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Make your SMME a magnet for new clients

Undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects of any business is its client base. A growth in number of clients is indeed a clear performance indicator which also suggests increasing revenues. Progressive thinkers and experienced business owners understand the risks of a stagnated business and afford due recognition to proactive strategies centred on enlarging their market share.

As a small business, competing with large and well-established companies can make it difficult to distinguish your small business, and develop notable competitive advantages. This is why it is important to find ways to attract new clients and then sustain their interest in your brand adequately enough to convert them into the loyal long-term clients you desire.

Here are a few useful tips worth considering when deciding to expand your client base:

1. Be agile

Being able to react quickly to new trends and customers’ needs could certainly help your small business attract and retain new customers. As a small business, you will have the advantage of successfully adjusting to changes with greater ease, as compared to larger bureaucratic organisations governed by significant red tape. You can, thus, offer new services and goods before many of your other competitors.

2. Reward customers for referrals

You could initiate a promotion in which you offer discounts or gifts to customers for referrals. This would be a good way to establish closer ties with your current customers, while also incentivising them to speak to friends, family and acquaintances about your business. In addition, you will also be increasing your customer base and sales in a very simple and cost-effective manner.

3. Have a proactive business sense

Being a step ahead of your customers’ needs is an effective way of impressing them and gaining their loyalty. Something as simple as providing a complementary service such as providing a pet grooming service while pet owners shop for their pets’ food could impress your current customers. This will no doubt develop positive word-of-mouth as customers speak to their friends and subsequently refer others to your store. Such personalised service could be what sets the tone for a clear competitive edge over your competitors, empowering you to attract new customers looking for that special touch. In this case, the distinguishing factor isn’t the price of your primary service, but rather the value-add. So even if your competition undercuts on price they cannot compete with you on value.

4. Partner up with other businesses

These days, forming strategic or synergy partnerships with other businesses is one of the most effective ways of increasing sales and attracting new customers. Complementary goods or services could be promoted and offered in partnership with another business. This could be a bigger well-established business or another small business, depending on the intention of the strategic association. For example, if you sell handmade jewellery, you could partner up with a clothing store frequented by a target market similar to yours. You will receive increased exposure and sales, as well as the possibility of acquiring new loyal customers and repeat business.

Continually expanding your customer base is a sure recipe for sustainable growth. For a small business this also decreases reliance on a few major customers, thereby lowering the risk of business failure. Such growth is accompanied by a number of related advantages such as increased buying power. This enables you to increase supplier orders and command bigger discounts as well as prioritised delivery of materials or performance of associated services. Attracting new clients and keeping them satisfied is clearly a critical success factor; and committed business owners are sure to enjoy the fruit thereof.

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