I’m often asked, ‘How can I grow my business?’ The answer can be simple. To grow, we know we need more profit. That profit can come with more customers; more orders, or even larger orders.
So, how do we grow these numbers?
Here are five ways to grow your business.
1. Target Market
First, to get more customers, you need to take a look at your target market. Are you reaching who you need to or are you spinning your marketing wheels with efforts that are reaching a different audience? To acquire new customers, you need to ensure that your message is appropriate for those it’s intended for. It should be simple enough. However, sometimes in our effort to connect with everyone and get the most customers possible, we overreach. By simplifying our efforts and our messaging, we can reach those who will be most perceptive to our offers.
2. Go Back to Grassroots
If you’re a new business owner or maybe you haven’t confirmed your target market recently — you may need to go back to grassroots marketing. This isn’t a bad thing. Grassroots efforts have a place in every marketing plan to some extent. Simple things can help generate new customers. Never leave your house without your business card; you never know who you may run into. Host a giveaway or free event. Institute a referral bonus. Post flyers around town. Get creative!
3. Constant Contact
To grow the number of orders that our customers place, we need to consistently stay in contact with them. All customers should be a part of our mailing list, and all should receive regular information on sales and promotions. As a customer, they should have a feeling of belonging, or that they are preferred in some way.
By making them feel appreciated and valued, you increase the likelihood that they will place more orders. Simple things like thank you notes and follow up emails can work wonders. By keeping accurate records of who placed what order and when can help you track your customers and keep in touch with their needs.
4. Increase Order Size
There are also things you can do to grow the size of orders and the number of actual units sold. These will naturally increase along with the number of customers and the number of orders; however, it’s always smart to look for possible add-on value. Promotions, where you buy one item and get a discount on a second, can be effective. Products that are related are great for this. Or, if you can package two or more products into a discounted set, profits can go up. Simple things on your website can also increase the number of items sold. For instance, a subtle box that contains product images of what other customers bought along with the product they are viewing can be influencing.
5. Time to Raise Your Prices?
Are you undercharging for your products or services? How do you know if it’s time to raise your prices? When it comes to pricing, it is usually a much easier equation for products. Suggested retail pricing and competitors usually tell you where you need to be to be competitive. But, when it comes to services, prices are all over the board. Don’t undervalue yourself or your time. You are working to make an income, and the services you offer are high-quality and valuable. If you are booking a lot of clients, getting great feedback and you want to make more money; it may be time to raise your hourly fee.
It all comes down to being creative and consistent. You can’t just be creative one week and then trail off the next. By consistently implementing new ideas and promotions your customer and order base will begin to grow. But, remember it takes time. Perseverance is key.
How are you growing your business? Drop us a note below, we'd love to hear from you.
Originally published August 23, 2011. Content updated January 3, 2018.