No customers, no business! Customers are the lifeline for every business. They act as a focal point in deciding the future of an enterprise. A strong and loyal customer base is important for businesses of all sizes to earn profits and to widen their reach.
But businesses of today, especially small businesses, are facing challenges in finding new customers. Big businesses usually have all the resources to spend money on expensive marketing strategies to attract new clients. However, small businesses with a low marketing budget find it hard to acquire new customers.
Here are some simple tips for small business owners to attract and retain new customers:
In order to learn who your ideal customers are, you must thoroughly first analyse your business. This has to be done with a realistic point of view. Get a clear understanding of what makes your business special and unique, why customers choose to buy your products and services, and what are the motivating factors for them, what are the strengths and weaknesses of your business, and how to overcome weaknesses and focus more on strengths? Apply SWOT analysis theory to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your business.
Before implementing the marketing strategies, it’s better to find out your targeted audience base. Perform market research and figure out which age group is mostly purchasing your products, what is the male to female ratio, etc. Based on the results obtained during market research, design an effective marketing strategy. Narrow down your options and segment your targeted audience into several groups and send personalised marketing messages to the specified group. This will definitely help in improving the conversion rate as well as attracting and retaining the new client base.
It’s important to acquire new customers in order to grow your business but it is also vital to keep your current customers happy. Your current customers are like diamonds to your business. They stick to your company, always purchase/renew products/services from you, act as referrals to friends and family members, and work as brand ambassadors for your company. In order to retain your existing clients, you must provide value to your customers; listen to their feedback, offer incentives and reward programs, congratulate them on their special occasions and birthdays.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a vital tool for small businesses. Every small business must invest in good CRM software because it immensely helps small businesses to collect and store customer data, helps in identifying customer tastes, preferences, purchase habits, and segments the customers according to targeted groups. Besides, you can even send personalised and targeted marketing emails to the segmented group. Moreover, through management of customer data, you can even coordinate your sales and marketing activities. For small businesses, it’s better to invest in cloud based CRM software because it’s affordable and it can be operated from anywhere in the world with access to Internet.
In this digital age, Internet has become the most important marketing tool for businesses to promote their products and services. Everyone in the world is using Internet for one reason or another. If you are still adopting the old-age marketing techniques, it’s better to say adieu, good-bye and start implementing online marketing tactics. Buy a domain and start your company website, create a social media business page, or develop a mobile friendly website. Go beyond and plan for digital marketing activities like SEO to drive more traffic to your website, PPC advertising to find new customers to your business, social media marketing and email marketing to increase the fan base and to drive more sales as well as to encourage repeat purchases.
In addition to implementing the above techniques, you can utilise the word “Free” in your marketing campaigns. It works like magic. Try to offer your first service or product for free or with a discount, then after a few days you will definitely notice a growth in the sales of your products and services. Getting new clients to your small business is not so easy. It’s really a difficult task. But with the best marketing strategy and through an actionable plan, you can slowly improve your customer base.