As entrepreneurs we are often attracted to the newest, latest and greatest ideas for everything, not just as part of our own businesses and this often includes our marketing. We may fall in love with new trends like content marketing, Facebook ads, podcasting or viral videos to promote sales growth.
In reality, however, sometimes the old tried and true techniques can often work just as well, or better, and cost less. Slack, an online communications company, grew at 5% per week for over 70 weeks using this exact same idea. In fact, they grew 33X in one year! While you probably won’t get to that pace, you can double your sales if you apply these same ideas. And customers are willing to switch brands and even spend more if they think they are getting better service. Or in other words, better service pays better.
In our business, we have followed a simple four step plan for growth and have had tremendous success with it without having to spend any money.
Start by taking a hard look at your business and figure out where there is room for improvement. None of the rest of this will work if you aren’t delivering amazing service. The good news is this is something that will pay off forever, not just on a short term basis. If you make this part of your core company culture, you will never lack for customers or business. Here are a few areas to consider improving:
If you aren’t sure or are behind, step one is to work to revamp your business so that you impress your customers with how great your service is every time they interact with you.
Once your service is top notch, the next step is to try hard to go the extra mile to really blow them away. Again, this doesn’t have to cost anything, it’s more a matter of giving them even more than they expect. You could deliver faster, add an extra to their order, follow up with a personal note to check on their experience or anything else that will put you in a class above the competition.
The goal of this is to figure out how you can not only provide amazing service but really go the extra mile to make a favorable and memorable impression on your customers.
After you have figured out how to offer mind blowing service and over deliver on your customers’ expectations the next step is to ask them for a review. There are several reasons for that:
This is where all your preparation has been leading you and the source of being able to double your income. If each of your current customers sent you an average of one new customer, then you have immediately doubled your business.
If you have followed steps one through three then your customers should not hesitate to recommend you every chance they get and many will without ever being encouraged to do so.
You probably don’t want to leave it to chance, however! And there are lots of things you can do to encourage your customers spreading the word:
If you do the first three steps correctly you should be getting a ton of referrals anyway but if you make the effort to encourage referrals you really should have no problem doubling your business inside a year or even doing significantly better than that!
Matt Remuzzi is the owner of CapForge Bookkeeping, a full service nationwide bookkeeping service that specializes in high quality, highly affordable service for small businesses and startup entrepreneurs. Matt has a popular QuickBooks book on Amazon and you can find him on Twitter daily. If you have questions, he’d love to hear from you!