The key to a successful business is customers. If you are a new business you have the benefit of building your customer base from scratch and so every new customer you attract is exciting. When you have been trading for some time consistently reaching new audiences and engaging new customers becomes rather more challenging. In fact the more customers you have the harder it is to keep building upon your success as there are less networks and avenues you haven’t yet tapped into or tried.
Business growth relies on your being able to bring in fresh customers. Therefore if you are an established company and you are finding it increasingly difficult to reach out to new customers you may find your business begins to get stale and stagnates and this perpetuates the problem, particularly if you are competing in a market where new competition is popping up with fresh ideas and approaches.
If this all sounds like your business then don’t panic. There are some smart measures you can put in place to end this cycle and add a new sense of purpose to your customer sales pipeline. We discuss some of the best ideas employed to help kick-start failing companies and why they are relevant to your business.
Reboot with a rebrand
Rebranding takes time and money and therefore for a company that might already be finding cash flow an issue this can seem a counter-intuitive step to take. However despite this there are plenty of benefits from undertaking a rebrand, benefits that can directly impact your bottom line. Rebranding doesn’t mean throwing out everything that was good about your old brand, it is about building on the original brand and making it more current and attractive to new customers. Therefore when you are considering a rebrand think how you can keep some of the former identity within the logo or name so that your loyal customers still recognise you and see your evolution as part of a natural growth cycle of a successful company. A rebrand gives you a great platform to relaunch your company and its products or services with a clear message that you are moving with the times. If you are rebranding you will need to ensure that it is done in a consistent manner and over a specified time period to give both your business and your existing customers time to adjust and understand your new brand. A rushed job can feel desperate and confusing. It will take time to roll out changes to your marketing material for instance and your website. However if you take too long to do this you could end up with two brands being used and customers unsure as to which business to support. It takes planning, creativity and energy to rebrand but you will be paid back with a fresh approach to new business acquisition and a more dynamic and modern look in the market place.
Pay attention to costs
If a rebrand just doesn’t feel right for your company another way of refreshing your offer is to drive down the costs of your products or service. This doesn’t mean selling out and cutting costs so you don’t make a profit. It means driving down costs across the whole business so that you can pass on these savings to new customers. If you are selling a product for example you could look at material costs and whether a better deal can be struck with your suppliers. If you are selling a service you could pass on savings by looking at the running costs of your office, fleet or other major outgoing. New technology, new approaches to systems and energy-efficient measures may all take hard cash from your running costs making you not only more competitive in terms of cost but also helping to future proof your business until the new customers start pouring in. Consumers love a good deal so by offering them the same service or product as before but at a reduced cost you have a winning formula for increasing old business as well as giving you a competitive advantage in the marketplace for new business.
Invest in smarter marketing
New businesses have the advantage of fresh marketing ideas and new technology to help push their product or service creatively. It is why new competition often puts so much pressure on established businesses; no matter how competitive you are if your marketing has become stale and uninspiring you will struggle to hold on to customers or attract new ones. If you want to shake it up think beyond what you have always done before and go for a more creative approach. Larger, more established businesses may be great at advertising and print marketing but when it comes to online they might be lacking in oomph. Online is increasingly where business is getting done with consumers not having the time or the patience to deal with companies face to face unless they have a complaint. If you don’t have online marketing skills in-house you could get in a professional marketing company to help with ideas or hire an seo expert to help really launch your online profile. This investment will help you to reach a wider network of customers as well as increase your brand’s profile as a modern, customer focussed business.
Widen your horizons
Finally you could look to attract more customers simply by improving or diversifying the products and services you have to offer. This is how large manufacturing companies continue to grow into new markets. If you find your business plateauing in one particular market or industry see how your product or service could be repackaged for another and then you have a fresh customer base to exploit. If your current products have reached saturation point then improve them or add new products to your line so that you can re-engage old customers as well as attract new ones with the promise of a brand new product. Likewise with services. Work out where the gaps are in the market and repackage your services to plug those gaps for a comprehensive service that will get everyone talking.