3 Ways to Grow Your Business (No Money Needed)
Updated: Oct 27
3 Business Growth Strategies That You Can Use Today That Don't Require Any Money.
Here are three tips that you can put to use today to help you grow your business. And the best part is you can do it without spending a bunch of money.
How to Grow Your Business - Tip #1
Call on Your Existing Customers
This is an important and often overlooked strategy to grow your business. But it is the one strategy that normally generates the biggest return on your time.
Since you already have a relationship with these individuals and companies, you already know the contact person, along with a contact phone number. And your exiting customer has already shown an interest in your product or service which is how they became one of your customers. So why go out and spend time and resources chasing new customers, when you have a pool of existing customers that have already spent money with you? The wise move is to start here.
The strategy is to call your top 30% of customers once a month to see if you can provide additional products or services to them over and above your existing level of sales. It's easy, you pick up the phone and say,
(insert small talk here, especially if you have a common interest like you both go hiking on the weekend, or your kids both play the same sport, etc.)
hint: work hard to get to know your customers on a personal level so you can develop this type of connection with them)
I wanted to follow-up with the order that you placed two weeks ago. Were you satisfied with the product or service? Is there anyway we can improve on your experience with us?"
Now, if Amber has some concerns, this is no longer a sales call. It becomes a customer service call. Ensure that you address her concerns and fix the problem. After you are satisfied that Amber is thrilled with her next order, you can try again with a sales call.
Now, assuming Amber says,
"The product was great. You guys were a day ahead of schedule on the delivery which helped us replace our inventory before the shelf was empty and our customers continue to buy your product almost every day."
That's what you want to hear. But before you dive into your sales pitch, say,
"Amber, I'm glad to hear that you were satisfied, that means a lot to me. But in an effort to always be improving, can you suggest anything we could be doing to make your experience with our company and our product any better?"
Again, this is where you are wearing your customer service hat first. Always put the customers needs ahead of your own. You know that you want to sell more. And the best way to sell more is to make sure that your customer is happy. If they are happy they will buy more. Second, if they are happy, they will likely refer you and your product to other potential customers.
OK, now you can ask for more business.
Again, it's simple,
"Amber, we have a promotion on this month that will help save you some money. It works like this..." or
"Amber, if our products are moving that well, have you thought about carrying more of our line? We have two similar products that may be of interest to your customers."
Again, you are focusing on Amber's needs. She can save some money by taking advantage of your promo, or she can please her customers by stocking additional items from your product line. Either way, it's a win-win for her. And of course its a win for you as you will be selling more items to an existing customer.
And all it took was one or two phone calls.
Pro Tip: Don't use email to do this. A telephone call is so much more personal and effective.
Focus on your top customers and buyers for a couple months, then move down your customer list and follow the same system.
I used this system when I owned my industrial service company and it always generated work orders!
How to Grow Your Business - Tip #2
Ask Your Existing Customers for Referrals
Like Tip #1, you are leveraging your existing customer base. I mean you have already invested time and money to find a customer and you have worked hard to keep them happy. So if they continue to buy from you, they are most likely a strong supporter of your product or service.
So following similar steps to those listed in Tip #1, make sure that Amber is happy (or more than happy) with your product or service. If she is, then simply ask her if she has any friends or business associates that may be interested in your brand.
Sometimes, your customer will be doing this for you already. But let's face it, people are busy and Amber may be more concerned with her brand and her store than to be promoting yours. So it's always a good idea to ask your customer for a name or two that could be potential customers for you.
Most of us like to help others, especially when it's simply a matter of a referral. It's kind of a professional courtesy for another business owner (your customer) to drop your name in their own personal or business network.
This is how business gets done, so don't be shy to ask.
How to Grow Your Business - Tip #3
Ask Your Suppliers for Leads
Your suppliers and vendors are a fantastic resource for getting warm leads that you can follow-up on. These warm leads can be in the form of an unpublished project that is coming out for tender, new customers entering the market, or an existing buyer that isn't satisfied with one of your competitors.
Supplier and vendor reps are in the business of getting more of their products out into the market place. If you have a good relationship with your suppliers, they can act almost like a mini sales team for you if you take advantage of the resource that they can provide to your business.
Before your approach your vendor, it's important that you have a good reputation with the particular vendor and that they have a high level of trust in the way you do business. If you haven't built up this trust, they're likely to refer a warm lead to one of your competitors that has worked hard to establish this type of relationship with them.
Seeking warm leads before you have earned the referral will likely create less of a likelihood that your vendor will cooperate. So do the hard work first.
Remember that a supplier or vendor rep is out calling on potential users of their products almost every day. Unlike you, who is often stuck in your place of business getting orders ready, managing employees or answering the phone. You may not meet anyone new all week, while one of your supplier reps is meeting new people every day. It's part of their job.
So plan on calling your reps each week, or taking them out to lunch once a month so you can keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your market and in your industry. You will get more bang for your buck networking with your suppliers than you will investing the same amount of time and money networking with strangers.
How to Grow Your Business - Bonus Tip #4
Build Strategic Alliances with Non-Competing Industry Partners
This may sound complicated, but it's very simple.
Let me give you an example.
When I worked in the industrial service industry, one of our core revenue streams was providing our services to gas plants that would have yearly or seasonal shutdowns.
At the time, there wasn't a central list of which companies were having a shutdown and when it would be taking place. So it was a fair bit of time and effort to dig around with numerous sources and find this information out.
At some point, I wised up and started looking for non-competing industry partners that I could turn to that could help me find the leads on upcoming shutdowns that I needed.
I began to connect with other suppliers and contractors that supplied services that did not compete with mine but were provided to our mutual customer on the same project.
For instance, this included a company that supplied big heating units to warm the inside of storage tanks, a food service company that provided meals to site contract workers and a safety service company that provided safety watch, orientations and related services.
I would simply phone my contacts with these non-competing industry partners and we would exchange our list of upcoming shutdown and project work.
And it worked beautifully, saving me a bunch of time and helping me to grow my revenues with minimal effort on sales, cold-calling or proposals.
Have a look at your industry and identify the businesses that can be your non-competing industry partners and begin building this type of information sharing relationship with them.
So there you have it, some proven and inexpensive tips to help you grow your business.
Now, make your list and start calling today!
For more tips and information that will help you grow your business log onto www.abbusinessbuilders.ca
And don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn