At GBTI, our Small Business Bureau has helped many companies in Guyana get started with a loan program that is matched to their specific business requirements. GBTI’s role is to understand the type of enterprise you are launching so that we can provide the best financial support. Doing well as a small business owner is all about meeting the needs of your customers. Many small business clients have offered some valuable insights about how to build a customer base. Read on to learn more.
Do you have beautiful merchandise to sell? Do you love telling potential customers about your service? If you are in business for yourself, you most certainly believe in the value of what you are engaged in. Emotions are contagious, and enthusiasm is no exception. Sharing the passion you have for your company, including the story of why you became an entrepreneur, allows customers to feel more connected and invested in doing business with you.
Use a personal touch
Now that your clients know a little about you and your company, make a sincere effort to get to know each of them on an individual level. Address them by their name to show respect and encourage trust. With repeat customers, it is especially important to recognize them and welcome them back. People who feel appreciated will return time and again to buy your wares or hire your services.
Provide a unique product
There may be people in your community who are doing the same work that you are or offering a similar product. Think about what makes your enterprise stand out from the others. Do you take custom orders? Is there something extra that you include when you provide a service? That unique aspect of your business will help distinguish you from your competitors and attract more clients.
Take a look at what is going on in your community and elsewhere to see what the new business trends are. Maybe there is something that you can apply in your enterprise to encourage new customers, or perhaps seeing what others are doing will help you to generate your own ideas. Knowing what actions different companies are taking to please their clients is always beneficial.
There are numerous ways you can reward your customers. For example, you can acknowledge repeat clients by giving discounts when they have done a certain amount of business with you. On the other hand, you could decide to include a small free item with their order as a token of what their ongoing support means to you.
Ask for feedback
One of the very best ways to ensure that you are meeting the needs of your clients is to ask them. Although all indications may be that business is going well and customers are content, you may gain some critical information that can assist you in enhancing your service and reaching more prospective consumers. Even if you don’t learn anything new, showing interest in your clients inspires their loyalty.
Nurture your reputation
Expect that your reputation as an entrepreneur will precede you. If people enjoy your merchandise or the service you deliver, the word will quickly get out in the marketplace. Likewise, if they are unhappy with a transaction, they will not hesitate to tell others. It is the disgruntled customers that you must pay special attention to. While you may feel that you have done everything right, it is worth a lot to your business to act quickly and deal with any complaints.
You will likely have a few referrals to your company from others who like your product or service. Rather than wait for this to happen, encourage referrals by asking your customers directly to refer their family and friends to you. Think also about business people you network with or those whose businesses you frequent. These also offer opportunities for referrals to your enterprise. For instance, you could suggest to a company that you will refer your clients to them if they reciprocate.
Take time to celebrate the success of your enterprise—not only with your staff and customers but publicly as well. This could involve a media announcement, an open house at your workplace, or another event. Showing that your company is thriving will help people take notice and bring in more business.
Building a solid customer base takes time. However, by using these tips, you will steadily acquire many satisfied customers.