There’s a native Nigerian proverb that says that marketing is the energy drink of business. Well that’s not actually the direct translation but in essence that’s what it means. If you’re not marketing, it’s not very likely you’ll get more customers and no customers equals no money. I’m sure we’re aware that cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, so once you’re not getting more clients or customers, more money isn’t flowing into your business and if that’s happening, it’s just a matter of time before your business “runs down”.
Small businesses need a constant supply of new customers to stay afloat else the expenses would be more than income. That would mean running at a loss and eventually closure is eminent. The challenge most small-scale businesses have to deal with is how to constantly get new customers on autopilot. One of the things I’ve come to discover is that the larger the crowd of interested people you market to, the higher your chances at securing more customers. The challenge for small business owners and self-employed people is how to access the crowd of those interested in their services or products and how to show them the can provide the goods or services the (the customers) need. Most small businesses don’t have enough customers to be able to break even and eventually make profit.
Here are a few ideas on getting more customers to buy your product or engage your services. I have also discovered that most small biz owners start by marketing to people they know i.e. friends, family members, neighbours, etc. However you can be sure that unless you widen that potential customer base, you are bound to close shop soon. You need to begin to get crowds of people, people you don’t know personally, to patronize your biz to make great profits and stay afloat.
So how do I get this kind of traffic to my biz to ensure increase in my cash flow, you ask? Let me share some tips from my own experience.
- Go to where your target market congregates. We say “If Mohammed will not go to the mountain, then the mountain will go to Mohammed.” Chikena! Most small biz owners just sit in their shops & offices, hoping that customers would just walk in their office make a purchase or contact them for their services by some luck. At a time when people are bombarded with so many options, you had better get off your behind and move towards your prospective customer.Sit down and map out a marketing strategy that is focused on helping you make more sales. To make this sales & marketing strategy succeed, go to the places where your target market congregates. If you are offering tutorial lessons for WASCE or JAMB candidates, you’ll need to go to Secondary Schools. That’s where your target audience congregates. Research where your target audience gathers and throw a massive net to gather as many as you can. If you don’t know where your target audience hangs out, create one. By creating a hang out or congregation point, you create an opportunity to sell your goods or services. Imagine you get to a gathering of 200 and you’re able to get 10% of that group to purchase a product you sell at N1000. That means you’ve been able to make 20k at one time. Not bad ehn?
The next most important thing is to realize that customers are selfish. The question on the mind of every person is “what’s in it for me?” Once you have access to the place your target market congregates, you must be prepared to QUICKLY show them what they stand to gain. These benefits are what will make them part with their money. One way to do this is to show them what they’re missing out by not taking advantage of your offering. Make it about your customers and not about you. Most of us entreprenuers are so cocky that we make it look like we can live without our customers but the truth is that we’re in business because they are still patronizing us. Research has shown that most purchases are linked to the emotional state of wellbeing of those making the purchase, so once the customer is comfortable with you and trusts you, you can easily make sale after sale after sale.