As a business owner, you’re heavily dependent on customers. It’s no use having a company that can’t attract any customers, as you have no way of making money. After a few months of heavy losses, you eventually fall and crumble into the ground with the majority of small startups.
Customer loyalty is paramount as you want people to keep coming back for more. However, you’ll never really grow a business if you aren’t expanding your customer base and regularly bringing in new customers.
This is an issue that faces many business owners, and we’ll talk about it today. If you’re often left wondering why your business struggles to attract more customers, then it tends to be down to at least one of the reasons listed in this article.
A bad brand image will never attract customers. Source
Problem: Poor brand image
Having a weak brand image is never a good thing as it ultimately means you don’t have a good reputation. This makes it hard to bring in any new customers as they simply can’t trust you. Instead, they’ll take their money elsewhere and find a company with a better brand image that they can trust.
Consequently, you need to work on improving your brand image, and there are multiple solutions to do this:
- Improve your website: Websites will pretty much establish your brand image online, which means it’s responsible for how thousands of people perceive your company. Work with a good web designer to ensure you have a much better and more updated website. It should look modern, have some really cool features, and just generally give off the impression of a professional company. Furthermore, make sure you secure your website as well, so it’s safe for people to go on.
- Ask existing/previous customers for reviews: One of the best ways to improve your reputation is to show what your customers think of you. Ask all your existing customers for reviews that you can publish on Google or other review sites. This helps build a star rating for your brand that has a huge impact on consumers. When they see that you’ve got solid 4 or 5-star reviews across the board, then it boosts your brand image.
- Provide as much information as possible: Untrustworthy brands tend to hold back on their information. They may not talk about the services they provide in detail, or if they sell products, they’re a bit iffy on where they come from. As such, you can improve your image if you’re honest about your business and provide consumers with as much information as possible. This helps to build their confidence, which inspires more trust in you and leads to them spending their money.
You must hit the bullseye with your market research. Source
Problem: Wrong target market
This is a terrible problem to have as it usually means you’ve wasted a lot of money. Having the wrong target market basically means you’ve been marketing your business to the wrong people. Or, as is often the case, you’ve not narrowed down your market as much as you should, meaning you’re promoting yourself to a much wider audience. The result is that a lot of your marketing material falls on deaf ears as you’re essentially targeting people that aren’t interested. It’s like trying to ram a square peg into a round hole – it just won’t work.
There is only one real way to solve this problem, and it’s to re-assess your target market. This means you should go away and conduct some heavily detailed market research. You have many ways of doing this, but I suggest including the following as part of your research process:
- Focus groups: Get people together to discuss your products/services to see how they feel about it and spot patterns. For example, you may find that women like what you offer more than men, or that young people respond better than older ones.
- Surveys: These are similar to focus groups in that you ask a lot of questions about your business to the general public. The benefit is you can operate on a larger scale and draw in feedback from a much bigger source.
- Data analysis: This is arguably the most important thing to do as it involves looking at the market as a whole to see buying patterns. For example, let’s say you operate a business that sells shoes online. Here, you’ll analyze rival companies in this market to see their customer demographic. As a result, you can zero in on your true target market.
Are you playing catch-up behind your competitors? Source
Problem: Too much competition
Sometimes, you’re failing to attract new customers simply because someone else is getting there ahead of you. This happens when you have lots of competition in your industry, with loads of businesses all vying for the same target market. Sadly, not all businesses start off on an equal playing field. If your company is new, then you could be up against other companies with years of experience who are well established in your industry. As such, you’re probably struggling to move them out of the way and get to your consumers.
The big question is; how do you get ahead of your competition? While there are plenty of ideas, it’s usually helpful to narrow it down to just two methods:
- Offer incentives: With this method, you offer customers incentives for coming over to your business. These can be new customer offers where they get products at discounted prices, or you throw in things for free. Companies all over the world are doing this, and it’s a proven way of prying customers away from your rivals.
- Create a unique selling point: While I believe incentives do work, I much prefer the idea of creating your own USP. As a business, you should focus on standing out from the rest and doing something that your rivals can’t. Whether this means offering a service they can’t compete with, or providing a specific unique product – you have to give consumers something they won’t get anywhere else. This gives them a clear reason to choose you above the others, and you should see floods of new customers lining up at your doors.
You must have a good marketing strategy to improve your exposure. Source
Problem: Zero exposure
Let’s say you’ve spent time building a very positive and trustworthy brand, you’ve zeroed in on the right target market, and you feel like you’ve got something that sets you apart from your rivals. So, why are you still struggling to find new customers? The fact is, it could just be because you have zero exposure. You’re not getting your business out there, so hardly anyone is aware you exist. There’s a slim chance of people finding you if you’re not putting yourself out there to be seen. This is compounded by the fact your rivals are probably all doing just that and promoting themselves better than you.
Gaining exposure is all about promoting your company. To do this, you have to invest in marketing & advertising. Now, there are endless things you can do, and I won’t run through every idea as it would take up too much time. Plus, there are countless articles out there that list the many marketing ideas you can use. Instead, I’ll give you my top ones that you should do without fail:
- Search engine marketing: You absolutely must invest in search engine marketing as most consumers find companies via search engines. This means you need to improve both your organic and paid search Ideally, you should be in the top three results for keywords relating to your business. This increases your exposure by some distance, and you will start to appear to consumers more frequently. As a result, there’s more chance they’ll click on your site.
- Social media marketing: This is another wildly effective way of promoting your business. Social media lets you interact with your target market and build followers. What’s more, the majority of the most-visited daily sites on the internet are social media sites. Everyone has at least one social media app on their phone – consumers are glued to these platforms. If you’re on there, you’re bound to be seen by more people.
- Online advertising: Traditional advertising methods vary in their effectiveness depending on your business. But, one way that should work for everyone is online advertising. This is where you get adverts displayed on different websites around the web. What makes them so good is that they’re designed to be shown for your target market only. Thus, this ensures the right people see your business, and you increase your exposure. There are plenty of advertising platforms you can use, and it will cost money to do. However, this is an investment in your business as you will definitely see a customer increase as a result.
In this article, I’ve outlined four major problems that your business may be suffering from. As a side-note, there’s every chance you could have all of these problems, two of them, three of them, or just one. Regardless, they’re all behind your lack of new customers. Read the solutions to these problems, follow the advice, and you’ll soon start expanding your customer base.