At the risk of sounding like Sally Struthers, we’re going to say it anyway: “Do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do.” If you’re an individual or small business who offers a product or service, you may sometimes get frustrated about an inconsistent stream of clients, but there are things you can do to build your customer base, grow your business, and of course increase your profits. Here are six methods that really work.
Some service professionals can get so wrapped up in the desire to grow their business that they forget that being the best at what you do is one of the best ways to ensure people keep coming back to you. Take professional development courses, set up Google news alerts to deliver news related to your industry right to your inbox, and reach out to industry leaders to find out what they do to stay on top.
Many small businesses are so eager to create a web presence that they simply throw together a quick website and don’t take the time to update it or improve upon it. Bad idea. Most potential customers are going to go to your web page, and some will be deterred by an unprofessional page. Hire a good web designer and a professional copywriter to put together a site you can be proud of. Same goes for your design collaterals like business cards, flyers, etc. In these, you’ve got a great opportunity to convince people that your service is their best choice. Don’t blow it.
This doesn’t mean you have to donate lots of money to charity or volunteer at soup kitchens, although those are both nice ideas. But we mean give advice, referrals, samples – whatever makes sense in your line of work. Give so much that people are surprised by your generosity. They will feel motivated to suggest your services to others, speak highly of you, and quite possibly come to you when they are ready to invest some money in the product or service that you offer.
When you’re given a referral, follow through quickly and conscientiously. Understand that when people suggest your services, your actions become a reflection on the referrer. Respect that and you will be sure to see a corresponding increase in referrals.
If a friend tells you to call someone who is in need of your services, do it. It may feel weird to reach out to someone who hasn’t directly asked for your help, but trust us, we have made this move before and gained important business which has led to a wealth of connections and opportunity. You will never know if you don’t try.
We’re not trying to say that you have a bad attitude. We hardly know you! But if you shift your perspective from trying to gain as much business and money as possible to genuinely being interested in helping people, learning, and exchanging ideas, you will see a huge increase in your business success. Visit groups that spark your interest, whether they’re strictly related to your business or not. Hold volunteer positions, or even create meet-up groups related to your field. You will be viewed favorably and as an authority, and you will naturally gain business as a result.