As a business owner, you need to widen your perspective while focusing on three things — your employees, your product or service and your customers.
Most business owners, especially the new ones, may feel at a loss on how to encourage people to check out their products and services.
You know that the lifeblood of your business is having a large client base, which will help your business grow and be able to fulfill your vision for your company.
Hiring the right people who can generate sales is crucial to a business. Marketing plays a very significant role. And there is more to it than simply relying on word of mouth.
Let me share with you some points on how you can increase your client base.
- Identify your customers.
When planning a business, you should have a clear vision on what your target market will be.
Will it be people from middle-class families or from the upper class? Will you be focusing on a specific age group or base on gender? It is not enough to just put up any kind of business without thinking if what you will offer is something that the people will truly purchase. You must identify who they are and what motivates them so that you can have a clear understanding of their needs.
- Know your business inside and out.
One of the factors that can help you succeed in any kind of business is by having a firm knowledge of the products and services that you offer. It is never enough to just sit down and ask people to do things for you without you understanding how the business should run. You may have the money to invest in a business, but if you lack the knowledge about it, then it is bound to fail.
There are instances wherein your supervisors may not be able to decide and that you are the only one who can have the final say. What will you do if suddenly you were confronted with a situation and you have no clue on how to resolve it because you are not aware on how things work in your company? Remember that the success of your business is a reflection of you.
If you think that you lack some skills that are needed in building your business, never hesitate to learn more. If there is a need for you to enroll for a particular program, then grab that opportunity. This goes the same with the people working for you. They should also undergo training and workshops. They are the first people that people talk to and not knowing what the company offers when they are asked will absolutely turn off any potential customer.
- Make your products and services stand out.
There may be competitors nearby that offer almost the same products and services that you have.
What is your edge to pull in more customers? A good marketing strategy should come in handy.
Example, set a few days, like weekends, to offer discounts. Or you may let your customers experience or enjoy another product for free. This is a good way to get recognition for slow-moving products.
- Connect through different social media sites.
The power of social media is just tremendous. It is also through these channels that businesses have the means to improve their services by giving customers an opportunity to give feedback.
When you, as a business owner, take time to listen to your customers, they feel that they are valued. And with that, you will be able to convert followers or fans into paying customers.
- Adding products and services.
You may have a small business that sells dimsum. Customers would naturally want to eat it as soon as they buy it. But what could entice more people to buy from you is when you offer something to drink, too. This is something that no small business should overlook. You wouldn’t want your food business to be just like a take-out counter.
- Utilize all means possible in marketing and advertising.
There must be funds that are intended for both marketing and advertising. We cannot just wait for the customer to come in everyday without doing something to truly let the business be known. Small businesses may scratch off the idea of having their business advertised on television. So that leaves you with posting on social media sites, in distributing flyers, placing on ad spaces and billboards. You may also want to join bazaars where you can have your small business showcased for a few days.
- Provide great customer service.
When customers feel that they are getting money's worth, they will surely come back and even tell their friends about the product.
- Create a Referral Program.
Your satisfied customers may be able to help by referring you to some of their friends. However, not all will be willing to do that for free. Offer them incentives such as gift cards or vouchers for future purchases.
(Armando Bartolome is known as the Philippines’ Franchise Guru, a business mentor to numerous micro entrepreneurs who are now themselves big names in the industry. This article is reposted with the author’s permission and was previously published on The Business Mentor column posted by ABSCBN News. For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome by email:firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @philfranguru. His website is www.gmb.com.ph)