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What would you suggest I do to increase my customer base?

By: Bill Wortman

 

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What would you suggest I do to increase my customer base? I want to expand but I am also running into a capacity problem. If I do get more customers, how do I maintain the level of service and support I have promised my clients?

Answer:   
 
Increasing customer base: You may need to assess your target audience, geographic trade area, competition, staffing, and sales tools:
  • Target audience: If you have been unable to expand your customer base, your target audience may be an issue. You may want to reevaluate the customers you have been targeting to determine which segment offers you the best opportunity to build your customer base and expand your business.
  • Geographic trade area: Based on your target audience demographics and competitive situation, you may need to expand your geographic trade area in order to locate more potential clients.
  • Competition: It is always important for businesses in competitive industries to research their competition to determine what they need to do in the way of marketing and service offerings in order to be competitive in their local markets.
  • Capacity: Your limited staff and workload capacity may very well be a factor in your inability to attract more customers. Generally, a small business with limited capital resource cannot afford to add staff in anticipation of locating more clients. Perhaps locating more small employers will enable you to build your business with manageable accounts and attract larger clients in the future.
  • Sales tools: You may need to review and revise your sales tools and marketing materials in order to be more effective in explaining the features and benefits of your services and otherwise at attracting customers and closing sales. You can use industry articles and suggestions like the following to develop your specific business sales scripts.

Sales script development:

Cold calls:

Also, you can locate additional suggestions and tools for developing your B2B sales methods in bookstore and library publications and websites like the following:

Staffing issues: Hiring competent and reliable employees is always important but particularly in a small company where each employee’s contribution is critical. The basic tools for effective employee hiring and management are effective job interviews, background checks, Operations Manuals, adequate employee supervision, and regular performance reviews. The basic recruiting steps:

  • Comprehensive job description
  • Specific qualifications in job advertising
  • Proper placement of job ads
  • Effective resume sorting
  • Thorough list of interview questions
  • Skill testing
  • Background check

Also, to assess your hiring and other personnel procedures, you can use information like the following:

Business plan: Increasing customer count by fivefold is a challenge for most businesses, particularly in an economic recession. If you need to review or prepare a formal Business Plan to develop effective plans to achieve your business growth goal, you can also locate sample business plans and tools at the following websites:

Writing tools:
Published: July 24, 2013
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