It is great to have an established client base which features a number of repeat customers who spend with your regularly but is also a wise idea to reduce your reliance on them by increasing your customer base as a way of boosting sales.
Here are some pointers on some proven strategies to help you expand your customer base, including why it pays to focus on your strengths, why customer service matters, plus a look at some valuable sources of new business that should be explored.
Expand by finding your niche
It is always tempting to try and be all things to everyone and what this will often lead to is a diversified customer base where you are spreading yourself too thinly across a range of services and products to be able to develop a reputation for one or two things in particular.
A good way of creating a strong and loyal customer base is to identify a number of key niches that you know you can deliver on.
If you develop a reputation and become well known for specific niche products and services this can help you build a strong customer base where you can be confident of having a chance of outperforming your rivals in this area.
Focus on becoming the go-to person for about five specific niches that play to your strengths and this can become an effective strategy for growing your business.
Take a balanced approach
There can sometimes be a fine line between dividing your time on keeping your existing clients happy and trying to win new business with some time spent on marketing.
You can take the view that you can either try and win more new business by attracting new customers or apply yourself to grow your business organically by getting your existing clients to increase their spending with you.
The issue with focusing solely on existing customers is that they can soon leave a hole in your cash flow if your contact moves on or their budget changes and they don’t spend as much with you as before.
The answer to this dilemma is often to try and adopt a balanced approach to your marketing strategy and divide your time equally between keeping your existing clients happy and searching out new work and developing new contacts.
Customer service is an important sales tool
Great customer reviews and positive feedback are often the oxygen that keeps your business in the black and allows it to grow.
You only have to read this review online, for example, to appreciate how important it is to provide great customer service and do everything you can to get customers talking about you in the right way.
A proven strategy for growing your business is to concentrate on ensuring that you provide great customer service.
When customers enjoy such as positive experience in their dealings with you they are far more likely to come back again to do more business with you than when you don’t manage to make the right impression.
Always keep a close eye on what people are saying about you on social media platforms and encourage people to leave positive reviews so that others will be encouraged to do business with you.
Network whenever you can
There is truth in the saying that it’s not what you know but who you know, which is why networking is such a powerful tool in helping you to grow your business.
A referral is always likely to prove one of the hottest leads you can get as the person will already have a positive view of your business before you start.
Never be afraid to explore as many networking opportunities as you can and remember that networking is not purely about selling, it is about getting to know people and seeing where that relationship takes you.
Work with other businesses
Another great strategy for helping you to grow your business would be to consider the possibility of developing a working relationship with other businesses who can offer complementary services that dovetail nicely with your own.
Looking for business partnerships where there are opportunities to share each other’s clients without encroaching on each other’s specific services is a savvy strategy that could lead to increased sales.
Don’t ignore the big corporates
It can sometimes feel like you might not be taken seriously if you are a small business trying to get your foot in the door with a large corporate firm.
However, there is much wider acceptance these days that small niche businesses can offer great value and service to the big boys and there is every chance that you will be taken seriously when you make an approach.
Winning an order with a large multinational can prove to be a real turning point with your business and because these large organizations now appreciate the cost savings and flexibility that dealing with a small company can deliver, many are much more open to doing business with you.
It might seem daunting trying to win an order with a corporate giant but don’t be dissuaded from pursuing this strategy as a way of growing your business.
Never stand still
Any business that stands still is likely to struggle to maintain the same level of turnover and unlikely to enjoy any sort of sustainable growth.
It always pays to adapt as your business evolves and work on finding new ways of reaching out and connecting with your existing and potential new customers.
Data in the form of business analytics and financial information will often prove to be a useful source of tracking your customer’s buying habits and help you identify where your customers originate from in the first place.
By constantly trying new things and monitoring the response to your marketing efforts you should be able to maintain a steady upward trend with your sales.
By implementing some or all of these effective sales strategies you can take some positive steps toward growing and establishing your business and building a solid foundation for future trading prospects.