Are you puzzled by what to do to grow your business? You've read all the "how-to" e-books and attended the seminars. But your growth is still stagnant. Now you're thinking of hiring a marketing expert to just do it all for you. Well, it doesn't quite work that way. I know, because I tried that already. And I saw absolutely no increase in sales.
If you're serious about growth, you need to find out what really works to find more clients and generate more sales. What you need is a proven strategy that's right for you.
There are only two things you can do to grow your business: 1). Get more customers. 2). Get your existing customers to spend more money. There are no magic bullets or secret formulas that will increase your business without one of these two things happening. But there are plenty of techniques you can implement that will do one of these things - either help you find new customers or increase sales to your existing customers.
Tips to gain new customers
1. Advertise in new places. If you use only classified ads, try Facebook ads or PPC advertising. Or try advertising in ezines that serve your target market.
2. Start a referral program. Let your existing customer base help you find your next new customer.
3. Network, network, network - in all its form. Attend networking events. And if one of them has regular speakers, ask to have the opportunity to do a presentation. Be active on social media. This means posting tips, advice, and being part of the conversation - not just sharing cute cat videos or silly pictures of Uncle Fred. You are here to prove your expertise and value.
4. Host an event. This can be a seminar, webinar, or teleseminar. Use the event to share your knowledge and expertise with prospective customers.
5. Implement a PR campaign. This is completely different from an advertising campaign. Advertising is you touting your own product or services. PR is someone else tooting your horn. Try to get a local newspaper or television station to do a story on your business. Of course, you will have to have something story-worthy. This is not supposed to be an infomercial. But suppose you're a social media marketing whiz and you decide to offer free social networking classes at the local senior center. Now you've got a story!
Tips to help your existing customers spend more
The gut reaction here is to just raise your prices. But that doesn't always work. Let's try some other techniques.
1. Get your customers on a mailing list and then send out weekly or monthly customers-only special offers.
2. Remember to upsell or cross-sell. When a client becomes part of our business start up coaching program, we immediately make note to talk to them about our marketing coaching program when it's appropriate.
3. Survey customers on their needs/wants and then launch a new product or service.
4. Bundle. Create a package deal for your customers. When I was a Girl Scout leader, my girls used this technique very successfully during the annual cookie sale. By creating "Cookie Packs" they often sold multiple boxes where they might have only sold one or two. Customers were very willing to buy the "Chocolate Lovers Pack" or the "The Favorites Cookie Pack." The price was the same as if they had bought the individual boxes but the bundles were big sellers!
5. And yes, you can raise prices, especially if you are like many home-based entrepreneurs and undercharging to begin with!