For many business owners the hardest thing when starting a business is finding customers. Having a good product or offering top notch service will not necessarily bring you customers. You have to go out and find them. Here are simple effective ways to find customers:
1. Know your target group
As a business, you need to have a good idea of who your product or service is targeted at. You may say it is for everyone but you still need to define your customers; this allows you to focus on a specific market that is more likely to use your service. It is an efficient and more effective way to find and reach new customers.
2. Define your ideal customer
Now that you know who your target market market is, you have to define your ideal customer or profile them. See a few examples below:
- Level of education
- Lifestyle and expenditure
- Interests and hobbies
Your service or product may appeal more to a set of people than another and it is critical that you know the ones who will drive more sales. Defining your customer also helps you tailor your products/services to their specific needs.
If you do not tell people who you are and what you do or offer, nobody will know unless they stumble upon you. That is where advertising comes in. Create an advertising strategy entailing who you will communicate to and what mediums to use. For a start up, popular mediums like radio, tv and news prints may be too expensive but there other simple and cost effect channels.
- Word of Mouth – Satisfied customers are the best promoters of your business. Anytime you deliver on a service promise, your customer gains your trust and tells others in their network about you. Should a good review about you go viral, you would have gained brand ambassadors for your business
- SMS – You cannot afford to miss out on SMS marketing. Almost everyone owns a mobile phone and no better way than to reach them than in the palm of their hands with your service offering. It is simple and inexpensive to use. Read more on Leveraging Your Brand with SMS
- Social media – Social media should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. It is another channel for your brand’s voice and is important because it makes you easily accessible to new customers. Use #hastags to your advantage. Talk about what you offer, be the go-to person for information on anything involving your industry.
4. Loyalty or referral programme
Give incentives to existing customers Offer potential customers something for free; a discount on future purchases or for referring another customer to your brand. It is one of the ways to attract new customers and repeat business from existing ones
5. Position Yourself as the Answer
It does not matter what you do, put yourself out there as the go-to person or expert in your industry. This can be done by sharing information or tips in the newspapers or via social media on what pertains in your industry.