For many small businesses, repeat customers are gold. After all, these “regulars” can be a stabilizing force that provides a steady income stream. But in order to grow, small business owners know that they also need to attract new customers. The problem is, new customer acquisition is more expensive – 3 to 30 times more, according to the Chartered Institute of Marketing. So it’s important to find efficient ways of attracting new customers. Here are five easy ways to attract new customers that won’t break your budget.
- Ask For Referrals – Stretch your investment to acquire existing customers by asking for referrals. People want to share a good experience with a business and your customers will want to do the same for you. Encourage them to spread the word by offering discounts on future purchases for every person they refer to you.
- Complement Another Business – Find a business that serves the same market you do but provides complementary products and services. It’s a win-win since each business is providing leads for the other. For example, a car wash business could provide coupons to a business that repairs dings in an auto body. Likewise, the auto shop can provide a coupon to the car wash so their customers can keep that “just repaired” look.
- Get on the Service Organization Circuit – Local service groups like the Rotary Club or Kiwanis International meet regularly and often feature a guest speaker.Contact them and offer to give a presentation to their members. They are always looking for speakers, so your offer will be welcomed. Remember that the presentation is not the time to pitch your business. The goal is to develop a relationship. They have your contact information if they want to follow up with you.
- Geo-Prospect – Take advantage of location-based promotions like Groupon. It works like a sign placed outside your business, except it seeks out people who are in the neighborhood by using the geo-tracking capabilities on their mobile device. As they are identified, you present them with a digital coupon to your business. There is a fee for this service but it is often based on the percentage of revenue generated, so you’re paying for results.
- Act Like Pat Sajak – Host a contest sponsored by your business. It can be as simple as registering for a prize giveaway or naming your new product offering. The contest can be promoted with minimal costs on social media websites which then direct people to your website where they register for a prize. Not only will it raise your business’ visibility, but it also gives you an active prospecting list for later follow-up, if they so desire.
Attracting new customers is the lifeblood of businesses that want to continue growing. While new customer acquisition can be costly, it doesn’t have to raid your marketing budget if you consider these easy, low-cost ideas.