Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 81
you to input information about existing
and potential customers, as well as
details of any contact you have with
them. If that is too costly, at the very
least make sure staﬀ keep a thorough
record of every interaction and
transaction in a central location.
The better you know your customers
and their needs, the more likely you
are to sell more. To this end, make
sure your salespeople and/or account
managers act as consultants as well. It
isn't just about pushing your products
or services in front of customers.
ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS
In order to win new business you need
to market yourself in the correct way.
One way to do this is to position
yourself as an expert in your ﬁeld,
which can be done by producing
educational content, such as blogs on
LinkedIn and social media and op-eds
in trade magazines. This is not only
cost-eﬀective but, if done correctly,
also a great way to attract customers.
Testimonials from existing customers
are very useful - the more examples
you can give illustrating that you're a
trusted business, the better. You may
also want to incentivise customers to
provide referrals to others. You don't
need to oﬀer hugely expensive rewards
- small denomination gift vouchers
can be eﬀective.
If you're looking to expand outside
your current market, it's important
you get out there to network and
develop partnerships with people
and businesses within the new market.
If you're looking to expand outside your
current market, get out there to network
This is especially important if you're
looking to expand outside the UK. The
Department for International Trade
can provide useful resources and
connections. It can also provide free
sales leads in the country of your choice,
which is a fantastic opportunity to start
building an additional customer base.
IMPROVE YOUR OFFERING
This is where customer feedback is
so important. Their opinions are the
most important and will help you
improve. If you've captured data such
as email addresses, send surveys and
ask for customers opinions. Key things
to ﬁnd out are what they currently value
most from your product and/or service,
improvements that can be made and
what would make them buy from you
again. It's also worth getting their
thoughts on your current pricing.
Any changes you do make need to be
worth the time and money spent - in
other words, they need to increase sales
and proﬁtability. If you have some key
clients, you could test your changes
with them and ask for their feedback.
That way you avoid making changes
that might be unpopular, while also
MEET THE PEOPLE WHO OFFER A FULL RANGE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES
Wealth management is a service that plans the best way for you to manage your
financial resources. It's most often used by high net worth individuals and small
business owners, incorporating everything from retail banking to investments, tax
planning to legal services.
The benefit of wealth management is that rather than going to different specialists
for each area, you have access to one single manager who can coordinate everything
for you, with help from the various specialists. Wealth managers are often highly
qualified individuals (for example, chartered financial planners) with the experience
and connections to help you grow your income in the best way.
showing these clients that they're
important to your business.
DEVELOP SOMETHING NEW
Expanding your oﬀerings can not only
increase revenue and proﬁt, but also
enable you to spread your ﬁxed costs
- such as machinery - across more
avenues. Don't forget to research the
market before doing so, to work out
demand before spending time and
money on development.
If your business is product-based,
develop a prototype quickly. It doesn't
need to be perfect, just something you
can show potential buyers. If they agree
to an order, you can get to work on the
ﬁnished article. Their feedback will also
help you get the right quality product,
and work out the best price point.
Instil an ideas culture within your
business, so employees feel comfortable
pitching new ideas. Those at the
coalface often have a great idea of what
customers really want.
RECRUIT, RETAIN AND TRAIN
Whether you're developing new
services and products or improving
existing ones, your staﬀ need to know
every detail. Up-selling and crossselling is only possible if you train
your employees in all your oﬀerings.
Recruitment is also vital, not just in
terms of adding extra resource but also
bringing in people who are experienced
in helping to grow a business. Their
advice can be invaluable when you're
looking to scale up. You may feel you
lack the capital to attract such people if
they expect a high salary, but in such
cases why not share some equity with
them? That way they'll be motivated by
a slice of the proﬁts. You don't have to
feel like you're losing control - surely
it's far better to own a slightly smaller
share of a business with big value, than
100% of a business with lesser value. □
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