Most startup businesses take the same actions when they are getting started:
They study their craft, they build a website to offer their products/services, they promote their business through social media AND finally, they wait for clients.
While all of these steps are essential for a successful business, there is one aspect in the points that are being mentioned above which requires a different approach:
Waiting for clients is rarely a good solution to start your business.
So what can be done? The following approach is much more benefitial:
“In order to attract and satisfy your customers, you have to understand them first.”
Beware: It sounds obvious but requires a lot of planning and dedication.
Why? Because knowing that your potential customers are looking for a specific product or service is only half of what you need to know in order to attract those customers.
You also need to be aware of how they want the product or service delivered.
If simply offering a solution to a problem was all a business had to do, don’t you think that a lot more businesses would succeed?
Your customers want to be fought for! They want to get approached by you!
This doesn’t necessarily translate into your business literally approaching a potential client (even though it helps) but furthermore executing the right marketing strategy and knowing where and how to promote your business.
What You Can Do:
One method that you can try is running a survey campaign.
Online Surveys Explained:
Generally, this method works best before executing your business idea and can give you some great valuable insight into your potential customers mind.
Depending on your niche and industry you could ask customers of a competitor why they decided to buy the product and what they liked most about the presentation.
Try to think of questions that you feel can really help you understand why those customers were convinced to buy the product.
If you feel like this method involves too much work, you will be pleased to know that there are several free online tools that you could use.
Surveymonkey is one of them.
The reason I mention Surveymonkey is because not only do they offer all the basic features for free but even a lot of big companies use Surveymonkey for their survey campaigns.
If surveys are not your cup of tea, don’t worry:
There are many other options that you can try to approach your customers.
In business, it’s usually a good idea to launch fast and adjust your campaign along the way.
No matter how good your plan is, there will always be failure and unexpected situations that will influence your business strategy over the course of time.
Therefore, you might want to try the “Unique Content Strategy”
The Importance Of Sharing Unique Content.
As mentioned above, you will adjust your business more than once, especially during the beginning. However, it is always important not to be a copycat:
You can get inspired by other companies and strategies but always add your own spin to whatever you are trying to accomplish:
That’s the only way that you will figure out if people are convinced by your brand and vision.
The reason is simple:
If you are being yourself, passion will become your catalyst for success.
When passion becomes your catalyst for sucess, you will also express yourself in a way that only suits YOU and nobody else.
Imagine you are copying the entire strategy of another company only to find out later that you don’t feel comfortable with the delivery of your core principals.
How are you going to change that? Especially if your clients are already used to it.
Always remember that being you is by far the most effective way to figure out if potential customers are convinced by what you have to offer or not.
The Power Of Collaboration.
Another great way to grow your business is oftentimes overlooked: Collaborations.
Most of the time, people do not collaborate because they fear of either exposing too much of themself or not knowing how to successfully execute a collaborational project.
However, the advantages can have a great impact on your business:
– You can grow your client base by exchanging potential customers through the project.
– You can make use of synergy effects and compliment each others strenghts and
– You will gain a lot of experience and useful insight.
If collaborating with another business doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a good idea in your niche, have you thought about collaborating with your customers?
You think that sounds crazy? Read further:
The answer is simple: Crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing is a recent trend in which a company is using the talent and creative ideas of their customers to improve their own products and services to gain a positive image along the way.
Or in other words: You are collaborating with your own customers!
In order to explain this better, let’s have a look at one company who is by far one of the most prominent examples when it comes to crowdsourcing: Modcloth.
Modcloth is an e-commerce clothing shop that enables their customers to decide about the most important aspect of their business: The offered clothes.
Customers are able to vote which pieces of clothing make it into the store and which don’t.
Modcloth was actually one of the first companies to successfully implement the element of crowdsourcing with their “Be The Buyer” campagin.
Now, if you think that crowdsourcing is just a fancy option that doesn’t have much of an impact, you’re mistaken:
In the past, more than 20 million people voted as part of Modcloth’s campaign which resulted in a business growth of 40% each year!
If you want to read more about how to start a crowdsourcing campaign, you can read more about some of the most important aspects in this article.
Franchising For Business Growth.
Depending on your business and niche, you might want to consider offering your business as a franchise. It is definitely no secret anymore that franchising, if executed well, is by far one of the most efficient ways for business expansion and growth.
After all, it s definitely one of the reasons why fast food restaurants such as Mc Donalds gained their international success.
However, there are several things to consider regarding a successful franchise:
– You need the right business model (which requires you to adjust to local expectations)
– The size of your business:
The more franchises there are, the bigger the production scale and a big production scale enables a business to adjust prices for lower costs per product.
– Locations of franchise stores:
Whether you are going for a physical or digital way of franchising, analyze the most appropriate locations for a franchise regarding your product or service.
This can either make or break your success.
It’s one thing to know your target customers but it’s another to understand where they actually go to buy products and services.
Another option that you can normally approach at all times, is to offer more variety.
In order to really use the full potential, yoou should be aware of your core product and service and build variations around them.
If you are selling a software that is aiming to make the life of the user easier, you could also sell e-books that target the same solution.
In case your business is a blog on a specific subject, you could also consider to become a paid speaker at different venues and events that gather your target audience and share your experience with them.
For every product or service, there are always ways of working out variations and who knows:
You might be surprised how successful the outcome will be.
Furthermore, this method is one of the best to generate several streams of income which is always an advantage.
While speaking of variety, have you ever thought about targeting other markets?
Market Targeting Done Right.
After all, whether you did your research or not, you can be sure that there are similiar markets to your current one that are probably in need of familiar services or products.
If you are really trying to grow your business, you should definitely analyse the market and understand where solutions are needed.
If your target audience revolves around elderly people, there might be a huge chance that products or services related to this target group are needed in similiar fields that you just didn’t think of yet.
In order to make this work though, you will need to have a great understanding of the basics, which involves the knowledge of how to define your actual target market.
If you want to read more about that topic, this article about defining your target market will be helpful to you.
I hope that the ideas and methods mentioned above, inspired you to pay more attention to the growth of your business.
If you didn’t try any of the above yet, you should read more about the individual options and consider implementing them.
After all, it’s a topic that every business owner is interested in but unfortunately many companies, especially startups, shy away from because they don’t know where to start.
If this entire topic is new to you, consider checking out my article on the top five mistakes that you should definitely avoid when starting a business.