How to Grow Your Business – Top Tip #4 – Be the Focus of Your Customers’ Attention

Posted by Bennie Groenewald on 12 March 2018.

Bennie Groenewald

LLM Tax Law, B.Proc, HDip Tax

The Tax Shop Head Office

More about Bennie Groenewald

After having qualified and practiced as a Commercial lawyer Bennie worked in the Banking and Financial services industry for 25 years across multiple market segments in South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, the last 14 years of which in senior and executive leadership positions. During this time, he dealt extensively with cross-border banking and finance including project finance, asset finance, debt capital markets and derivatives, including the legal aspects thereof. In recent years, Bennie has played an active leading role in investment, credit and risk management as well as sound corporate governance.
Research has shown that the average person may have up to five social media accounts and spend 100 minutes a day on various forms of social media.
So, don’t be slow and out of touch, take advantage of the free social media platforms available, rather than blowing your budget on expensive marketing and advertising campaigns through more traditional mediums like print or radio.
Using these no-cost marketing channels is not a shot in the dark, there are many effective tools to help you track and measure the return on investment for your efforts.
Don’t try and cover all the networking platforms at once. Do some research and start by selecting the specific networks that your target market(s) use most frequently. Building a strong following could lead to a revolving door of customers.
The power of social media is rewriting business books. The following are a few tips worth considering:

1. Word-of-mouth always works!

Not only is it the oldest form of marketing and advertising used by businesses and remains one of the most trusted methods in the world today. If people are satisfied with a service they are likely to share their experience (lately more often on social media) with others in their circle of trust and influence. A satisfied client becomes an advertiser for your business. Most people buy products or services to solve a problem or satisfy a need. Nothing will make a client happier and more satisfied than getting a product that makes a very challenging problem go away.

2. Everybody loves free stuff.

Offering some services (e.g. initial needs analysis) for free does three very positive and interesting things for your small business:

  • First, it lets people out there know that you exist,
  • Second, it gives you a chance to prove the value of your service and show that it really works, and
  • It provides your future customers with a risk-free way to try out your products or service without spending any money. And if customers find value in your products or services, they will be willing to pay money for it.
3. Offer discounts on early payments.
People often see discounts as a huge opportunity to save money and enjoy a service for a whole lot less. Offering discounts on upfront cash payments are also a powerful way to publicise your brand.
4. Does your business have a website? 
Small businesses need websites too, even if it has just a single page. As a result of the influence of the Internet, our world is now more connected than ever before. Most people simply use the Internet nowadays when they want to find a product or service. Owning your own website is no longer a luxury that only big companies enjoy. The internet has now made it possible for everybody to enjoy the opportunity of getting found. Remember to include your contact information (physical address, contact number and email). A website is like your own billboard or newspaper advert.  Get your small business represented on the Internet.
5. Get Listed on regional directory. 
Thanks to the Internet, small businesses can be listed for free on local directories. When a small business is registered on a local directory, people in your region can find it on the map and view its contact information. The best part is, you don’t have to pay anything to become registered on these directories. Some of the most popular ones out there are Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Places. As you can see, all of these directories are run by the big global Internet search giants. Get onboard today and claim your place.
6. Are you on Social media?
Social media is changing the way business is done in today’s world. Although there are now several social media platforms across the world, Facebook leads the pack as the world’s largest social community with over 2,13 billion registered users worldwide (in Q4 of 2017). Popular social media networks like Facebook are some of the top places where your potential clients spend time and it makes perfect sense that you register your business on Facebook too. Social media like Facebook and Twitter make it very easy for people (both clients and non-clients) to talk about your business. They can share or tweet about your products services and this allows you to easily engage with them.
7. Online advertising is the way to go!
More people now depend on the Internet for information nowadays. More people are watching YouTube than they watch television. More people read news websites and online magazines instead of the paper versions. Even big companies have recognized this shift and are now investing more in online advertising over the traditional ones. As people now spend more time on the Internet, it only makes sense that you follow them there. There are different forms of online advertising but one of the most popular remains Google’s Adwords Program. Here are some of the benefits of using Google Adwords:
  • A small daily budget can attract thousands of potential customers to buy products and services.
  • You can define the target market to consumers with a specific profile.
  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Reconnect with visitors to your website.
  • Measure the performance consistently.
8. Get involved in volunteer work at a charity of your choice.
Doing volunteer work is often an overlooked opportunity to enjoy free publicity. Get involved in volunteer work or sponsor an event or offer your services for free. Customers love to support businesses that give something back to the society in some way. Most times, all that is required may be your time, effort and encouragement. If you plan to use this method of advertising, remember to make sure that all donations, sponsorships and support are done in the name of your business.