Explore three simple ways to grow your business. Learn how to get more customers, make them buy more often, and increase what they spend. It's straightforward, effective, and suitable for any business.
GROWTH METHOD 1
Get more customers
The first is obvious – get more customers.
Okay, if it were that easy, you wouldn’t be reading this, so let me give you the best method for getting customers, and this works fantastically well online.
It’s a simple strategy which most businesses find counter-intuitive, but trust me, this works like a charm.
You give something away for free.
It doesn’t have to be something physical (although delicatessens and eateries have been doing that for years). Instead, you can give away some useful information that helps your prospect out.
Almost every business can do this because everyone is searching for information all the time. It’s why Google gets 8.5 billion requests every day. People constantly want information.
If you can help them by answering their questions in, let’s say, a PDF for them to download or a video, then that does two things:
They see that you are experts in your field.
They start to trust you.
Once you get someone to agree you’re an expert that they can trust, it is much easier to get them to buy from you.
What you get back from giving something away is their email address.
In fact, you may have spotted that I’m using this principle right now. You signed up for some free help from me. You gave me your email address and I’m giving you something which I hope makes you feel that I a) know what I’m talking about and b) that you can trust me.
The great thing about this method is that it creates enormous goodwill in your marketplace since your prospects will be happy to finally have a company help them first and solve their problems.
GROWTH METHOD 2:
Get your customers to buy from you more frequently
For most companies, they have what we call a 'lead' product. This is a product or service which is typically purchased more times than anything else.
Take the example of a petrol station: they sell more fuel than anything else. Or a chiropractor practice that deals with more back problems than anything else. Or a photographer who sells more wedding photos than anything else.
In fact, some companies are even called by their lead product - coal merchants, tree surgeons, florists, etc.
But it can be difficult to sell the lead product multiple times to the same customer, especially when there isn't the need for a second purchase (the example of a wedding photographer is a good one here - one hopes!).
It means two things: ONE: you are constantly having to pay to acquire new customers and TWO: your customer base, whilst expanding, doesn't yield any more money.
Now the way to stop your business from being a 'single-sale' wonder is to have what is called a "Backend". This is a collection of products or services which relate to your lead product. And the more you have, the more opportunities you have to get your customers to buy from you.
So, although the chiropractor fixes backs, they will also deal with other areas of the body and may even offer alternative treatments like physiotherapy, acupuncture, etc. Each of these allows for the customer to return and purchase a different (but related) service.
Perhaps the business with the ultimate backend is a supermarket or Amazon. They both have thousands of products available so one day you might pop in for milk and the next you return for a bottle of wine (or three) and the next the weekly shop and so on. My shopping on Amazon ranges from electronics to washing-up powder.
The more of a backend you can offer, the more you can increase the frequency of customer purchases.
The best way to secure your customers using the backend is to email them. Email gives you the ability to communicate with your customers whenever you want and as frequently as you want.
And there really is no need to complicate this... simply email your customers telling them about the other things your business does. Make them offers when you do and occasionally give them useful, helpful information. There's no magic to this - the regularity of communication is the key.
GROWTH METHOD 3:
Increase the average order value
Our final method to grow your business is to increase the average amount your customers spend with you.
To do this, you use your backend of products alongside upsells, cross-sells, one-time offers, and other methods which inspire your customers to buy more from you at the point they make the purchase.
Let's go back to the petrol station. Their lead product is fuel but when you step into the shop to pay, instead of an empty room with a cashier in it, it's packed with things they think you might want. Everything from screenwash to crisps and chocolate to hot snacks, keyrings, and de-icer. All there to encourage the customer to spend a little more than just the cost of the fuel.
Again, supermarkets are masterful at this. How many times have you gone in for ONE thing only to leave with a bag full of stuff you never knew you needed?
The trick is to actively sell the increase. In the case above, supermarkets use 2-for-1 offers, or points systems to get you to buy more. They put items next to each other in such a way so that you end up cross-buying. The one I love the most is from a deep data mining analysis done by IBM which found that in smaller local supermarkets, beer sales would rise sharply when placed next to nappies. The reason? Partners would send the blokes out late at night for nappies, and the men would pick up a four-pack as a treat to themselves for completing the errand.
You notice upsells and cross-sells a lot on e-commerce sites. A guitar shop might upsell strings, or an online torch shop upsell batteries (or a battery shop might upsell torches), or a marketing consultant might upsell training courses, or a sports shop might upsell joggers with tops or spare laces with running shoes or cricket balls with cricket bats, and so on.
McDonald's added a whopping 11% profits to their bottom line with one of the best transactional increases ever... They asked ONE question at the checkout... "Do you want to go large with that?". The cost was minimal, but the net profit was vast.
All you need to do is take a leaf out of McDonald's book - ask the question at the point of sale, "Would you like X with Y?" Or "Would you like 50% off X with Y?" Or "Would you like X & Z and Y for Free?". There are lots of ways you can increase transaction value. You just need to ask, and I guarantee a proportion of your customers will take you up on the offer.
The Ultimate Method
Now that you know the three methods, you can easily start to increase your business on all three fronts.
I've given you examples and techniques to help you do this, but remember, the real power is when you do ALL THREE SIMULTANEOUSLY. Can you imagine what that would do to your bottom line, you are now getting more customers, and getting them to buy from you more frequently and when they do buy from you, they are spending more.
Let's run some basic numbers... Imagine a 10% increase in customers alongside a 10% increase in how often they buy as well as a 10% increase in how much they spend. Just think what that would do to your business.
If that excites you then, please take each of these methods and techniques and apply them in your business today.