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There’s never been a better time to start up a new business – a fact shown by the increased popularity of small business start-ups in recent years, with as many as 80 new businesses starting per hour in the first half of 2021.
One thing all those businesses have in common is the search for customers, a search that never really ends. Thankfully, there are some tried and tested methods out there for attracting customers. Here are some simple tips you can use to help grow that customer base effectively and organically.
Tactics to Attract Customers to Your Business
1. Research and Reasonable Goals
Growing your customer base is not a simple “perform A to achieve B” process. It is often iterative and requires engagement with many different tactics based on robust research and testing. As such, research forms the bedrock of your customer growth program – followed closely by the creation of reasonable goals from the interpretation of that research.
To start with, you should try to understand your existing customers. Who are they, and what are their demographics? How does this compare with your target demographics for your product? Maybe one goal could be to increase brand awareness within a specific demographic, where your product might be lucrative but is currently underselling. Examining existing sales and client patterns can also reveal interesting things about your engagement and represent a new way of approaching sales. If you have no sales history whatsoever, then market research is key to discovering your place in it, and the gaps that you could fit a marketing or sales campaign.
2. Discounts, Offers and Loss Leaders
With your above research in mind, you can start using tried and tested marketing tools to increase your reach and improve your sales funnel. One of the most common methods you will find in commerce, whether retail or B2B companies, is that of discounts and offers. Some businesses offer NHS discounts on their products, a move that rewards a demographic and improves public perception of the brand in the same breath. Others utilise exclusive offers as a form of incentive marketing: sign up for this, and you receive that for free!
There’s another sales technique commonly used to reel in new customers, but one that flies under the consumer’s radar. Loss leaders are products that make a loss with each sale, actively costing the company money to stock or offer. But if employed correctly, loss leaders inspire new customers to shop with a business and inspire them to purchase profitable products and accessories as well. A prime high-street example can be found in guitar or music shops, where bottom-rung or beginner instruments have razor-thin margins but accessories like strings, cables and straps can easily meet a gross profit of 80% or more.
3. The True Power of Online
Lastly, the utility and sheer opportunity of the internet is not lost on modern business. It is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, with 96% of homes connected; but new or growing businesses will often find their online presence or success lacking. As such, strong digital marketing tactics, incorporating the business’ visibility in search engines and the usability of its website, can measurably improve your reach and engagement – in turn growing your customer base.