Are you thinking of starting a small business, or looking for ways to improve your existing business? Check out our five simple tips to keep customers coming back.
There are many reasons people choose to start their own business. One of the biggest drivers for people opening their own business is having an entrepreneurial spirit. By definition an entrepreneur is someone who organises and operates a business/businesses, taking financial risks by doing so. Sound like you? Then great congratulations you have an entrepreneurial spirit. However, as many business owners are aware it’s not always fun.
Firstly, you have to an idea, product, or service that consumers will want. Secondly, you will have to secure finances or means to provide that product or service. There is also the added requirement of finding and training staff. On the face of it, there can be many barriers to starting up your own business. Despite these obstacles,we plenty of new businesses are opened each year. In the US, it is estimated that there are around 28 small businesses. US small businesses range from local cafes to accounting firms. Their contribution to the economy amounts to up to 50% of GDP. Another interesting fact is that 54% of sales come from small businesses. Surprising right? That more people would choose to purchase from a small business than a giant chain brand. This is encouraging for both new and existing business owners. Without customers, no business will survive. Below are our helpful tips to get repeat customers.
- Go Online
No matter how big or small your business is it should have an online presence. Depending on the type of business you have, you can find the right online presence. For example, a clothing store related business could use a website and social media page. A website would help increase orders if applicable and allow more visibility. This increased visibility could even lead to more customers.
Another way for businesses to go online is to take advantage of directory sites. Remember the yellow pages book? Well,it’s now online. Make it easy for potential customers to find and contact your business by being listed online. Adding your business to Google Maps is also another great way to help customers find you.
- Expand Your Payment Options
If there’s one thing customers look for when purchasing is choice. This isn’t just limited to product or services. When it comes to purchasing goods online or in person there are many payment options. For brick and mortar businesses, the most common payment types are cash and card. Online businesses predominantly work with card payments. However, there are several new alternative payment methods. One of which is Interac banking and payments which can mainly be used online. Another payment option that has become popular is Apple Pay. Unlike Interac, Apple Pay has become a popular in-store. This is due to Apple Pay being linked to Apple accounts on iPhone and smartwatches.
By expanding your payment options, you are maximising your sale opportunities.
- Get Social
When it comes to social media and business there a lot of misconceptions. One of the biggest is that a business should spend hours on their pages. This is ridiculous unless of course, you’re a blogger. For most businesses creating a social media account, is about sharing with your customers. Take Instagram for example. Not every business is appropriate for Instagram, due to their nature. Businesses that are like food, events, and clothing use Instagram to show their products. Whereas, a social media page on Facebook gives the business a face. Here, the business can post offers and talk to their customers. Customers may even choose to leave a review on your page or share with their friends. This all helps to build up your reputation.
- Reward Loyalty
As the saying goes ‘You cannot buy loyalty’ and this is true. However, you should reward it. Especially, when it comes to your customers. Bear in mind. no matter what your business is customers always have a choice. If they choose to pick you one day, do not take for granted that they always will. Besides continuing to offer great services and products, businesses can reward their repeat customers. One of the easiest ways to do this is with loyalty schemes. This is particularly beneficial for food & drink related businesses. Traditionally, loyalty schemes are monetary based which can hurt a new business. In order, to find the right loyalty scheme consider what your customer would want.
One of the biggest reasons for businesses failing is lack of planning. Take for example Blockbuster, Blockbuster’s CEO had a chance to buy Netflix and refused. We all know how that ended, so don’t let lack of planning hurt your business. The best way to start future planning is to imagine what you would like your business to achieve. For a restaurant this may mean a second location, online businesses may want a new website. If you can visualise what you want, you can map out how you will achieve it.