More Clients for Your Home Business
Going into business for yourself may seem like a good idea, but you’ll soon find out everything isn’t peaches and cream. Running a home business is time consuming, and can be extremely stressful. Simply announcing you are in business isn’t enough. You have to promote yourself and your business in order to attract customers. Following are a few tips on how to find more clients for your home business.
1) Word of Mouth
Anyone who has been in business for any length of time knows that the best form of advertising is word of mouth. Satisfied customers won’t hesitate to let their family, friends, and neighbors know about their experience and will gladly recommend you. That means you must make every effort to give your clients what they need in a timely manner. In that way, they will have nothing but good things to say about you, because word of mouth works the same way if you provide bad service–you won’t get any new customers as a result of that client’s experience and you may lose potential or even actual clients. Businesses are built on repeat customers and will only be successful if you continue to give good service and have people come back–and hopefully bring a few friends along.
2) Satisfy Your Clients
Because word of mouth advertising is so important, it is essential that you do everything you can to satisfy your clients. A satisfied customer is a happy customer, and happy customers will more than likely return. It’s actually far easier to entice an existing client to return than it is to get new ones, so be sure to keep them contented. Once you’ve satisfied the customers you have, then you can concentrate on attracting new clients. One excellent book on this topic is Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service by Ken Blanchard.
3) Know Your Business
When someone is looking for the type of product or service you provide, they don’t want to take a chance on someone who doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing. It is extremely important that you not only know everything you can about your business, but that you radiate confidence and have the Skills necessary to do a good job. If you meet with a potential customer and project an image of knowledge and commitment, you will have a greater chance of being accepted by them, and getting the job. On the other hand, if you appear to be hesitant and give the impression that you don’t know what you’re talking about, you could lose any chance you had of taking them on as a client.
4) Advertise, the Right Way
Although word of mouth is generally accepted as the best form of advertisement, you must attract a few customers in the first place, otherwise there will be no one to spread the word. In order to advertise efficiently, you should first define your client base. It would do no good to spend thousands of dollars on newspaper advertisements if you’re trying to sell a new social media app–your target clients don’t spend much time reading newspapers, instead they’re online, so that’s where you should advertise. On the other hand, if your target market is well-to-do seniors then spending money for online ads is probably a waste of time and money. It would probably be better to take out an ad in a national magazine that caters to that demographic. If your market is young married people with small children, then placing ads in your hometown newspaper or putting up flyers in local supermarkets may work best.
5) Offer Referral Discounts
A good way to attract new clients is to take advantage of the word of mouth angle. Offer the customers that you have now a reward if they will refer new clients to you. This can come in the form of a discount on existing services or as a cash back option. Of course, it’s important that you provide good service–your customers will be much more likely to take advantage of the reward offer if they’re satisfied themselves. If you have printed material, such as brochures or flyers, that advertise your business, or an online website, you could offer a discount to a client if they’ll provide a testimonial that can be used on the advertisement.
6) Study Your Competitors
One of the best ways to attract new clients is to study your competitors and see how they do it. If there are other businesses in the area that offer similar services, you should pay attention to how they spend their advertising dollars–especially the successful ones. Visit their place of business and see firsthand how they treat their customers and the type of service they provide. Determine whether or not their methods are better than yours, and incorporate whatever you think will help you improve your business and attract new clients.
7) Leverage Your Contacts
In today’s world of social media you can easily create a Facebook page for your company and then post little messages to all your Facebook friends. These messages will be seen by their friends and if what you posted is of value it may be picked up by friends of friends etc. These types of posts do not have to be blatantly self-promoting they could be witty or helpful or funny but they can provide awareness of your business and if someone is willing to post something of yours on their Facebook page that is a good sign that they might be on the road to liking you and therefore be much more willing to do business with you.
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About the Author:
Guest post from Andy Granger. Andy writes for BusinessInsurance.org.
Photo credit: home business by nikcname on flickr
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