It’s a question you may ask yourself often… “How can I get more customers for my business?”
It’s an important question too. It’s one that many business owners are asking themselves now – despite the mini boom that’s happening in Dublin.
We’re fed a story by the politicians that the economy is growing. But there are a lot of small businesses that are really struggling. They are not seeing the economic recovery or growth. Especially not in their income or bank balance.
So, back to the question – how can I get more customers for my business?
There are a number of things you can do:
- Do some marketing. This might sound like a dirty word to you. Maybe you feel that marketing is a waste of money. Maybe you’ve spent money on advertising and you got nothing for your effort? My response – don’t confuse marketing with advertising. Most newspaper and golden pages advertising is a waste of money because it doesn’t give the reader a reason to respond.Most newspaper advertising is done on a whim, a hope and a prayer. And most newspaper advertising and golden pages is an expensive mistake, because it’s not putting the right message in front of the right people…The important points I’ll give you regarding marketing are: Be unique (don’t be compared to your competition), Be a specialist, and think who do you want to serve (market), what are you gonna say (message) and how are you gonna reach them (media).
- Answer your calls. sounds a bit obvious – but two weeks ago I did a quick survey. I called 50 businesses on a Tuesday and of the 50, only 22 answered their phones. Most of those who didn’t answer had no voicemail. Of those that did answer, several of the calls were answered by people who weren’t sure what service the business provided.One was answered by the owners elderly mother. Another was answered with screaming children in the background and a few were answered gruffly or by someone in a bad mood. All in all – not great examples. My number wasn’t with-held – but of the 28 calls that were not answered, only two called back.As many of us are on the tools during the day – I completely understand that it’s difficult to work and answer the phone. But it would be better to have your calls diverted to someone who can answer and take a message – and engage in a friendly conversation with a prospective customer…
- Follow up. Tradesmen everywhere have a bad reputation for not following up. I don’t know if that’s deserved – but those who do follow up – will get a bigger slice of the business pie.
- Have a decent website that collects leads/enquiries. It’s 2016 – but I am really surprised how many businesses still don’t have a decent website. Having a website that gets found is oxygen for your business. Note the “gets found” part.The vast majority of businesses sites are only found when you go into a site that lists them beside all of their competitors sites. Bad, bad, bad. Potentials customers are just gonna hop around from site to site until they find one that appears to meet their needs – and probably not contact any of the others they have visited. How can I get more customers for my business?Here’s some important points regarding a website. 1. Make sure it’s built on wordpress. Wix and Weebly sites should be avoided at all costs – Google doesn’t rank them – so they’ll never get found. They’re cheap for a reason. 2. Have a URL that’s related to what you do – not your name. EnnisKitchens.com not SilverBirch.com ! 3. It doesn’t matter whether you have a .com, .ie or .net address. Google does not care – neither should you. 4. Get your site found on Google. this means that you will have to use paid advertising or SEO to get visitors to your site.
There is no FREE advertising on the internet, you’re gonna pay one way or the other. What is important to remember is that it’s where your customers are looking. If it’s bringing you business – you can afford to pay to be there. In fact, you should want to pay to be there!
- There is so much more to marketing than is possible to tell you here. Referral systems. Re-marketing. Re-targeting. Repeat business….You don’t have to do it all. If you’re only doing 3 or 4 things – it will make a massive difference to your business and your income – and it will probably be 3 or 4 things more than your next competitor. How can I get more customers for my business? You will win hands down!The big thing is to do something. By ding nothing or playing the wait and see game – nothing changes, except you and your business continue to struggle along.
I teach small businesses to do small business marketing. It’s not complicated. It’s not expensive. It’s easy and it’s often fun. Actually – it’s the most fun part of your business.
And a little bit of marketing goes a long, long way. It will make a massive difference to your business and your income when you are getting more enquiries and more customers than you can manage.
The cynics will say – that’s not good , getting more customers than you can manage. But that’s a risk I’m always willing to take – because it does three things for you.
1. You’ll have a steady and reliable flow of customers which makes your business more robust. 2. It means your income will grow and you’ll be able to plan better based on a reliable and growing income. 3. You’ll be able to pick and choose the customers that you want to do business with.
Now tell me how that’s a bad thing?
Interested in having a chat to find out more about “how can I get more customers for my business?” Drop me a line at Adrian@FMBIreland.com or hop back to the home page and fill out the contact form