I have a good friend whose new business is doing particularly well. She opened her new shop nearly two years ago, and already she is overwhelmed and thinking of expansion!
I asked her what she thought contributed to her success.
First, she has encouraged repeat business, a good following and excellent referral status by providing small discretionary discounts where she deemed it appropriate.
This did not undermine her prices, because the discounts were placed while the customer was already in situ. They had already come to her for an appointment, so adding on other services on top, mostly via the customer’s request, but sometimes from her suggestions, offering a discount didn’t compromise on her time or resources. Not only did this promote what other services she could provide, this also put her in a good light as far as the customer’s finances were concerned, making them far more likely to return.
Second, she participated greatly on social media. Being young and dynamic, using Facebook was natural to her, so she used her already amassed following as a referral base. I remember her opening night party was like sardines due to her publicity tactics on Facebook.
She has a well populated Facebook Page for her business, to which she regularly contributes with new ideas and products, special offers, answering questions, general observations, pictures of past successes, and testimonials from ecstatic customers only too happy to show off what she has done for them. She gets her staff to check it daily, and regularly keeps up-to-date with her responses, so the content is always fresh and new.
Also she maintains her website’s number 1 slot on Google through the same tactics. It is regularly updated, sometimes every day, with material from her Facebook Page, but obviously adapted for a more professional slant. Here she promotes new services and products, discounts and competitions, and provides a personal insight about a particular product or service every month.
When she questions her new customers how they found about her, they nearly always say they came because of her website. I’m sure this isn’t due to expensive PPC strategies or worrying about in vogue keyword usage, it’s purely down to regular updating. She knows what her customers want, sources the solutions for them, and promotes her products and services in a friendly, accessible and professional manner.
This continuous new material aimed purposely for her customers’ benefit, without a hint of blathering on how wonderful she is (she doesn’t need to say that!), is what hits the spot and, along with her welcoming message, environment and premises, new custom is encouraged to visit and try her wares. Once sampled, they’re hooked, and are very likely to remain as regular customers, thus building up her client base even further.