How can I get more customers for my business

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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…
    How can I get more customers for my business
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

  5. 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

 

How can you make more money from your business

Do you make enough money from your business? How can you make more money from your business?

Most people will say that’s a personal question. Me – I’m gonna be honest and tell you that when I started out in business – I was working in a comfortable, well paid job. My little business on the side was paying me very well by most people’s standards – but on top of a good salary – I was raking it in.

I’m not telling you that to brag – just setting the scene.

If you don’t already know me, I was an electrical engineer. I worked for a pretty big company and I worked dam hard for them. I enjoyed my job – but it was an office-type job, and having grown up on a small farm, I needed to do some physical work too.

So I set up a small business installing alarm systems on Saturdays. I cold fit 3 in a good day. Pretty good going. I’m no slacker!

How can you make more money

Anyway, my one small business evolved over time into an electrical contracting business. Then I added a soundproofing business. Then an automated entrance business (doors and gates). I was a busy boy and had a good number of fellas working for me.

But the more work and the bigger jobs I took on – the less money I was making. There were a number of reasons for that.

I was spreading myself too thin. I wasn’t able to manage all the businesses properly and work was being completed a quickly as it had been priced for. cost over-runs on our part. Labour costs rising fast. Too many expenses….

But one of the biggest reasons that I wasn’t making enough money – was that I was pricing too many jobs low. Hoping to get the jobs and be able to make the prices up on additional work. Or living in the hope of anther job on the back of one that was priced low to get our foot in the door! More fool me!

Looking back now – I have no idea how, or why I stuck it. Probably too close to it all to be able to see the wood for the trees!

I tell some of my clients – who are doing now, what I was guilty of then, this: “You are standing in a field covered in copper, silver and gold coins. You’re running around picking up all the copper and silver coins, and not looking out for the gold ones!”

That’s true of most small businesses.

Ten years ago – I shuttered all my businesses except the automation. But even then I was running around after every bit of work in sight! I worked 6 days a week and often went back to the workshop at night to do a few hours work. Madness. I was making less than minimum wage when I’d count up all the hours spent running around after little jobs – just to make other people happy.

I realised a few years ago – the only person that I have to make happy is Me (and my wife and kids).

Okay – I won’t set out to piss anyone off either. But I won’t take work on, just to please someone. I’ll take the work that I can make an acceptable profit on. There’s nothing wrong with making a profit – that’s what separates a job from a business. You go to a job to earn a wage. You start a business to make a wage plus a profit.

The thing that lots of people forget is that when you stat a business – you give up all hope of the social safety net. You take on a lot of risk and uncertainty with your own business. Making a decent profit is the reward for taking that risk. Don’t forget that. So how can you make more money from your business?

If you think that you can’t charge more than you do for your work – stop! Get that BS idea you have in your head about your prices (and what’s a fair price) out of your head. Think first about what’s fair on you, and your family. Think “how can you make more money from this business?” Think about all the hours that you work on your business each week – that is not being charged to a customer. book-keeping, doing wages, vat returns, prices, meetings, etc. Lots of business owners think they can only charge for the 40 hours that they may be working on the tools – but you’re probably spending another 5-10 hours, or more behind the scenes – unpaid.

 

I’ll ask you again – Are you making enough money from your business?

Yes or no?

Then have a think about it… How can you make more money from your business?

I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on this. Please click over to the contact ┬ápage and drop me a line or email me at Adrian@fmbireland.com
Thanks

Adrian