Starting a small business: How to find customers

No doubt you’re really enjoying running your business, but you would just like to earn a little bit more money from it!

If you could find more customers, you know that they would love your brand and you could grow your business.

But you’re stuck on where and how to find them!

I’m going to tell you some of the things you need to be doing to find customers for your small business.

We are going to start here, with the sales cycle.

To find customers, you need to understand the sales cycle:

IDENTIFY

You identify your ideal customer

FIND

You find them or they find you

CONVERT

They purchase from you

RETAIN

They purchase again & again

Often, we focus on one part of the cycle or rely on one element, like our Instagram page, without paying another attention to other things – like what happens when someone actually hits your website or your sales page and how do we stay of mind as a brand and keep our customers coming back for more.

Finding customers doesn’t start with a marketing tactic, it starts with understanding who your ideal customer is, how to communicate with them & where to find them,

STEP ONE: Identify your niche & your ideal customer

STEP TWO: Work out how to communicate with your ideal customer and where to find them

STEP THREE: Covert & Retain!

Understanding your ideal customer isn’t just about identifying where they live, how old they are, if they have kids etc – it’s about understanding their pain points & what really matters to them.

Do you have a customer insight?

Now you have identified your ideal customer, you need to find them.

When they engage with you for the first time, they need to be able to identify with your brand.

I’m going to share some marketing tactics you could use to find more customers.

After that, I’ll share with you some of the things that you can do to engage your ideal customer and start to move them to the convert stage of the sales cycle!

Be honest and ask yourself, am I doing this well, or do I need support?

Don’t forget, you should set objectives and develop a strategy. 

Here are some examples of the marketing channels could use to help you find more customers:

PARTNERSHIPS & COLLABORATIONS

Can you partner with a brand that has a similar target audience to you and promote to their audience?

COMPETITIONS

Could you run a competition that will bring new people to your product or service business?

BLOGS

Can you write blogs for your own website or guest blog for other businesses that have a shared audience?

INFLUENCERS

Gifting or paying influencers to reach a highly relevant audience is a great way to find potential customers

NETWORKING

Can you join networks to learn how others in a similar position to you find customers and form relationships with similar businesses?

PAID ADS

Does your budget allow for paid ads (e.g. Facebook / Instagram)

Once you have identified your ideal customer, they know you exists, then you need to communicate your shared values & your brand story – so they become interested and engaged in what you are selling.

Here’s a simple checklist that you might find helpful:

  • are you communicating shared values
  • are you harnessing the power of storytelling so that your ideal customer can engage with your story
  • are you sharing your purpose
  • are you communicating in a tone that suits your ideal customer
  • is your content relevant across all your comms channels
  • have you positioned yourself or your brand as an expert

Lastly, I’m going to share some tactical ways you can convert your potential customers and make those sales!

Remember, you need to have nailed the identify and find stage of the sales cycle and these tactics work better as part of a strategy. Also consider, you don’t need to use these tactics all the time – but they can be there for when you need a boost.

Lastly, make sure whatever you are choosing is aligned with your brand values. 

DISCOUNTS

Offer discounts that are time limited, associated with a minimum spend or attached to the sign up of a mailing list. If your potential customer is desiring your product or service a discount can encourage them to make their first purchase. Don’t run discounts to often unless it’s part of a bigger strategy (remember when Wagamama first opened their doors and it was always 2 for 1!). Think about the lifetime value of your customer and if they purchase again and again your initial discount makes a lot of sense.

FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE

This can work well if you have stock that you would like to shift and it’s of relative low value or if you are a service business and you can offer a gift that is something you have previously produced (like a mini course / guides).

You can also offer you time (service businesses) as a bonus.

EXTRA TOUCHES

Could you add some extra special touches, like free gift wrap or a handwritten card – to add additional value?

TIME LIMITED OFFERS

Offers that expire after a certain time can be a great incentive to purchase NOW. Make sure that they genuinely expire and that the timeframe is short (max 1-2 weeks depending on the offer!)

It can feel overwhelming to grow a business alongside raising a family. You don’t need to do it alone. I offer 1-2-1 start up packages that will help you get your business up and running. 

Click here to find out more!

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