It’s nearly impossible to increase revenue without strengthening your connection with your current customers. They are the key to learning what you are doing right, what you could be doing better, and how your industry is changing. A loyal customer should be viewed as a remote salesman for your company as well as a pathway to waves of new customers, the majority of whom were obtained through a single, customer-related source.
But like any lucrative endeavor, taking full advantage of your customers’ loyalty is an investment. You must invest in the retrieval of critical information, spreading brand awareness, and a significantly enhanced reputation.
THE POWER OF REVIEWS
The average shopper exhibits a predictable behavior that predates almost every purchase he or she makes. When deciding what to buy, the shopper uses a search engine to find out which products or services have attained the most positive reviews. The most well-reviewed business are the first to appear after a search and typically occupy the top spots of lists containing the best deals or sellers. Your current customers know how amazing you are at serving them, and thanks to the Internet, it’s up to them to direct unsuspecting outsiders to your business when you have the solution to their problem.
No up-and-coming business can increase customers without a steady stream of positive reviews, especially if you are catering to people with a lot of time on their hands (a.k.a upper-middle class). Such individuals are naturally inclined to leave reviews, so you can only imagine how much more you would receive if you offered incentives. The most common examples include freebies, discounts, or store credit. With so many freebies and price cuts available, you’re going to want to order plenty of inventory in the likely event of the majority of your customers taking the bait. If inventory isn’t flying off the shelves just yet, considering offering the same reward or an additional one for customers who bring in new business.
SOCIAL MEDIA/EMAIL MARKETING
Your current customers are the foundation for your business’s social media accounts. Give them a good experience and they will “like” or comment on your posts knowing that you will thank them for their activity and answer any questions they might have. Being active on social media shows that your business is thriving, technologically up-to-date and dedicated to customer service. Social media also presents a platform for you to announce or post pictures of new products/services, exclusive offers, and your business itself. Younger customers base virtually every decision they make on social media and tend to visit business’ pages to see how popular and “hip” they are.
But you aren’t truly capitalizing on social media if you aren’t scoping the fan pages and buzzworthy groups where your customers discuss mutual interests or industry information. You can use these pages to learn what your customers like/dislike about your industry and then publish posts describing how your business is exactly what they are looking for. Maintaining active social media accounts is a daily responsibility, one that none of your employees have time for. This is why you should hire a digital engagement specialist who will be 100% focused on not only updating your social media pages but other forms of communication such as email marketing, which is another effective way for your current customers to help grow your business.
Remember, it’s much easier to up-sell current customers because they already appreciate the quality of your products/services. So after each sale, ask customers for their email addresses. Your digital engagement specialist will then then test out a series of email marketing strategies to determine the frequency and email length that prove most effective. The next step is updating your website to entice customers into subscribing to an email newsletter (created by your new specialist) that arrives at the customers’ most convenient time and has the perfect amount of content.
WHERE TO FIND YOUR NEW WORKING CAPITAL
Taking full advantage of your current customers means ordering excessive inventory and hiring a digital engagement specialist. Both actions must be accomplished as soon as possible if you wish to stay competitive but you’re on a very tight budget as it is. Both investments, however, are far too lucrative to pass up, and alternative business lenders like United Capital Source couldn’t agree more. There are numerous small business loan programs specifically tailored for these situations such as a Working Capital Loan, which supplies enough funding for you to cover monthly expenses for several months so you can make that bulk inventory purchase or pay your new hire.
An even better option for businesses that conduct most sales via credit card is a Merchant Cash Advance, which supplies a lump sum today in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. There are no due dates or fixed, monthly payments, and funding could reach your bank account in a matter of days. The brunt of the debt is paid off when your investments begin to produce sales, regardless of how long that takes to happen.
THE EXPERTS KNOW BEST
If you aren’t sure what program is right for you, the business financing experts at United Capital Source will gladly spend the time and help you figure out how to afford your investment with minimal impact on cash flow. UCS has made it possible for thousands of businesses to harness the popularity they have rightfully earned and spread their business far beyond the local community. Applicants are judged almost exclusively by the performance of their businesses, so if your business has the revenue to warrant an increase in demand, call 855.933.8638 or visit the UCS website. The application is just one page long, and a single phone call will quickly eliminate any hesitation you might have about getting funding for your business!