The market is primed and ready for your new products and services. The possibilities are endless. The team is excited and ready to go. There’s no better time than the present to take the steps to scaling your small business.
What’s the secret to your success?
It’s pretty simple: people. Your customers, and the way you acquire and retain them, are the secret sauce for a successful business. Learn how to care for your prospective and current customers alike, and you’ll overcome the biggest barrier to scaling: finding the fans to support your growth.
Put People First: Focus on Current Customers
If you’re like most small business owners, you’re looking for a larger target audience. The wider the net, the more fish you’ll catch, right?
Truth be told, acquiring new customers is hard work. Studies have shown that the cost of acquisition is anywhere from three to seven times greater than the cost of retaining an existing customer. That’s why the first step is to take care of your current customers.
1. Build a relationship with your customers
When it comes to your current customer base, it’s wise to deepen the net. A tall customer base is made up of your faithful followers and friends; the people who know you, know your company, and know that you’re the go-to resource for purchases in your niche. These are the customers that come back to your business time and again. If you’re a car dealer, they are the ones that return to you for every vehicle purchase, while also recommending you to their family and friends.
Get to know them. Learn about customer likes and dislikes. Consider a brief survey, or take time to reach out and discover why they’re so loyal. As you grow, you’ll better understand their needs and how you can meet—and exceed—them.
2. Solve your customers’ problems
When customers are delighted, they’re likely to come back to your business again and again. Learn about their problems and challenges, ask them for honest feedback, and inquire about other problems they may be facing unrelated to your business.
Then, look for a solution. Whether it’s your product that solves their problem or you point your customers towards an existing solution, the support and care you’re showing your customers improves their lives. And customers will remember that. It builds loyalty in a way that feels authentic.
3. Add value to your customers’ lives
It’s not always about driving your customers to their next purchase. Don’t overlook the importance of utilizing digital resources.
I’m not talking about making a few posts on social media to sustain your growth. I’m talking about a coordinated content marketing plan that provides blog posts, emails, white papers, instructional videos and more, all with your customers’ lives in mind. Every resource, every communication, should be focused on your customers and their specific needs.
Some examples include:
- Show how to tackle a challenge with a step-by-step instructional video
- Create an email series that addresses issues your customers might be facing in their businesses
- Present your customers with information on industry trends that they may find valuable
Content ideas are around every corner. Start with your conversations with your customers and address the topics they’re talking about, their concerns. This establishes your business as a valuable source of truth in their lives, keeping you top of mind when it’s time for their next purchase.
Widening the Net: Focus on Future Customers
Of course, holding on to customers is only half the battle. Focus #2 is attracting new customers. That’s when all of your research and work comes into play.
- What have you learned about your current customers? Use that information to build a buyer persona. Who is your average customer? What does this person like? Where do you find this person? Apply the lessons you’ve learned from current customers to the customers you’re hoping to acquire.
- You’ve already learned how to build and maintain a relationship with your current customers. Now, apply those same principles to your prospective customers. Open up several lines of communication and be responsive on each of your different platforms.
- Give them great (and consistent) content that adds value to their lives. Unlike current customers who already have you at the forefront of their minds, prospective customers are just learning about your business. Give them content that informs and engages, and is highly shareable. As they start to see your name more and more often, you have a much greater chance of moving them along your funnel, converting them to faithful, paying customers and growing your business.
People are your business’ greatest asset. A fact which becomes crystal clear when remembering that the vast majority of Americans seek a personal recommendation when on the market for a new product or service.
Looking to grow your business? Make sure that your customers would recommend your company when the opportunity arises. Find new and innovative ways to connect with your current customers and add value to their lives. Apply the same concepts to your potential new customers, and you’ll create raving fans for life.
Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.