Small Business: How to Get New Small Business Customers — 3 Traditional Ways that Work
Customers are the lifeline of any small business. Without them, your business will close. You can have the best product or service in the world, but without buyers, your business can’t thrive. Below are three easy ways to get new customers for your company using traditional methods, starting today.
Whether you’re the owner of a foreclosure cleaning business, the publisher of books, the owner of a bakery, head of a landscaping company, etc., you can use the tried and true methods below to attract new customers starting today:
1. Advertising. Of course, advertising is one of the oldest forms of attracting new buyers for your products and services. Traditional advertising routes include television, radio and newspaper advertising. But for a start-up company, many traditional advertising outlets may seem out of reach due to cost. However, there are several low-cost TV, radio and newspaper outlets for small businesses, as well as a host of web advertising venues to help you grow your client list. See below for some examples:
Television. Many late night television cable outlets offer super affordable rates for local businesses. Call local cable stations in your area (you know the ones that show the infomercials in the middle of the night) and ask for their media kit and advertising rate card. The media kit will include the station’s target market information so you can know whether or not their audience is a match for your service. See the link for media kit sample in Related Articles and Resources below.
Newspaper. Consider placing ads in the online edition of your local newspaper to draw new customers. Or, the smaller newspaper outlets that target specific communities are great ad outlets for service-oriented companies.
Radio. The “face” of radio is changing. There are many online radio stations and niche shows that offer advertising spots at affordable rates. Dig around the web a little for resources in your area.
Internet. Also, as a grassroots entrepreneur, consider various forms of low-cost internet advertising. To start, you can buy display ad space on blogs and websites that offer products and services that are in the same vein as that of your business.
For example, if you own a residential cleaning business, consider placing low-cost ads on blogs and websites that speak to your target market. In large part, people who hire housekeepers are probably busy professionals who don’t have time to clean. So try placing ads for your housekeeping service on blogs and websites that cater to busy professionals (i.e., concierge services, gardening services, airport sedan taxi companies, and the like).
2. Referrals. You can always get new customers by asking for them. That’s right; when you sell goods to an existing customer, or finish offering a service, ask that existing customer to refer your service to someone else. You can do this in several ways. Here are some tips to get you thinking about ways to ask for referrals for your company:
(a) On your receipts, have a general message printed that says, “We value and appreciate your business. Thank you for referring family and friends.”
(b) As a customer is leaving your store or office, verbally thank them for their business and let them know you appreciate referrals.
(c) Offer your customers a discount on their next purchase for referrals received. Banks do this all the time. You’ve likely seen mailers similar to ones that say you’ll get a $50 bonus in your checking account for referring new customers.
(d) Offer a feedback card for customers to fill out. And the end of the form, ask satisfied customers for the names of people who they believe can benefit from your products and services.
There are several ways to successfully solicit referrals from customers; the above tips will get you thinking. The key is to “ask” for referrals from satisfied customers.
3. Networking. Another way to get new buyers for your company is to network. You know, get out there and meet people, whether in a formal setting, like a Chamber of Commerce small business meeting, or in an informal gathering, like a barbecue in a colleague’s backyard.
You simply must network to get new clients and customers. There are some rules to follow for effective networking. See article entitled, Foreclosure Cleaning: 10 Easy Small Business Networking Tips, http://www.foreclosure-cleanup-blog.com/?p=8212 to get some ideas. (This resource relates to the foreclosure cleanup industry, but the fundamental rules of successful networking for small businesses are pretty much the same across the board.)
The above are three simple ways to get more customers for your company using traditional methods. Enterprises ranging from mom and pops, to Fortune 500s, use these methods over and over again to grow. Implement some form of advertising, referral gathering and networking to grow your database, and ultimately your bottom line, stating today.
Related Articles and Resources:
Foreclosure Cleaning: 10 Easy Small Business Networking Tips, http://www.foreclosure-cleanup-blog.com/?p=8212
How to Get More Foreclosure Cleanup and REO Trash Out Business Using Free Chamber of Commerce Meetings, http://www.foreclosure-cleanup-blog.com/?p=85
How to Use Accountability Meetings to Grow, http://www.foreclosure-cleanup-blog.com/?p=7790
Sample Media Kit: http://images.bimedia.net/documents/KVUE+Media+Kit+2012.pptx
Best Allies for Foreclosure Cleanup Businesses, http://www.foreclosure-cleanup-blog.com/?p=6789
Cassandra Black is a Foreclosure Cleanup Business Consultant, the Author of How to Start a Foreclosure Cleaning Business, and several foreclosure cleaning business and mortgage field services Guides, Reports and Forms available via Stone Cottage Books and Amazon. She is also CEO of Foreclosure Cleanup, LLC. Follow Foreclosure Cleanup, LLC on Twitter.