How do small businesses get new customers?

22 Jan

I was recently talking to a chum of mine in Asia who has a small animation studio. I asked him how business was and he told me that their product was getting better all the time and he hoped that would lead to new business.

Hope is a terrible strategy. While it’s important to focus on what your core offering is, and make it better, without a focused new customer acquisition strategy, all your efforts will be like trees falling in the forest.

Here are six things that most successful small businesses are doing to grow business:

  • Build a network with other small business owners. Create relationships. Recommend members of your network to your customers and you will find they do the same for you.
  • Develop a pipeline strategy. Identify the low-hanging fruit, or easy wins, the symbiotic industries you can target, the existing relationships you can leverage.
  • Invest in your brand. Make sure your brand is unique and memorable within the category and market. Spend a few dollars on a better logo, sharper self-promotional materials. They are often your first impression.
  • Make sure your website is performing in search. Google ad words can be a relatively cheap way to help  more people find you.
  • Advertise. Search engine optimization is wonderful, but there are many environments that can drive prospective clients to you and your website. Advertising works.
  • Get involved in social marketing. Devise a strategy, choose the right online spaces and keep at it.

THEN fold your hands together and hope!

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