Ways your business can make more money

By Small Business Expert, Roger Pierce, BizLaunch

The marketing plan for your new small business is the most important part of your business plan. After all, without customers, you won’t have much of a business to run. Unfortunately, many small business owners just focus on acquiring new customers and ignore strategies to get more business from existing ones.

It’s a well-known marketing fact that strategies designed to reach existing customers are far less expensive than strategies to attract new customers. Why? You’re preaching to the converted. Existing customers are already familiar with your business through prior experience and, hopefully, trust your products or services. New or ‘non’ customers have no such experience with you and, therefore, more energy and money is required to attract them.

In marketing, there are only four ways to build your business sales:
1.Get more customers. A startup business needs to focus on getting new customers. The most expensive strategy of the four presented here, you really have no choice if you’ve just launched your venture. Invest some of your dollars in well-targeted advertisements, brochures, direct mail, a website and sales calls. Consider offering a discount, free sample or money-back guarantee to encourage prospects to try you out. Once you’ve got some customers, you can implement the following three strategies.

2. Help your customers buy more. Considered a ‘volume’ strategy, it’s always easier to encourage customers to spend a little more at the time of purchase. Use suggestive selling to offer an additional product or service to complement their purchase for just a little more money. Stereo stores sell warranties. Convenience stores display chocolate bars and gum near the cash register. Fast food restaurants ask you to “supersize it” for a few cents more.

3. Help your customers buy more often. ‘Frequency’ strategies keep customers coming back to buy from your business again and again. Find or create reasons for your customers to return week after week or month after month. For example, Mr. Lube reminds you to change your automobile oil and filter every 5,000 kilometers by placing a simple sticker on your windshield.

4. Keep your existing customers happy. It’s far more expensive to chase new customers than it is to keep your existing ones happy. So, overwhelm your customers with attention and value-added services. Let your customers know how much you appreciate their business, again and again. “Loyalty” programs can include some kind of tangible gift, discount offer, rewards card, special event, free service, or a simple note to say “thank you for your business.”

Roger PierceROGER PIERCE is passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve success. Co-founder of Canada’s largest small business training company, BizLaunch.ca, he’s launched eleven small businesses of his own and personally experienced what he calls “the good, the bad and the ugly” sides of entrepreneurship.

BizLaunch advises thousands of Canadian startups through its popular how-to seminars and webinars delivered with partners such as STAPLES.

By Adam

May 27, 2010