At the time of writing this article, we’re coming up on the 6 year anniversary of In Transit Studios! And looking back I’ve learned a lot. In this post I’ll share 3 ways to help grow your business. These are all ideas and methods that have worked for me, so depending on your business and your industry, some may apply and some may not. But my hope is that with this article you’ll come up with a handful of ways that can help grow your business. Below, you can download a PDF that has space for you to write the ways that you may be able to apply or perhaps new ideas that you think of. Hope these ideas help you grow your business! -Josh
Download the PDF: 3 Ways to Grow Your Business
1) Charge More
Become more valuable – In order to get more expensive, you need to become more valuable. If clients are going to pay more, they’re going to (rightfully) expect more. As a business owner you’ll need to stay on top of your craft, know your industry and constantly keep up with the best practices and technologies. Being a premium service comes with more responsibility, more learning, more attention to detail and more you being a better you. When it comes to being able to charge more, working ON the business is just as important as working IN the business.
Educate your clients – In today’s economy a good product or service is not enough, knowing how to use it is key. That’s the best way to add more value to your clientele. A client will appreciate a good product, but they’ll really, really appreciate knowing how to effectively use it to help grow their business. In our case, we provide all of our clients with some “moving forward” steps on how to use their website to help grow their business. No matter your industry, there are ways that you can educate your clients and add value to them.
Set your services apart from your competition – In every industry there will be competition. There will always be a “cheaper” option. Especially if you’re wanting to charge more for your services, you need to set yourself apart from your competition. This may be in your service approach, or your personalized service. It may be your expertise in a certain area of service or your top of the line finished product. However you stand out from your competition, make sure you make it known. Make it known on your website, your social media and your face to face meetings with clients. I’d also recommend researching your competition and finding out how you’re truly different. If you’re expecting to charge $3K for a service that a similar competitor is charging $1,500 for, it’s important to find out WHY you’re worth more.
Change your surroundings – Depending on your business and your social network, you may have to literally change your surroundings. If working with a certain group of people or type of business is draining you and is not getting you to where you want to be, find your key demographic and start making relationships. Easier said than done I know, but some ways to do this are finding out what networking events or business meet ups they likely attend and begin to make relationships. You can also utilize Facebook ads by targeting your key demographic and advertising your services directly to them. “You are who you hang around with.” That’s true in every day relationships as it is in business, so hang out with who you want to work with!
Explain WHY you’re worth it – As mentioned above, if you’re going to charge more, the most important thing you’ll need to do is explain WHY you’re worth it. Once you’ve set yourself apart from your competition and you know that you’re worth what you’re charging, the next step is to explain that to your potential clients. This can be done by graphically representing this on your website and marketing materials or by having clients give testimonials about their previous experiences with similar competitors and how much better the process was with you. It’s important to do this in a respectful way but none the less, you want to stand out from your competition and you want your clients to be EXCITED to invest in such a premium service.
2) Get New Clients
Networking – We live in a connection economy, meaning face to face transactions and referral based leads are the most important and best way to get new customers. If you own your own business and you’re not in a networking group, get in one. This may look different depending on where you live but I can honestly say that over half of our income comes from my networking group. There are networking events and business meet ups nationwide, but I’d really recommend getting into a group that meets weekly and that will come to know, like and trust you. The group that I’m apart of is www.amspirit.com, but there are other nationwide options like www.bni.com, your city Chamber of Commerce, etc. Networking sounds like a cheesy term but it’s all about relationships. It’s all about face to face business transactions, referrals and growing your community of business associates. And it goes a long way!
Ask current clients for referrals – It’s estimated that over 90% of businesses don’t ask their current clients for referrals. I’ve been guilty of this and have come to realized that clients will give you referrals if you ask. Here’s the kicker…you just have to ask! This doesn’t mean you need to pester your clientele in order to infiltrate their social networks, but if a project goes well, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask if they know of anyone else who could use your services. This is a very easy and less expensive way of getting leads to new clients.
Utilize Social Media – In the digital age we live in, it’s impossible to keep up with every social media platform so I recommend focusing on 2. Find out where your key demographic is and hone in on THOSE social media networks. For me, I realized that the majority of my clients and potential leads will come from people in my social community and local small business owners. So I focus my social media presence on Facebook and Linked In, and it’s worked. If you’re key demographic is selling clothing to women in their 20’s and 30’s for example, you may want to focus your efforts on Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat. If you’re using Facebook to help grow your business, be SURE to check out Facebook ads and especially video ads. You can target your demographic with albeit creepy detail, but it’s awesome and it’s a great way to attract new clients.
Create a strong online presence – It’s 2016, people are going to google you, look for reviews and check out your website. It’s therefore more important than ever to have a solid web presence. What does this include? Well, it starts with a professional website that displays your work, shares testimonials and represents you well online. Of course I’m a bit biased but I view my website as the most important investment in getting new clients. Essentially, it acts as a 24/7 salesman and is THE place that I refer all my potential clients to. My goal, as should be yours, is to have a site that “sells” people before they even speak with you. You want your online presence to represent you as best as possible and get people excited about your services.
Create engaging media – If you’re looking to engage with new and potential clients, some of the best ways to do so are with videos and blogs. Getting a professional video done for your business is a worthy investment and one that can produce a massive ROI (return on investment) when it comes to pulling in new clients. Blogging on your website is also a great to way show potential clients that you’re knowledgeable and competent in your area of service. One thing to remember when it comes to blogging is that you’re writing content for PEOPLE. It’s important to take the time to write articles that your demographic will find valuable and interesting. An update is not a blog post. A news update is not a blog post. A blog post is a well written article that’ll help your readers or clients in their business or every day life.
3) Increase Number of Transactions
Recurring revenue – This is more of a slow and steady way to grow but with recurring revenue you can better budget your income, plan for the future and have a good idea of your projected business growth! Giving customers ways to buy repeatedly will look different depending on your industry and product or service, but it’s a steady way to grow your business. If your average customer buys once a year, what can you offer them to purchase multiple times a year? Or is there a service that you can provide to them month to month at a less expensive rate than once a year? For us, the big issue we faced were websites getting hacked, so we came up with a custom Website Security Plan. This enabled us to have some recurring revenue and keep up with our clients on a month to month basis. What areas of service could you create to have some month to month, or quarter to quarter recurring revenue?
Add services – A great way to have a client make more transactions is to add more services. You’ll want to be careful with this because you don’t want to put out services if you’re not ready and you don’t want to charge clients for something that isn’t ready to be bought. But it’s more important than ever to be versatile and have an expansive array of services for good clients. In our field of web design our primary purpose is building or redesigning a website, but as mentioned above, we now offer a website security plan. We also recently started offering SEO and Web Hosting to better help serve our clients. These are all extra services that have been added and made available to our current clients where as before, we’d just refer them away. The moral of the story here is to not miss out on areas of service that you can potentially provide.
Advertise ALL services – Sometimes a client will not work with you not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know you offer the service! For example, we do logo design and print design but many clients don’t know that and are surprised to hear that we cover such an array of services. The issue we had in the past was clients going elsewhere for logo design, etc. because we didn’t state clearly what other services we handled. It’s important not to bombard your new clients with ALL your services right up front, but once a project is completed, you can offer other services that may be of benefit to them or you could advertise your new services in a newsletter or update.
Don’t let good clients slip away – When you have a good client, don’t let them go. This is valuable advise that I never received. I’ve learned that keeping in touch with good clients goes a long way. We’re all busy and forgetful. When a project is done, it’s very easy for a client to forget how great the service was or how valuable you may be. It’s not the clients job to stay in touch with you, it’s your job to stay in touch with the client. I highly recommend keeping track of all your good clients by setting up a newsletter or mailing list where you can send notifications about new services, success stories, highlights, etc. A great tool for that is MailChimp. I also recommend keeping in touch with good clients on important Holidays or events. Sending a personal Holiday card can go a long way and it shows that you care enough to put the time and effort into sending it. Most businesses look over such a simple and thoughtful gesture. So don’t let your good clients slip away!
Offer discounts and price breaks – If you have a client that buys from you frequently, make them feel special! Because they are special. They are a big part in helping your business grow and they’re literally putting a roof over your head and food on your table. Offer discounts and price breaks wherever you can. For example, with our hosting and website security plans, those are separate services, but if a client wants to do both we’ll cut the cost down and offer them a package deal. It’s a little cut off our end, but it’s worth it for a good client who buys our services repeatedly. Utilize this in whatever way you can!
Well I hope these 3 ways to grow your business have sparked some ideas in you. If you can apply any of these ideas, great! Let me know and if they’ve led you to think of some new ones, you can let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.