A business is like a living, breathing, organism (no, this is not a piece trying to argue that corporations are people!) that requires constant care and tending so that it continually grows and flourishes. Running a business means not only providing good service and products to the customers, but also expanding the number of customers you have.
Check out this quartet of tried and true ways that you can drum up more business. Experiment and find the ones that work best for your company and its particular needs.
As pointed out in the article “Help! I Need To Develop New Business- Now What?”, a referral is just a recommendation from a source, and is not something that simply happens automatically just because you’re doing a good job. You need to get out there and take the initiative, soliciting those referrals from satisfied customers. After all, prospective customers are likelier to take the word of a happy customer that relies on you, over your own claims of being a good business, right?
In addition, try touching base with fellow business dev/sales reps in your company and get referrals from them. You can even make it a quid pro quo arrangement. After all, if a fellow employee in your company has forged a good connection with a customer, with trust implied, then that employee could be the ice-breaker you need. Of course, this admittedly falls apart if you and your associate are vying for commissions, in competition with each other.
Here’s a tip that’s particularly effective if you’re aiming at the B2B market. LinkedIn’s membership has a large number of professionals and peers, more than likely the sort of people your marketing efforts should be targeting. Furthermore, LinkedIn has a number of groups that are based on various topics, issues, challenges, and interests. You will find it easy to target the ideal audience if you’re smart and not too heavy-handed in your presentation.
Even if you decide not to market yourself through LinkedIn, you should at least create a presence there if you don’t already have one. It is a fantastic networking tool, and you just never can tell when a particular connection may end up being what you need at the right place and the right time.
Search Engine Optimization
Many times, when businesses or consumers need a service, they go online and check out Google for leads. As a result, it’s important for a growing business to make sure that your business ranks high in search results. Incorporate long-tail keyword phrases that help you target traffic more effectively. Do research on effective keywords, and supplement them with good, informative content on your site. Content which educates as well as entertains is content which leaves an impression, creating a better informed consumer who by all rights will avail themselves of your services. By implementing these SEO tactics, you create a more visible presence without running afoul of Google’s search algorithms designed to filter out bad sites and spam.
A Partnership Of Cross Promotion
You’ve heard of the old saying “one hand washes the other”? How about “you scratch my back, I scratch yours?” We could sit here all day discussing axioms that instruct us on how to interact with various body parts, but the message is clear: co-operation yields results. With that in mind, you may want to consider a venture with a company that doesn’t compete against you, but instead offers a service that enhances yours, and vice versa.
After all, you have your customer list, and the prospective partner has theirs. If you pool your resources and come up with some promotions that showcase both of your businesses’ services to the combined customer lists, that’s really expanding your visibility. Perhaps you own a business that sells running shoes, and you know of a company that specializes in the production and sale of electronic gadgets that monitor heart rate, calories burned, and distances run. Talk about a match made in Heaven!
This handful of ideas will be enough for a good start. There are a lot more out there. But whatever ideas you choose to implement, never forget that your company should always be advancing, not holding position or retreating.