Is Your Small Business Ready for More Customers?
Every business owner wants to drive more customers to his or her store, and a common solution for finding new customers is to launch a marketing campaign. Unfortunately, many small businesses are not properly prepared to scale when the campaign is a big success. This can lead to a stressed out team and unsatisfied customers. Before you launch your next marketing campaign, we recommend thinking through the following topics to ensure that your business is ready to delight every new customer that walks through the door.
Perfect Your Product and Train Your Staff
It goes without saying that your product must be high quality to delight and retain the new customers that walk through your door. That other half of the equation that must be top-notch is your customer service staff. Here are just a few things to consider:
- Have you recently conducted a competitive analysis? Have your competitors introduced new products or features in the last quarter/year? Have they recently conducted renovations or changed their pricing? Knowing how you line up against the competition is very important for ensuring you do what it takes to be the best.
- Is your staff properly trained? Does your team know how to upsell? Are guests greeted promptly and with respect? Is your staff dressed and groomed presentably? Does everyone know the proper process for dealing with an upset customer? A well trained staff is one that can handle all customer situations with grace.
- Do you deliver an experience? How does a customer feel the first time he or she walks through your doors? What is the ambiance like? Is each person greeted with a ‘hello’ from staff? Do you know the names of regulars? Do you go the extra step to make a customer feel special? Your competitors sell a similar product at a similar price point. The way to stand out is by delivering an experience that can’t be duplicated.
Perfecting your product and training your staff are two big keys to success when it comes to scaling your small business. Don’t neglect the items in this section!
Nail Your Pricing
The pricing of your products is not simply about making the most money possible from your customers. Your pricing strategy tells a story about your company’s value, quality and market positioning. As you adjust/define pricing as part of your scaling effort, keep all of this in mind and make sure your pricing reinforces your chosen position in the marketplace.
What Does Your Location Look Like?
Is the current location of your business able to handle an increase in customers? Does the decor, address and size reinforce your market position and value proposition? Could it use some improvements? Before you launch a new marketing campaign to drive more business you should ask yourself if your business might be better off investing in improvements on appearance or size at the current time. When you do finally drop some money on a new marketing campaign, you’ll want those first-time customers to be WOW’d by what they experience.
Put Together a Promotional Strategy
The promotion of your business has everything to do with delivering the right message to the right audience. Generally, a promotional strategy encompasses five broad classes of communication: advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, sales force and public relations. All five of these tactics involve constructing an effective marketing message. To help you write your best marketing message, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who am I trying to communicate with?
- What am I trying to communicate?
- What am I trying to accomplish?
- Is this the best communication medium with which to accomplish my goal?
Once you have honestly and thoughtfully answered each of those four questions, you must use that information to do three things:
- Get the prospect to notice your marketing communication
- Get the prospect to actually read (view or listen to) your marketing communication and
- Get the prospect to act on your marketing communication
Let’s look at an example: Imagine you have a restaurant in an area of town that is undergoing a transition. Many of the homes and other structures are being torn down to make way for new residences, town homes and high rises. People new to the area are moving in and you decide you want to introduce them to your restaurant. You know who you are trying to communicate with (new residents), what you want to communicate (you have a restaurant worth dining at) and what you are trying to accomplish (get them to visit). You decide that a direct mail piece to all new home owners is the best medium to use. You could use a post card and hope they read it among all the other postcards they received that day from other businesses vying for their attention. Instead you decide on something a little different. You mail a small envelope with a buffalo nickel in each one. The envelope is irregular size, so it gets noticed and the weight and movement of the nickel inside gets additional attention, so the prospect decides to open it (goal number 1 accomplished). Inside you have compelling copy to the effect that this nickel is a welcome to the neighborhood gift from your neighbor – the restaurant – and although it might not seem like much, if you come by [on specified times] you can redeem this nickel for [offer]. Just our way of saying welcome to the neighborhood! (Goal #2 accomplished). Over the next several weeks or months people visit your restaurant and redeem their nickels (goal #3 accomplished). With the outstanding dining experience you deliver, you convert a large number of these prospects to loyal, long-term customers and enjoy the fruits of a well designed, well executed marketing program. Of course you could have just mailed out some postcards and saw what happened. This is a somewhat silly example, but its message is important. Please remember it! Are you ready to explore financing options to expand your business? ARF Financial is a lender you can trust. We have a quick and simple funding process. Contact us today to learn more.