Your new business is finally off the ground and you’re ready to start welcoming in that deluge of customers. Or the business you’ve had going for years has all of a sudden experienced a slump in new customers.
What do you do? Panic?
Not yet. You must exhaust all possible routes to success before you give up the ghost. Besides, this is your baby, so you do not want to let it end without doing everything you can to keep it moving forward. So whether you’re selling knitted goods, or if you’re a software development company like BairesDev, you owe it to your business to go the extra mile to attract new customers.
Fortunately, this isn’t nearly as hard as you might think it is. Let’s take a look at some of the ways your business can attract new customers.
Offer new customer/client discounts
People are always looking for a bargain. And since every penny counts, why not give those who have never tried your wares or services just the incentive to do so. Offer any new client or customer a percentage discount or a 2-for-1 deal on their first purchase. By doing this you’ll attract new customers who might then turn into repeat customers.
Remember, you don’t want to look at potential customers as a one-time transaction, but rather a long term investment. So lure them in with a bargain, but keep them locked in with your outstanding products and/or service.
Create a referral program
This works for a number of industries. What you do is create a referral program such that when a current client refers X number of successful new clients, that referring client would then be rewarded with a free product or service. The one caveat to this is that you must have the mechanism in place to keep track of these referrals.
You’ll also want to make sure the incentive to do this is strong enough that your current customers will want to go out of their way to make the actual referrals. Remember, word of mouth is one of the strongest marketing tools you have available.
If you’re looking to expand your brand, one of the best ways to do so is by networking. Go to meetups or other group gatherings that are related to your product or service. If your business is software development outsourcing, attend gatherings of businesses that could benefit from what you offer.
If your business is local, never hesitate to attend various gatherings of citizens. You never know where your next client will come from. It is important, however, that you don’t approach this simply as a means to an end. When networking, you’re attempting to build two-way streets, so make sure you take a “What can I do for you?” attitude into these meetings instead of “What can you do for me?”.
Keep your online presence strong
The competition is fierce out there. And every business you are competing against is probably keeping their website fresh and their social media presence strong. Do not let either one of these things fall to the wayside. Remember, if people search for you through Google, chances are they’ll find your website. If what they find is out-of-date information or a poorly designed and managed website, they’ll continue to seek out your competition.
While you’re at it, make sure your website is designed to be mobile-friendly. More and more people rely on their smartphones as the only means of getting online. Because of that, your business website must cater to Android and iOS web browsers.
There’s no way around it, businesses can be made or broken by reviews. Customers look at Yelp and other sources of business reviews. That means you need to start building up your reviews. How? You can always create incentives for people to leave reviews (such as a percentage off for writing one). But it’s not just about building up a stable of positive reviews. If you find negative reviews, deal with them. Respond to dissatisfied customers and turn that 1-star review into a 5-star review. That means you must be checking review sites frequently.
This may be painful at first, as no one likes to see their product or service trashed in a review. But always consider those negative reviews as a chance to turn someone’s experience around. That alone will go farther than you think to bolster the reputation of your business.
Participate in or sponsor events
More than likely, there are events going on in your community, online, or in other communities, that are perfect opportunities to expand awareness of your business. If you can’t find one, sponsor one. And, to be perfectly honest, these events don’t have to have anything to do with your business.
You could find a charity cause and sponsor an event to raise awareness and money for that cause. Sponsor a toy drive. Raise funds for an animal adoption agency. There are so many ways to not only pay it forward but to do so while giving your business a boost.
People see this kind of activism as positive and will want to be a part of what you have to offer.
With just the slightest bit of creativity, you can find plenty of ways to attract new customers to your business. Don’t settle for the methods everyone else is using, take your own path to success. Be bold, brave, and never hesitate to think well outside the box. In the end, your efforts will reward you.