6 tips to get customers supporting your small business.

One of the main concerns for small business owners is how to get those first few customers engaged in supporting your small business. Or simply how to get more customers. A lot of the time small business owners will overlook what they already have. This article will explore six different ways of how to get those first few customers and build your clientele.

1. You’re a small business with a small network, so work it

Start with those around you. Your friends and family. Even if your business isn’t of their interest they may know someone who is your perfect customer.

If your network is a little wider than your friends and family, embed yourself in it. Your wider network may be your local community, co-workers, previous co-workers, or the only other 1 person you know that owns a small business. Build a genuine and strong alliance with the people in your network. If your network is smaller this may work in your favour. As the connection and relationship will likely be more exclusive and personal. There is no better advertising than a recommendation through word of mouth.

2. Find your niche

A niche in commerce is defined as. An offering of products, services, or serving interests that appeal to a specific or small section of the population.

Is your business specialist or generalist?
Does your business providive something specific to a particular audience, or is there something for everyone? Establishing if your business is specialist or generalist could be the starting point for finding your niche. Once you have found your niche, find where your audience gathers and join the conversation. The quickest way to reach an audience is online so find your online community, blend in and make links to your business available.

3. Give things for free, strategically

It may sound counter-productive but many small businesses take this route at the beginning of their journey. Offering your product/service for free at the start is a great way to get unbiased feedback on your business and create demand. By doing this you will have introduced your business to your customer at no cost or a lesser cost to them. When they come back to make another purchase they are already familiar with your business and will have remembered your previous generosity.

Eventually, you will need to move away from this model. Discounts and promotions are the perfect middle ground. Customers are always looking for the best deals. But the effects of the pandemic have left more customers looking for ways to save when they spend. Offering discounts/promotions are a great way to meet this demand, generate revenue, and keep customers incentified to stay up to date with your business.

4. Treat your customers like royalty

From the 1st 10 to 1st 100 and so on, treat customers like royalty.

Those first few customers, especially. Should feel and know that they are really a part of supporting your small business journey. Customers have so many big businesses to choose from to make a purchase. Let your customer know that their purchase into your small business means a lot to you with a personal note from the business owner, a freebie attached to the purchase, or a future discount code, etc. You can also create scheduled email communication with software such as MailChip and HubSpot to follow up with your customers, ask how they are feeling about their purchase, and to leave a review. These actions will build a relationship with your customers, keep them engaged with your business and make them want to tell others about your business.

5. Share your story

Sharing your story is a way to help create a connection with your customers but also future investors. Talk about how your business got started, your niche and, how your business is filling a gap in the market. Aside from a great business, a great story works hand in hand with making people feel connected to you and willing to purchase.

You can share your story by connecting with columnists or reaching out to online platforms so they can introduce your business to their audience, where your new customer could be waiting. When sharing your story and information about your business, be sure to supply links to your business to your chosen platform. This is called a backlink, a link from one website to another. Backlinks increase your SEO which is explained further in the final tip.

6. Blog

This may not apply to all businesses but, when used blog posts to websites increase traffic. Writing about topics that are relevant to your small business or industry, boosts your website’s SEO (search engine optimisation). Meaning the blog post on your website will rank higher when people are looking for similar content if your blog has distinct keywords. Blogs with a high SEO are a more effective type of advertising than your usual advert.

Adverts can be annoying and aren’t always relevant to the customer. When they are it can spook the customer somewhat. A survey conducted by databox.com has shown that marketing industry insiders say that SEO is 70% more effective at increasing sales than PPC campaigns. This is an online advertising strategy where advertisers pay a fee to a business, each time a customer clicks on a piece of content designed to drive traffic to a businesses website. Blogs are a great way to provide factual information, increase awareness of your business, provide information for free, and strategically attract new customers. Check out some of &facts previous blog posts.

In summary

Think outside the box but don’t overthink it when strategising how to get customers supporting your small business. Support for your small business is closer than you think, so amplify what you already have.

Growing a successful skincare business: 5 things you must know

With 50% growth in the past year, skincare offers plenty of opportunities if you are looking to starting or growing your skincare business. Yet, with countless options to choose from, it can be challenging to navigate current trends, consumer behaviours, and production choices. So, the team over at &facts have come up without top tips you should keep in mind to grow a successful skincare business.

1 – Find your voice – From brand values to philosophy.

Whether you are a growing skincare business or still thinking about starting one, make sure that your brand has something to say. Skin Sapiens has captured a large audience in less than a year by repeatedly stating and proving their engagements toward transparent, clean and earth-conscious products.

Consumers like consistency between brand values, brand philosophy and actions.

Your brand philosophy is a crucial element to draw attention and make sure the audience remembers you. About 60% of consumers aged between 26 and 30 years old consider brand values and philosophies before buying. And this is expected to grow as Generation Z enters the consumer market.

So, be clear and vocal about what you believe in and what your brand is trying to achieve. Most importantly, tell your customers how you will do this.

2 – When less is more – The trend of minimalism.

Following The Ordinary’s incredible success, it became clear that minimalist visuals are particularly appreciated by skincare customers. Beyond the skincare industry, the most successful brands on the internet all adopted clear and simple branding.

Aesthetics have recently become essential when it comes to selling a product. Whether it’s your logo, homepage, or packaging, customers want to see consistency. If it does not appeal to them, then they will not buy it.

Consumers prefer packaging that minimalist, using neutral colours with easy to read labelling.

As a matter of fact, more than 50% of the millennials we surveyed for our report on the latest skincare trends highlighted visual as an essential criterion when they look for a new product.

3 – Green is the new black – Ethical choices are trending.

The demand for greener products keeps growing, scaling up the relevance of ethical choices.

To give you an idea, consumer interest in sustainable products rose by 74% in 2020 while the vegan skincare market grew by 219% in the last five year. Looking at these numbers, ethics are something you do need to consider while designing your new product, and growing your business.

Why are people turning toward skincare? Because they want to take better care of themselves. They want to invest in products that will improve their well-being. Here, natural, organic and vegan products are trending as they are perceived as healthier and safer options in comparison to those brands and products that don’t market themselves this way.

New skincare brand Made by Coopers managed to rapidly build a strong community around their organic, ethical and clean skin products

Social media play a central part here as they are the ‘go-to’ place for eco-consumer looking for green alternatives.

Sustainability themed hashtags are increasingly popular on social media

4 – The constant trend: price

When launching a product, finding the right price is essential. It’s mainly about finding the perfect balance between a price your customer is willing to pay whilst being profitable enough to sustain your activity.

Thinking about the right price, you will also need to consider your target audience. How much are they willing to spend on their skincare?

Our research shows that customer interest is 6 times higher for new brands with prices ranging below £15. And ultimately, the price remains the key consideration for most customers searching for new skincare products.

Customer interest is 6 times higher for new brands with prices ranging below £15

If you are struggling to price your product, we designed a free and simple tool that you can use to figure out your new pricing strategy to further develop your business.

5 – It’s all about the reviews

You might wonder how to trigger the desire to buy your products among your audience. Easy: pay attention to reviews. Millennials will tell you that they are tracking down the best reviews.

Reviews are important to consumers when choosing a new product

Recommendations are not enough. People want to make sure the product is nothing short of incredible. That it is worth their money, if they are not satisfied with the reviews, they will not buy the product.

Therefore, it is vital to nudge testers and buyers to give feedback on their experience of using your product. Also, be reactive to feedback. Make sure your customers are aware that you care about their experience.

Reviews and social proof is important to consumers when choosing a new product

In summary

Skincare is taking over, and if you are looking to grow your business or invest in new products, there is definitely a lot of potential out there.

Yet, if you really want to break into that market, thinking minimalist, natural and affordable might make it easier for you. Finally, it would be best if you did not neglect the power of brand values and customer reviews, which can easily turn into make-or-break factors.