Catering Scotland

How To Double Your Customer Base in a Single Month – Phase II

 Breaking News
  • Graham and Sibbald Announce Directorship Roles OIOpublisher Chartered surveyors and business valuation experts, Graham and Sibbald have announced the promotion of Kevin Hunter and Scott Graham to director. With more than 12 years’ experience, Kevin (pictured...

How To Double Your Customer Base in a Single Month – Phase II

May 13
10:43 2019

Despite some sceptical business owners claiming the contrary, it is actually possible to double one’s customer base in a single month. Daniela Grendene concludes her series of the top 11 ways to kick-start your growth charts off the scale…

  • Consider advertising

Many business owners mistakenly believe that they can’t afford advertising. However, often the problem may be that they are only considering the ‘big’ publications or radio stations. You might not be able to afford a campaign on national radio, for example, but advertising on your local community radio station might well be within your budget and it carries with it the inherent advantage of being directed at a target market within your specific region.

It is also important to advertise where your target market may more likely be located. For example, rather than spending an inordinate amount of money on one small advert in the Sunday Times’ business section, it could be more effective to spend the same amount on regular, larger ads in your local community newspaper or a targeted magazine that your customers will be reading.

  • Train and support your employees to improve their skills

Many construction companies send their workers to evening courses to obtain advanced certifications. Hospitality businesses could too…

Business owners say they spend time training and up-skilling employees, but many don’t do as much as they could. It could be as simple as changing the words your salespeople use when customers arrive in your shop. Instead of opening with, ‘Can I help you?’ (to which the response is often, ‘No, I’m just looking’) they could instead ask, ‘Have you been in the shop before?’ The answer to this would then guide the salesperson accordingly. If it’s ‘yes’, the response might be, ‘Thanks for coming back again. Is there anything particular you’re looking for?’ Alternatively, a ‘no’ leaves room for something along the lines of, ‘Welcome! It’s lovely to have a new visitor. Let me quickly point out where all the different sections are…’

Of course, it might require more time, money and effort to persuade your employees to be more effective. They might profit from attending sales or marketing workshops. Wine reps for major wineries often travel to Europe to learn more about wines at the company’s expense; construction companies, on the other hand, send carpenters and electricians to evening courses to obtain advanced certifications. Such investments all pay off when those employees return and land lucrative new accounts, do a better job, or are able to charge customers a higher rate for more specialised service.

  • Improve the conversion rate for leads and contacts

The best way to grow your business is to quickly convert new leads into customers. To do this, you need to measure your current conversion rate by looking at the number of leads you have over a set period (say, a week or a month), and then how many of those are generating actual business sales. Let’s say you sell tyres. Every time someone calls or wa’ks in, make a note of what they wanted and whether or not they ended up buying any. You may be dismayed to learn that your conversion rate is lower that you think – perhaps one in five. Once you know this rate, it takes less effort to convert a lead (someone who is already interested) into a customer than it does to find new ones.

If the current conversion rate is 20% for every 100 contacts or leads, that translates into 20 new customers a month. Boost conversions to 30% and that represents a 50% increase without doing any extra marketing or advertising.

  • Convert customers to multiple purchasers

Instead of focusing on finding new customers, it’s often easier and more effective to persuade a customer who has bought from you previously to do so again by up-selling or cross-selling. Consider, for example, how few restaurants take down your contact details while you’re there for a meal. You could explain about special events such as wine pairings or hosting guest chefs. By asking whether they’d like to be kept informed and invited, this gives you as the operator the opportunity to capture your contact details and send you enticing offers that are likely to get you to visit again.

  • Make use of digital marketing

Create a website and focus on using your digital presence to drive people to your physical location (if you don’t offer the option of online purchases). Your website acts as a shop window that never sleeps and a business presence that extends around the entire world almost overhead-free.

By giving site visitors something valuable in exchange for them providing more information about themselves, you will have more chance of harvesting information from them. If they sign up on the website or visit the store, for example, they could be rewarded with a discount, contest entry, or a free consultation or service upgrade.

  • Increase your visibility

    Branding and marketing your company or products at every opportunity is crucial

Ensuring your brand is recognisable and professional is crucial to success. Maybe you had limited budget for corporate identity when you started out and did it on the cheap. Now may be the time to invest in a quality logo and brand design, and then use it at every opportunity. If you’re planning on gifting your clients, make sure the gift is branded. Have your staff wear uniforms with logos on them and brand your delivery vehicles. It all adds up in the end.

Daniela Grendene is an executive coach with 25 years’ experience who teaches directors about business results and making money. For more information on how they can help you and your organisation to reach the next level, visit



About Author

Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Only registered users can comment.