Setting up in business is no mean feat. It takes a lot of planning to develop your perfect product or ideal service, not to mention guts to go it alone in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Getting everything just right – from your company branding through to cost projection, is really important if you’re going to stay ahead.
But you can have the best idea in the world, the most amazing products ever, deliver the most wonderful service and none of this means anything without customers. They are the lifeblood of any successful organisation, they are what keep you in business and in profit and they are what turn your fantastic idea into a fantastic business.
So, where do you find your customers? How do you successfully promote yourself so you are not only attracting new customers, you are retaining your existing ones? It’s important that you have a good idea of who your ideal customer is, drawing up a profile of who is most likely to be attracted to your products.
If you’re selling make-up, for example, you’ll be more likely to want to promote yourself to women than to men. What type of age group are you aiming your products at? High-end make-up will appeal to more wealthy customers, whereas cheap and cheerful will be aimed at those on a lower income. You will need to tailor your communications accordingly, as the way you talk to different strands of your audience is the key to successful marketing campaigns.
There is a wealth of information out there about customers of all genders, ages, shapes and sizes, geographic location and household income. Companies such as thedataoctopus.co.uk can supply mailing lists which are tailored for all different types of company and can help you filter your lists so you are targeting exactly the right customer. Make your mail outs and your marketing messages super relevant and offer strong incentives and promotions and you will soon be enjoying a surge in custom.
Like attracts like and once you have set up a sturdy customer base, then you are in a great position to expand out into new territories. Word of mouth is one of the best types of advertising, so do a good job for one client and there’s a good chance they will recommend you to their friends and family. The high-income client you have spent time wooing and then invested your time and attention on will remember the good service or excellent products you have provided, so it really is worth giving your existing customers something to talk about. In the same way, they will also remember shoddy service or poor products, so make it a priority to get it right every time.
Recommend-a-friend incentives can also work well, offering discounts or free gifts to clients who pass more business your way. Just remember to make sure the schemes fall within your budget.
The right clients for you are out there and once you’ve identified them it’s simply a case of taking the right approach to draw them in.
Lauren Jameson is a marketing and communications expert who writes frequent blogs and articles on related topics. She refers to sites such as thedataoctopus.co.uk to keep abreast of industry developments.