Opening a new service-providing business is scary. Petrifying even. And a common stressor is ‘What if I get no customers?’.
Wel,l you can probably guess what my first tip is: GET A BOOKING SYSTEM. I won’t go into too much detail, as you can read all about us in our previous posts, but the amount of time and energy you can save using a booking system, starting from a free system to the cost of one or two meals out per month, is phenomenal.
Next, you need to know the ideal clientele you are trying to gain and then cater the following tips with your that client fully in mind:
Get them right first up! If you start too low and then higher them in a few months, people will notice and complain. If you start too high then maybe some customers won’t visit you as you may be more expensive than another business offering the same service. It is all a matter of balance and research. Find out your competition’s prices in that area and cater yours to compete with theirs, whilst still remembering your financial plan and profit aims, of course.
Hire people from your crème de la crème clients.
Just think about an Organic, Fair-trade Café – they hire a lot of ‘Hipsters’ and they, in turn, do act as little magnets for other Hipsters/People who will (stereotypically) enjoy Organic and Fair-trade coffee and Vegan baked goods. Do the same! And get them to help you out too! If they refer five friends, chances are at least one of them will come and visit them at work. Heck, even do the same with your new clients as they come skipping through the door. Some businesses in the past simply relied on word of mouth, and did a pretty damn good job at building their client base with it.
Look the part.
It sucks, but 80% of what people initially judge someone or something on is appearance. The other 20% is what you say, and for businesses, it’s the what you provide. Make sure both you and your business looks professional and perhaps consider revamping your website with some professional help, as that is one of the first things new customers will ‘see’ of your business.
Make sure people know you exist.
Marketing marketing marketing. Its daunting as some people study for years to become a marketer, however start with the simple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and you will be well on your way. Try to also use email marketing, such as Campaign Monitor and Mail Chimp. Use them to market your business to people who either have already visited and need reminding how great you are, or to people who have entered their email into your website. If you can, offer and promote a discount for visitors to attract them and then, you’re on your own to give them the best quality service imaginable to retain them – and maybe get them to review your service for another incentive! Market these using the above examples, and consider using your website, blog, flyers, and even a vehicle wrap (it has worked for me in the past). Perhaps try to get into your local newspaper or magazine if you really want to be seen!
I hope you have enjoyed these tips, and will take them in mind even if you are not a new business and just need a bit of tweaking to increase your client base! Just remember, every little helps!