It involves a lot of hard work, andrequires you to consider many different factors, from balancing your financial ingoing’s and outgoingsto keeping up with changes in the marketand looking after your employees. Even once a business has gotten past the tricky first few months, and you have begun to find your feet, there is still the long, hard road of growing and expanding your business, to overcome. No one wants their business to stay in rockyground, so the more successful your business can become, and the more clients you can draw in, the more profitable and financially stable your business will be.
Luckily, by considering factors such as networking, advertisement, and brand image, you have a good chance of steadily increasing the number of clients you have on your books. If you are looking to grow your business,then here are a few tips which you might like to consider.
Networking with clients
Customer service, and building a strong relationship with your clientele, is just as important for building your business, as your skill when it comes to delivering the service itself. You can’t just rely on new clients to find their way into your office; youneed to start laying the foundations of a business relationship before you even have them on your books as a client. The best way to meet new clients is to devote some time to your networking; Get out in the community, both local and further afield, and start reeling in the customers by making yourself known. To give you an idea of how often you should be networking, you should aim to spend at least an hour a week attending events and interacting with clients online, in order to make your business recognizable.
Don’t assume that one single interaction with a client is going to be enough for them to choose your service above all others. You will need to keep in semi-regular contact with them when you can. You can connect with the people that you meet at networking events by associating with them on professional sites such as LinkedIn. In this way, you can make sure that you are the first name that comes to mind whenever they are in need of your services! It is worth noting that you would be best off avoiding the messaging of clients on any overly informal sites such as Facebook. This kind of platform is acceptable to use if you are using a business page, but even then, you should make sure this form contact is kept to a strictly formal capacity.
Networking with other professionals
Don’t just limit your networking to meeting new clients, as it is also important to create links with other business owners in the same, or similar, field to you. For one thing, it is important to know your competition welland to keep up to date with any changes they make in their business which might affect their success ratesso that you can learn from the triumphs and failures.
Beyond this, by networking with other professionals in a range of different fields, you can gain the support of business owners who can refer clients to you, in return for you doing the same for them. These other professionals may also be in need of your services themselves, and you could find yourself in an excellent position where you can swap professional services with one another for a discounted price.
Trying looking for opportunities and available events where you can partner with large organizations. Alternatively, there are various organizations available for you to join which are specifically for networking, so check what is available in your local area.
Encourage promotion and referrals from your clients
Some people worry about pestering their clients about getting referrals, but there is never any harm in asking! If you offer a good enough service, people are always willing to spread the word to their friends, family, and even a passing acquaintance: you just need to make sure that you are offering a service which is worth the effort. Make sure that, when you approach the subject with your clients, you make them feel individually valued, and make it clear that you respect and value their opinion of your business.
The simplest way to approach this would be tobring it up face to face after you have completed work for them. However, there are alternative methods, such as sending out the occasional personalized email to your clients, asking for feedback from your clients, along with a gentle reminder that you would appreciate them referring your service on to other people. Alternatively, you can ask for referrals over the phone when you make courtesy calls to clients. The key is to become a personable service which people are happy to recommend, as well as making the promotion of your business worthwhile to your customers. It is important to find the balance between polite reminders about referrals, and not pressuring or pestering your existing clients, as this will lose yourbusiness, rather than helping you grow it.
Make sure you have the capacity to grow
If you want to grow your business, you need to make sure that you have all the tools and manpowerrequired to handle a larger clientele database. Your clients will not wait patiently while you make the necessary adjustments, and no one appreciates being the trial run in a growing business, so these are considerations that you need to make in advance, rather than waiting to get more clients first.
Consider your employees, and whether they have the skills to handle more clients being added to their books. Do you need to hire more staff to accommodate having a larger client database? You also need to consider things like the square footage of your office space, and whether you can acclimatize to more foot traffic through the office as your business grows. Then there are technical appliances to consider, such as the software which you use. Times are always changing, so you need to make sure you are using the best systems and software available to you. For example, if you were an accountant running a tax preparation service, then you might find a system such as the Ultimate Tax Preparer Software will have all of the tools which you need.
Utilizing content marketing
Unless you have information about your services easily available across a wide range of channels, you will struggle to grow your clientele. The first step is to create a website with concise but informative information, that provides clear contact details and which is easy to navigate. Then you can look at creating other content marketing tools, such as a blog which provides regularly updated information to clients. When it comes to creating online posts, it would be worthwhile for you to try and utilize search engine optimization techniques, as these will give you the best chance of driving traffic toyour site. These include techniques such as using regularly searched keywordsand including clear subtitles throughoutyour content.
As well as this, you can send out regular materials to clients, such as an electronic newsletter, or an automatic reminder for annual services, such as carrying out for mechanical checks on cars. You may also want to look into working with content marketing services, as these are a great tool to utilize if you would like to promote your business. The idea of content marketing is simply to create online material which stimulates the interest of prospective clients, without annoying them with constant advertising.
Work on your social media presence
In this day and age, a prominent social media presence is vital for increasing your customer engagement, as so much value is now placed upon the followers you can gather on your profiles. The best thing about a social media presenceis that it will allow you to be in constant communication with your clients, as well as making it easy for you to promote your business with a paid advertisement. In fact, there are actually a few ways that you can approach social media advertisement, from paying for regular adverts to be visible to your target demographic, to paying for social influencers to promote your service to their following.
Become easily recognizable
Aside from promoting your business online and attending networking events, you can also promote your business through holding your own events, such as giving a class on basic information surrounding your business, or by speaking publicly elsewhere. There more you can spread useful information about working in your sector, the more informed your business will appear, and the more respect you will muster from your clients and the rest of your local community.
Aside from this, becoming more involved in your community in other ways will also help to create a better image for your business. For example, you could become a sponsor for your local sports team, or attend local schools to talk to students who are interested in going into a similar line of work to you, such as those studying accountancy.