What’s the biggest question you’re asking yourself in business?
Go on, be honest with yourself. What is it?
I’d place a bet (not that I’m a gambler) that the biggest, most important and most frequent question you’re asking yourself is this one…..
How do I get more customers?
I talk about this question all the time with my clients.
The reality is that we’re all wanting to grow our businesses, either modestly or massively, and that’s a good thing!
In growing our business it allows us to live more of the dream – we get to create a bigger, hopefully more profitably successful business, pay ourselves more, employ more team members, and enjoy more of the life we desire.
It’s good to want to grow our business – to get more customers. We MUST continue to ask this question at all times.
The gruesome facts
Our world is changing very fast. Daryl Woodhouse, Founder of Advantage Business Partnerships, shared some challenging statistics during the recent Business Growth Online Bootcamp regarding business failures. According to a study done by the Federation of Small Businesses, only one in 10 businesses are still trading after 10 years, and one in two businesses fail after one year.
That’s dreadful, saddening and those statistics must alter, as our global world depends on the success of small businesses. I’m on a mission re supporting small business success around the world – but more on that at another time. 🙂
Importantly, here are the nine key reasons why businesses are failing:
- Ineffective business planning
- Ineffective branding and marketing
- No clear objectives
- Undercapitalised/not enough finance
- Management challenges
- Poor cashflow management
- Staffing challenges
- Wrong location(s)
- Not keeping up with new tools/ways of doing business
I have the ANSWER in relation to how we brand and market our businesses.
As business owners we must get better at delivering the ANSWER within our businesses to grow them.
A – Attract
We must attract the right customers to our businesses (that means being really clear on our market niche and our desired customer profile or avatar) and go after them with laser-like precision.
We need to be looking for them in all the places they hang out – both online and offline. Where are our perfect customers? On LinkedIn? Facebook? Instagram? At conferences/ tradeshows? At networking events?
Wherever they are, our business must be seen there too – and we must stand out from the crowd (in the right way) to get noticed as an expert in our niche.
In short, we must have a clear and future focused business model in place, supported by excellence in our business planning and objective/goal setting processes.
N – Nurture our potential customers
We MUST nurture our potential customers. Nurturing our customers in the digital age means being present online! We must capture their email addresses so we can communicate with them to demonstrate our expertise at what we do… and to stand apart from our competitors. We must continue to teach our potential customers about what we do and how well we do it. In the digital age it’s all about consistently educating and informing.
We must find ways to have person to person connections with our potential customers too. For some of us that’s easy, we can wine, dine or pick up the telephone and talk to our potential customers.
For others of us, it’s not that easy. So, we must build trust through being real with them in other ways. Story telling is the new way to build trust and relationships, and we must share our own stories – the good, bad, sad and ugly – yep, they want that too as they want to see that we’re human and we make mistakes too. Our potential customers must see and feel the ‘real’ us, and not the ‘plastic fantastic’ version that some people show of themselves.
They must meet our team too – we’re all in this together. Let your team shine in the eyes of your potential customers. You’ll reap the rewards.
After we’ve attracted the right potential customers, so long as we’ve continued to demonstrate that we’re the experts at what we do, then we’re increasing the chances of them buying from us.
We must be really good at selling to them. Selling isn’t ‘icky’ as many business owners believe. When we sell, we’re solving a problem for a customer, and that’s a good thing. So sell with pride and excellence. Learn how to sell properly. It’s a learned skill whichever way you do it – face to face or online. Get expert help in to coach you.
W – Wow
Business is competitive. At all times in their journey with us, we must WOW our potential customers. Everything about their interaction with our business must be excellent. If it’s not, they’ll surely go elsewhere next time. We don’t want to be continually finding new customers – often they are the most ‘expensive’ to receive.
How can you and your team and business constantly WOW your current and potential customers?
E – Expand
When we consistently achieve the WOW with our customers, trust continues to build and as a result the relationship deepens and expands. We’re more likely to be able to sell more to them – that means up/down-selling and cross-selling when they buy from us – we get the privilege of better serving their needs and solving their problems.
This is important as by expanding our business relationship with our existing customers, we get to grow our business turnover and hopefully profitability.
R – Retain
The ‘cheapest’ customer to serve is a repeat customer and they are the VERY best customers to have. As we continue to WOW them, they will continue to buy from us, and if we’re lucky they’ll become our cheerleaders… they’ll shout out for us, and provide referrals to us. Now that’s a good (and easy) way to grow our business, don’t you think?
What are your next steps to grow your business? You have the ANSWER. It’s now time to take action. Today. Your business growth, profitability and success depend on it.
ACTION: I’d love to hear your thoughts on my ANSWER. Please leave a comment below about what action you’re taking to grow your business.