When the going gets tough –retaining and attracting customers, pdf

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Start- up and growing businesses are faced with having to adjust business plans and strategies in order attract and retain customers and at the same time operate profitably. This pdf shares tips small …

Start- up and growing businesses are faced with having to adjust business plans and strategies in order attract and retain customers and at the same time operate profitably. This pdf shares tips small businesses can use to strengthen relationships with current customers and attract new ones.
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  • 1. When the going gets tough –retaining and attracting customersYour Small Business CoachBusiness Owners who can see opportunities in an economic downturn or financial crisis arelikely to be in business well beyond the 18-month predictable lifespan of more than 80% ofstartup businesses.Many start-up and even growing businesses are faced with adjusting their businesses to retainor attain profitability, to see opportunities rather than threats. Business owners who seeopportunities to add value to services and products for customers are investing not only time indeveloping new products but also in themselves. This increases their effectiveness in business.In any business, it is easier to link sales performance with training andor coaching provided to sales teams. Sometimes, however, after aninitial blitz, the situation returns to what it was pre-sales training andeven worst a weary sales force with staff more concerned about whowill be the first ones to be asked to leave. There is, however, analternative.Businesses can choose to strengthen relationships with currentcustomers, attract new ones AND provide ongoing support to Salesand Marketing staff to improve the customer experience.Here are seven steps to retain existing customers AND attract news ones: 1) Improve customer service. Treat everyone as a valued customer (internal and external). It pays dividends with motivated staff and loyal customers. Loyal customers provide referrals. 2) Repackage your services or products to include a menu reflecting the varied needs of clients. Clients will benefit by getting greater value for money. 3) Offer post-sale support, e.g., free advice, instead of selling another solution immediately. 4) Reward client loyalty -provide free reports or product samples.
  • 2. 5) Be flexible. Make it easier for clients to do business with you. Go to them, rather than having them come to you. 6) Provide incentives for new clients, discounts for multiple purchases. 7) Invest in staff training, especially in improving customer service and innovative approaches to winning new clients.Difficult economic climate calls for creative solutions and innovative approaches andrepositioning of businesses. Businesses offering creative and flexible solutions and respondingquickly to opportunities will survive and prosper in the current financial crisis.____________________________________________________________________________________For more information and to find out about the Business Success coaching programme, goonline to http://www.yoursmallbusinesscoach.co.uk.You can sign up to the Business Success coaching programme at:http://smallbusinesscoaching.eventbrite.com/REPRINT RIGHTS: This article may be reprinted once copyright is acknowledged as vested inYour Small Business Coach and year of publication given as 2009.Full citation: © 2009 Your Small Business Coach