When it comes right down to it, there are two ways to grow your small business: attracting new customers, and getting your existing customers to buy more. Here are some tips that will help you do both.
- Get out there and network. Connect with your community to get your name out there. Participate in community events, networking events, trade shows — anywhere you can connect with people who might be interested in your product or service.
- Be easy to find. If an online directory lets you set up a business profile page, do it. Make sure you have a page on Google Plus, since that will help you show up in search engine results, and no matter what, have a website, even if it’s just one page.
- Grow your business offerings. If you sell peach jam, try offering strawberry as well. If you run a hair salon, think about adding a nail station. The key is offering more options using your existing resources.
- Team up with like-minded businesses. Join forces with someone in a related field. You can tap into each other’s customer network by sharing contacts and cross-promoting, and even share resources to make yourself more efficient.
- Be excellent at what you do. Remember: it’s a lot easier to retain a customer than to attract a new one, so make sure you’re delivering a consistently high-quality experience that will keep them coming back to you again and again.
- Encourage referrals. Word of mouth is a great way to grow your business. Some referrals will happen automatically, but you can encourage customers to help you spread the word. Consider printing up cards with a special offer they can pass on to their friends.
- Encourage reviews. If your business has a lot of great reviews on Yelp or other review sites, you’ll automatically attract more customers. Ask your happy customers to let other people know.
Be sure to check out our article on Marketing A Small Business for more ideas on cost-efficient ways to grow your business.