Creative Ways to Get More Customers for Your Small Business

Finding and earning new customers so that your small business continues to grow is no easy task. No matter how excellent your product or service is and how well you treat your customers, they won’t all stay with your business forever. Customer turnover or “churn” averages from 5-10% depending on your product or service and industry.  Ultimately, you need to have a plan in place to get more new customers at a greater rate than you lose them.

If you’re like most small businesses, you have lots of great ideas on how to promote your business, but you have budgetary limitations if you want enough revenue to pay the bills and still show a profit. That’s why you need to employ a variety of methods to find customers.

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So, how can you keep costs down while growing your customer base? Here are some ideas to get you started. Some of these are free and some have a cost associated with them, but all of them work. To determine which ones are most effective for your business, you’ll need to give them a try. Then track your results. Continue the best methods and abandon the ones that aren’t working as well until you find the best mix.

Ask Customers for Referrals - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Ask Current Customers for Referrals

Referrals are an excellent way to get new customers, but most people won’t think about making them unless you ask. So, if you want to receive them, you must actively solicit referrals from your satisfied customers. Make this request a part of your sales process by following up with customers after the sale to answer questions and ask for referrals.

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If yours is an eCommerce business, you might automatically send an email when the customer receives their order. And if yours is a B2C business, you may consider offering some sort of reward for referrals such as a discount on their next purchase or some sort of small free gift. Regardless, always take the time to thank customers for their referrals.

Networking - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Use the Power of Networking to Spread the Word

Whether you’re attending Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce meetings routinely or relevant industry events, networking is an effective way to generate word-of-mouth advertising. Approach these events with an attitude of service by looking for ways to help others that you meet at these events. Being helpful in this way enables you to develop relationships instead of being focused on how you can benefit. As a result, people will tend to remember and want to do business with you.

Special Promotions and Offers - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Offer Limited-Time Specials, Sales, and Promotions

A free trial or sample, or introductory discount on your product or service can help get hesitant customers to decide to give you a try. Then you can target them with marketing messages to tempt them to continue using or try more of your products and services.

Business Partnerships - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Develop Business Partnerships to Cross-Promote Each Other's Products

Identify businesses that cater to similar customers that are not your competitors. Then both companies can offer specials and discounts to each other’s customers. You’ll need to have your elevator pitch polished and ready to go. It’s a win-win effort that brings in new clients.

Ask for Ratings and Reviews - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Ask Happy Customers for a Rating or Product Review

According to TrustPilot, 89% of consumers worldwide read reviews before buying products. Even B2B buyers do the vast majority of their research online before ever engaging with a sales rep. So, it’s essential that you encourage your customers to give you an online review on a site that’s relevant to your industry whether it’s Yelp, TripAdvisor, or G2. Reviews increase trust and credibility, helping you attract more new customers.

User-Friendly Website Conversions - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Make Your Website Delightful and User-Friendly

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, buyers start their decision-making process doing online research. If your website is confusing or difficult to navigate, they will simply move on to another site. So, it’s essential that your website be easy to understand and navigate and that your value proposition is crystal clear to website visitors.

Site visitors want to know that they have reached the right website within a matter of seconds. To make it easy for them, keep these things in mind.

1. Make sure your site information is clear by stating:
    • What your company does
    • Why yours is the best solution
    • How to find what they’re looking for
    • What action you want them to takeEngage with customer support
    • Your company’s name, address, and phone number, especially if you are local.
2. Engage the site visitor by offering them ways to act based on how ready they are to buy. These might include:
    • Engage with customer support
    • Signing up for a free trial or account
    • Subscribing to your e-newsletter
    • Offering a big discount
    • Download a free report
    • Request a demo, free estimate, or consultation
    • Sign up for a webinar
3. Your site needs to be mobile-responsive since many site visitors today are using their mobile devices to do their preliminary research.
4. Make sure all the links on your site go where they should and aren’t resulting in a 404 Page Not Found error.

Failing to do any of these things decreases the chances of converting site visitors to leads or customers.

Write Blog Content for Target Audience - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Write Valuable Blog Content for Your Target Audience

Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less. So, there isn’t any reason not to leverage this economical method of marketing. It enables you to educate your audience while demonstrating your expertise and building trust. And, getting people to subscribe to your blog brings potential customers back to your site and allows you to keep your name top of mind. Then they are more likely to select your solution when they are ready to buy.

Social Media Marketing - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Get Active on Social Media

If you’re going to take the time to write content, why not post related snippets on the social platforms where your audience spends their time? Be sure to include a link to your recent blog post with a thoughtful introduction. This will increase website visits, share your expertise, and attract new potential customers. Plus, inviting your website visitors to follow you on social increases community engagement and provides customers or potential customers another way to communicate with you.

Support Your Community - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Support Your Community

Participating in events in your local community is a great way to make people aware of your business. Support a local charity by sponsoring one you care about. It will be a win-win by helping a cause special to you while getting your name in front of more potential customers. People like to support socially conscious businesses and will be attracted to yours as a result.

Re-Engage with Prior Customers - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Re-Engage With Prior Customers

Just because a customer hasn’t used your product or service for a while doesn’t mean they won’t be back. You can reconnect with previous customers by sending them specific marketing messages via email, direct mail, or phone. Entice them to come back by offering them special discounts or offers.

Follow Up With Potential Customers - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Follow Up With Potential Customers

Remember to follow up with potential customers who inquire about your offering or try it one time. If it’s a potential new customer, you can offer them additional information, perhaps in the form of a recent blog article that answers commonly asked questions about your solution. If they are a recent new customer, you’ll want to follow up to find out how their experience was and get feedback on how you might improve. This demonstrates that you care and enables you to respond to any negative feedback they might provide. Plus, it makes it possible for you to address issues in a timely fashion.

Work With Social Media Influencers - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Work With Social Media Influencers to Promote Your Business

Another way to get referrals is by engaging with influencers such as bloggers and journalists whose audience is similar to yours. Getting them to try your product, then mention it and link to your site or a special offer can be a great source of new customers.

Talk to Target Audience - How to Get More Customers for My Small Business

Use Targeted Ads to Reach Your Ideal Customers

Audiences are so finely segmented these days that you can target people who have a high likelihood of becoming consumers of your product or service. If you sell cupcakes, you can set up Facebook ads for people who are members of baking groups or who have “liked” baking television programs. If you sell B2B products or services, you can reach other businesses with audio ads for business podcasts in your niche.

Icon Image for Master the Art of Cold Calling

Start a Cold Outreach Campaign

We can’t wrap up without mentioning a tried and true, but everyone’s least favorite, method of gaining new customers – cold outreach, including cold calling. Cold calling is the act of initiating contact with potential customers by phone. The purpose of a cold call is to identify sales leads for your product or service in order to establish a mutually beneficial sales relationship. We wrote an entire article on cold calling techniques if you’re interested in learning more about this approach.

There are many economical ways to get more new customers for your small business. Give these a try to see which ones work best for you. Once you’ve identified the most fruitful ones, keep using them to continue growing your business.

Small Business Resources

Add a Business Line to Your Cell Phone
Small Business Podcasts
Books for Business Growth
Small Business Mobile Apps
Top Entrepreneur Forums
The 30-Second Elevator Pitch
Perfect Voicemail Greetings
Add Click-to-Dial To Your Website
What is VoIP? How Does it Work?
Guide to Small Business Software
What is a Virtual Phone System?
How to Share a Team Phone Number
Toll-Free vs. Local Business Number
Learn the Parts of a Phone Number
Inspirational Small Business Quotes
Mastering the Art of the Cold Call

A special high five to Margot Howard for her outstanding research and contributions to this article. We love working with and supporting like-minded entrepreneurs who are passionate about business success strategies. Thank you Margot! ❤️

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