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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Expanding Your Client Base

 

How can your business expand its client base?  As our world becomes more globalized and technologically advanced, businesses compete to keep up with each other’s geographical and cultural reach. Expanding a client base is essential for the survival of businesses and profit growth.

Marketing

Visibility and marketing are, probably, the most effective methods of acquiring new clientele. A few options of basic advertising include offering a free newsletter, asking for customer feedback via surveys, utilizing social media, and keeping an up-to-date website.

Get the customers themselves to bring new customers to you. A person’s “Like” on facebook will increase visibility and legitimacy to his or her friends. Offering incentives such as free samples or discounts to clients who refer customers will boost word-of-mouth advertising.

If you offer a specialized service or product, don’t be afraid to directly contact your most likely clients. Do your research and locate what other businesses or operations in your area might benefit from your service, and contact them directly with a start-up offer.

Stay active. Become a member of industry groups. Attend trade shows and  industry events to network with other professionals in your field--if you can nab a featured speaker spot at a conference or educational facility, all the better. If you are a local company, be active in community events; perhaps even offer to sponsor an event, which will likely include some advertising for you. And always carry business cards with you.

Good service

Gaining new customers is one thing; retaining them is another. Be sure to offer the best services available to them. This includes excellent customer service! If a customer comes in with a problem, be kind, efficient, and do your best to make things better. An angry-customer-made-happy may become one of your best clients. Stick to your word and exceed expectations as often as possible.

Tools

If your business does not house the top tools in your industry, you will have a challenge competing. Clients want a service or product that is efficient, affordable, and reliable. Utilizing the best tools available to you will help you provide the product and services that your clients expect. If you operate an insurance agency, for instance, be sure to employ servicing software that allows you to keep track of all your information and analyze it quickly. By saving time and energy, you can lower costs and hassle for customers. If you provide a particular product, be sure to manufacture or maintain it using precise and reliable tools.

Bilinguality

We live in an increasingly internationally-accessible world. For business and personal relationships alike, it is lucrative and essential to include a multilingual element to our work. Lots of companies now advertise themselves as Spanish-speaking, and their websites offer translated pages, so that someone who has sleep apnea, but knows it only as apnea del sueño, can get the CPAP machine he or she needs to address the problem. If you live in an area with a large non-English-speaking population, marketing yourself as a bilingual business will help you grab those potential customers, not only because they know someone will be able to communicate with them, but because you will demonstrate that your business is accepting of other cultures and ideas

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