The lifeblood of your business is your customers. You must attract them, meet their needs and keep them happy in order to build a thriving business. But how do you start the cycle? How do you find new customers for your business? Here are some ideas:
- Family and Friends: The best place to start looking for customers is among the people you already know. You know what your products can do, so think about how they can meet the needs of your family and friends. Reach out to them, ask them about their needs and talk about how your products can meet those needs. And also ask your family and friends for referrals. Since they already know, love and trust you, they’re more likely to refer you and your business to others.
- Community Groups: A great way to get to know new people who may be potential customers is to join community groups. Whether it be a town improvement committee, a local commission, or a church choir, look within your community for opportunities to serve and get to know others. This is not only a very satisfying use of your time, but it also enables you to meet people who may be interested in becoming customers of your business.
- Online Interest Groups: Do you love cooking? Hiking? Swimming? Find online groups on Facebook, Google, and other websites dedicated to the topics you love, and become an active member. Get to know the people there, and start conversations. Over time, you’ll learn their needs as well, and may be able to privately offer your products in conversation.
- Vendor Events: A great way to meet a lot of new people in a day is by joining a vendor event. Set up a table at an event with a chance to sample your product line and learn more about what you have to offer. Give people a chance to enter a drawing to win a free product in order to build your mailing list. Keep notes on the people that seem most interested in what you have to offer during the event. After the event, it’s important to follow up with the people that have left their contact information, starting with the people that have shown the most interest, and offer a discount for shopping with you the first time.
- Community Service: There are many opportunities to serve your community and build your business at the same time. For example, a local ice cream store periodically hosts a blood drive, and offers a free ice cream cone to all who donate. This not only creates good will in the community, it also brings more people into the store and builds the customer base, which benefits the business. Think about the needs in your community, and sponsor drives to meet those needs.
- Facebook Advertising: Facebook Ads enable you to target specific demographics who may be most interested in what you have to offer, and they don’t have to cost a lot. Set up a specific landing tab on your Facebook Page where people can fill out a form to get more information about your business (thus building your mailing list…a tool like Pagemodo will enable you to do this) and direct your ads to the landing tab. Just be sure to keep it brief, and be sure that your landing tab has only one conversion objective. Have a series of ads, and change them up regularly. This can be a great way to find new people who may have an interest in your business.
- Sponsorship: A scrapbooking consultant annually sponsors her son’s Little League team. Her business is proudly displayed across the backs of each of the young players during games, parades and other Little League Events, in the Little League schedule when people check to see who they’re playing, and on the Little League website. For an entire season, her business gets visibility through her sponsorship. And she’s visible at those events, so people who are interested can purchase supplies and get more information about her business. Sponsoring teams, races, and other community events can be a great way to build visibility for your business along with goodwill, and help you find more customers for your business.
In order to find more customers, you have to get out there and be active in the community you serve. You’ll find that there are a constant stream of new people, the more involved that you get. Which one of these will you use today? What can you add to our list? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.