local citations on directory sites
To get started with these, read this article.
How do I get the customers I already have to buy more often?
Make it easy and painless to buy from you. One idea is to start using an online booking software to allow customers to schedule appointments, estimates, or consultations with you while their on the go. Putting something like this in place will also let you send appointment confirmations and reminders to book their next service.
Remind and encourage your customers to save time by booking appointments with you online instead of calling you. For tips on how to get your customers to book online and more often, check out this article.
I network a lot—it would be great to be able to sign people up for appointments or packages when I’m out in my community.
Offering onsite signups for estimates or consultations can be a great way to network in your community and increase word of mouth about your business. Consider a mobile solution that will let you accept payments or book appointments as well as store customer information in a database while you’re on the go.
My favorite customers are also the ones that visit me the most often, how do I get more people like them?
Use your database or a customer management tool to run a report to pull your best ($$/# of visits) customers. Export their email addresses and send them a special thank you with a coupon and a request to refer your business to others.
Whenever you work with your favorite customer, ask them to review you online and provide a personal testimonial about their experience.
2- Keeping Good Customers
Customer Experience: Keep customers happy
Another commonly overlooked step in growing a business is a focus on keeping current customers ‘over-the-moon’ happy.
I thank my customers for using my services every time I work with them, what else can I do to show my appreciation?
Whether your list of customers lives in a spreadsheet or is already integrated with your payment processing software, an up-to-date database is critical to sending them birthday promotions and other special messages that will delight them and make you stand apart from the competition.
What about customers I haven’t seen for a while, how do I remind them about my services?
Similar to sending your customers a birthday email, use your database to pull a list of people who have not visited you in a while and send them a special email with a coupon to get them purchasing your services again. To learn how to get more out of your database, check out this article.