How big is your customer base?
If you’re a small business, there’s only one answer: not big enough. One of the primary goals of every small business owner is to expand the customer base. That’s how you will make more sales, achieve business growth, and become the leader in your industry.
Unfortunately, fewer things are harder than conquering new markets. In most markets, there are always established, dominant players that control a large portion of the available customer base.
So, to expand the reach of your business and get more customers, you have to use the right strategies. The good news is this article has got you covered with the best strategies.
1. Be Cautious About Niching Down
When you’re starting a new business, most experts will tell you to find a niche and focus on it. This is sound advice, but a lot depends on the nature of the business you’re planning to start. Some niche markets are vast enough that they can accommodate several businesses, and others are so small that they can’t handle multiple businesses.
As such, it’s important to think about the customer base when you’re finding a business niche. If a niche has about 10,000 customers, for example, and there are already 20 established businesses in the market, you’ll be doing yourself a great disservice by going ahead and opening your business. There simply aren’t enough customers left to pursue, unless your product or service is so revolutionary that it will sweep the market.
All factors held constant, it’s best to avoid niching down. Patch Baker Rogue Entrepreneur has more details on the downsides of being too niche.
2. Know Your Customers
It’s hardly possible to grow your customer base if you don’t have a detailed picture of who your target audience is. Although you could be selling a product or service that can be used by anyone, it doesn’t mean everyone is your target customer. You must define your ideal customer by a number of characteristics, including age, gender, income, physical location, and even political preferences.
Once you have a customer profile, you’re in a better position to run marketing campaigns with greater reach.
For example, let’s say that you have established your ideal customer is aged 30-45 and earns $100,000 annually. With this information, you’ll be able to choose marketing channels that offer the best reach for that consumer group.
If you were thinking of doing social media marketing on TikTok because it’s the trending platform, you will want to shelf those plans since your target customers don’t spend their time there. You’ll find better success on platforms that are popular with millennials, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
3. Expand Your Product Line
The most successful companies sell multiple products. There’s a good reason for that. It’s an effective way to attract more customers from diverse backgrounds.
Consider this illustration.
You run a business that sells custom suits for men. Your primary market comprises working-class millennials and perhaps some Gen Xers. Of course, there are effective strategies you can implement to attract more of these customers, such as opening more stores in different cities.
However, you’ll have more success if you find ways to attract another generation group, ideally Generation Z. As more Gen Zers join the workforce, they’re gaining spending power and would make good customers for any business that caters to them. You can target this generation by expanding your product line to include clothing that’s attractive to them.
That being said, don’t introduce new products randomly because your goal is to increase your customer base. Be sure to research the market and ensure a product has sufficient demand before putting it on your shelves.
4. Make Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Work for Your Business
Word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful way to get new customers without spending a ton of money on marketing. That’s because about 90 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product/service if it was recommended by a close friend.
If you can get your existing customers to recommend your business, you can easily double your customer base. But getting customers to become word-of-mouth agents isn’t easy. Politely asking them to spread the word doesn’t cut it.
The key is to provide such high-quality products and customer services that a customer feels the urge to tell their friends about your business. You can also incentivize them by running an attractive referral program.
Gradually, as your word-of-mouth marketing machine grinds on, your business will build a steady stream of new customers.
5. Don’t Forget Your Existing Customers
As you go all out to look for new customers, never forget that a bad in hand is better than two in the bush. Ignoring your existing customers is a sure way to lose them, which will nullify the efforts you’re putting into new customer acquisition.
The best way to look after your current customers, besides continuing to offer them excellent customer service, is to run a loyalty program. Rewarding your customers shows them that you value them for their business.
You should also run regular surveys to gather feedback about what changes your customers would like her to see, and implement them.
Grow Your Customer Base – and Your Business
Whether you’re a B2C or B2B business, you want to acquire as many customers as possible. Deploy these customer base expansion strategies and you’ll see those numbers trending upwards.