Competition is tight in most businesses, customers have plenty of options. We are bombarded with marketing messages everyday – on television, radio, print and internet. Messages telling us that if we just buy their product or service – we will be wealthier, happier and healthier. As a small business owner how do we overcome the messages encouraging our customers to switch? Plus maintain a profit to stay in business?
Right now the tax preparers are being challenged by H&R block. They advertise that their user friendly software for the do it yourselfers, local offices and now Watson can help you have “taxes won”. Not sure what that means but I do know that as a taxpayer we need to distinguish FOCUS CPA from the competition.
Here are five key ways to market your business plus earn enough to stay in business.
Start with the right customer
We can’t be everything to everyone. We can try but it becomes time intensive and creates financial losses trying to make all customers happy. Consider the 80/20 rule – keep your focus on the 20% that create 80% of the profit. Focus on a niche – an industry, a specific service, or solving a specific issue. When accepting customers focus on the ones the business can deliver the most value to and the ones you enjoy working with. You can reduce your marketing costs by focusing on one message. You can increase the results by focusing on the media that your target customer pays attention to.
Take good care of your current customers
Don’t forget your current customers. Typically it costs 7 times more to find a new customer than it is to keep a current customer. It is easy to take them for granted – typically they don’t raise a fuss or express unreasonable demands. It is important to tell them thank you for working with your business. Remember – they have many choices.
Be personal and caring
We work with people, not businesses. Take time to talk with them how they want to be talked to – by phone, by text, by e-mail, snail mail or social media. Ask what keeps them up at night. Talk in their language not yours. Walk through your entire process through the eyes of your target customer.
Be competent and capable
In my world customers expect that everything we do is accurate, despite the information that they provide. If a mistake is made the customer may receive the dreaded IRS notice. By focusing on a certain type of customer – we are aware of the issues and opportunities they may face. We have acquired experience and knowledge to guide the customer and enhance their success. Tax law is complicated and is constantly changing. Save your time, energy and money by sharpening your skills and experience that is needed by your “right customer”.
Put action to the words. Deliver what was promised when it was promised. Share with the customer what you have done. Customers hire for results, they might not be privy nor care what it takes to get there. If the results are to prevent something bad from happening, remind the customer of what they avoided. When we pay to avoid problems – we forget about the benefits of the service. Remember that your competition is out there creating fear and finding reasons for your customer to doubt the services they are receiving. Make sure your customers know what you do for them.
Every business needs customers. The whole point of marketing is to attract and keep customers – customers that create your profits. By focusing on your unique target market, with a critical message that is important to your target customer, in a manner that you will reach your target customer – you will have the best customers for you. The best customers generate the best profits. With a laser focus on your best customer – you save time, money and energy.