6 Proven Ways To Grow Your Business Quickly
Today I am sharing my secret formula for success.
If you don’t know my background, my first adventure in entrepreneurship was when I opened Richmond Virginia’s first ever locally owned and operated boutique indoor cycling studio. In our first year in business we were voted in Richmond Magazine: Best New Start Up, Best Indoor Cycling Class and noted in Best Fitness Class Instructors and Best Small Gym categories. This is going up against a lot of established gyms and a highly saturated Start-Up Community!
So when I sat down with a client last week, she asked me straight up, “Our businesses opened at the exact same time, why was yours immediately successful and mine is slow growing?”
Here is how I responded:
Step One: We had a comprehensive marketing plan in place LONG before the doors ever opened. That included an email list with over 300 personal contacts, a Facebook page with hundreds of followers, and press releases sent out to local publications and local bloggers. We were active in the local Start-Up scene, constantly networking, and spent a few hundred dollars advertising on the radio and online. It is no secret, we invested in marketing with both time and dollars.
But here is the better news in case you are already past that point of start-up. After we opened, we significantly cut our outbound marketing by focusing primarily on the low cost strategy, creating insanely happy clients. We used social media and email marketing and were still able to gain accolades from local press and double our sales month after month.
Here is how we did that:
Step Two: We treated every client like our most valuable client. I am not exaggerating when I say this. Here is a list of the ways we honest to goodness touched each and every client to make them feel not only appreciated, but like special little snowflakes.
- We sent every new client a handwritten thank you post card, with personal messages when we could. Yes, the owners wrote out thousands of thank yous! Did this take a lot of time? Yes, it sucked sometimes. Did we get amazing feedback and clients for life because of it? Also, yes! That part didn't suck.
- We made exceptions for everyone. We had a no show/late cancel policy, but if someone missed a class, we reached out to them and told them we would make an exception for them. We did them a favor when they messed up, which made them feel a level of loyalty to make it up to us.
- We owned our mistakes (and other peoples mistakes too), all of them! If anything happened that could make a client unhappy, even the tiniest little thing, like there wasn’t a good spot on the bike rack for their bike outside in the public parking lot, we gave them something, a free class, a special spot for their bike inside. It didn’t matter if it was our fault or not, we were there to please.
- We made an effort to connect with big spenders. If a client bought a big package, like our first yearly unlimited ride package for $1200, we made a point to seek them out in person and thank them. A genuine thank you from an owner is worth its weight in gold!
- We gave them free stuff, just because. Exceeding expectations builds loyalty. We bought a bunch of granola or energy bars and passed them out randomly. We gave away t-shirts on our social media pages, and randomly added free rides to clients accounts just because. An investment in surprising and delighting made grateful and loyal clients for life.
- We made people feel good every single day. We made a major effort to remember people’s names (and sometimes shoe sizes). When they show up to class, we were genuinely excited they were there. We trained our staff to treat clients like guests in our homes and modeled that behavior as owners. THE MOST empowering phrase ever uttered by a customer is, “I know the owner” so we made sure that our clients knew us, by face and name.
These small acts are the difference between slow growth and doubling sales month over month. You may not be able to actually touch every single customer, but you can reach a few. So reach them! Reach out and thank your customers personally and genuinely. Exceed their expectations and they will be loyal for life.
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