As a budding entrepreneur you will have already identified your business, formulated a business plan, considered your capital and begun to establish your position within the target market.
So far so good, however now comes the difficult part. For even though you have proven that you have the technical skills and creative know-how to start a business, you will also need to understand how to both retain, expand and develop that business if you intend to be in it for the long haul. A successful company thrives on repeat business coupled with a strong portfolio of quality clients or customers and it is your job to nurture those customers if you are to succeed.
In today’s volatile economic climate it is simply not enough to have good ideas. Those ideas need developing and nurturing so that they, and you, reach your full potential in the business world.
By this point you will already be off to a great start and hopefully be providing the customers that you do have with a fantastic product or service. Your business plan will be drafted and your finances in place. You may have investors behind you, or perhaps you have gone down the route of commercial loans. Without a good customer base however, none of this matters so let’s take a look at some simple steps to building your clientele.
Identify your ideal customer
A good solid customer base is essential in any business. Not only will it help you to build your reputation within the industry it will also allow you to enjoy a regular income to boot. So spend some time in the initial start-up stages of your business to try and identify just who your customers should be. Are they looking for a budget product or service or are you aiming at the top end of the market? What age does the ideal customer fall into? How much disposable income do they have and what are their spending habits? If you can answer these and other similar questions correctly,then you are well on the way to identifying that perfect customer profile.
Test the market
Armed with this information you now need to test the market before diving straight in. One way is to make use of your existing social network and invite their input and comments. Draft an email and send it to friends, family or colleagues that you consider would fit the bill as potential customers. This way you will receive honest feedback, and any criticism should be constructive.
Being actively in business can be exhausting, especially in the early stages when you are still finding your feet. However, if you want to succeed it is essential that you put yourself out there and take advantage of any networking events that may come along. You never know what may develop from a chance meeting and you are sure to establish some invaluable industry contacts along the way.
So good luck! You have just taken the first steps to success.