How to build a client base for a new business

The best small businesses are built on a solid customer base. What is a customer base? It’s the collection of followers who form the core of your business. Given their high level of engagement, your customer base is responsible for the majority of your sales and ultimately brings in the most revenue.

Before you can know exactly how to build your customer base, you need to take a step back and identify what problem your business solves for its target market. If you can offer a unique solution, you’ll be empowered to stand out from the crowd and attract loyalists. Study your industry to ensure that your product or service is distinct enough from everything else that’s currently available.

With your unique solution in hand, it’s time for some targeting. You should know your ideal client inside and out. Considerations include:

  • What do they look for in a business?
  • What do they struggle with?
  • How will your business provide the solution?
  • What type of communications will resonate with them?

Your marketing plan won’t just be based on this market research—it will be elevated by it. Because you know your base, you’ll be able to reach them at their most receptive times and speak to them in the most compelling way.

Here are some proven strategies that can give you the know-how to build your customer base strong enough to withstand everything from seasonal slowdowns to national disasters:

  1. Recruit influencers: It can be effective to partner with prominent people in your industry. Customers usually react more positively when a respected voice speaks up for your business than if you do it yourself.
  2. Leverage reviews: Provide a convenient way for your customers to review your business. Highlight the positive reviews on your website and follow up on all negative reviews to resolve the issues before they become bigger problems.
  3. Seek more voices: In addition to customer reviews, you can also use surveys to get customer opinions. The more you know about their preferences, the better.
  4. Offer worthwhile content: If you’re hoping to build a base of customers who frequently engage with your website, you’d better keep it fresh and provide valuable resources. You can do this easily with a blog, as well as value-adds such as whitepapers and case studies.
  5. Reward referrals: What better way to grow your base than by harnessing the energy of your base? Ask for referrals from your customers and then provide an incentive to say thanks for their generosity.
  6. Connect socially: Social networks are one of the best ways to engage with your customers. Find out which channels will be most effective and then devote the time to providing relevant and engaging content.

Focusing your efforts on your customer base always makes you more efficient and impactful. You’ll reach the people most willing to listen, which in turn makes them the most likely to convert to a sale. Just remember that your base consists of living, breathing humans. Treat them with respect and they’ll reward you for years to come.

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