10 Ways to Expand Your Customer Base in the Green Industry

By David Crary  

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As an entrepreneur, you either work constantly to get new customers, or your business stops. In the green industry, we are lucky enough to have some repeat customers and contracts, but we aren’t off the hook. We need to make a daily effort to gain new customers and keep those we have coming back, even if we have enough business at the moment. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Here’s a toolbox of tips for finding and keeping more customers for your green industry business:

1. Know your target market

Who are the people who need your business? These people are your target market. What are they like? How old are they? What makes them tick? You have to identify the type of people you are serving and learn about these people to have any hope of attracting them. Are you trying to attract apartment complexes, schools, wealthy homeowners or the elderly? After you’ve figured out who your target market is, create a plan that will advertise your services directly to these people or the decision makers at these organizations. Because you aren’t wasting energy marketing to people who aren’t even potential customers, you have more time and money to invest in catching a really good prospect.

2. Network

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking. When you look for customers, you are essentially looking for a job, so start networking! Build up your relationships, and meet your friends’ friends. Make better friends with your neighbors, church acquaintances, suppliers, your kids’ teachers and principals, your hairdresser and anyone else who could lead you to more customers. Of course we do not want to be sleazy and just use people; that would hurt our relationships instead of building them. We should help others and be a resource to them, so we are all giving and receiving. Then these good relationships can provide the inside track to a potential customer, setting you above the competition.

3. Research your industry

If knowledge is power, as the famous adage suggests, then perhaps lack of knowledge leads to powerlessness. Don’t be powerless in your green industry business! Learn all you can about your business. Research current trends in your industry. Learn what new technology is available. Find out which customers are yielding the best profits. You’ll be earning more and staying ahead of the competition if you keep up on the big picture through research.

4. Join industry groups

Joining an industry group identifies you as a leader. All the knowledge and experience you gain through the group will also make you much more valuable to your customers. On top of all that, industry groups are another great place to network, which is one of the most effective ways to get new jobs.

5. Interact on social media

Social media is the future! Your green industry business could gain lots of valuable exposure from this cheap form of marketing. It costs you a little bit of time but goes a long way toward establishing your business as reputable and knowledgeable. Even in the off season, you can work to become the business that comes to everyone's mind whenever your services are needed.

6. Offer incentives

Act now and get 10% off! Buy one get one free! Free estimate! There’s nothing that brings in customers like a coupon or special offer. It forces them to act now before the sale is over. The money we lose by offering a deal is quickly made up in new revenue from increased sales. Don’t be afraid to give people a good deal. If they like what you do, they’ll be willing to pay the full price next time.

7. Use your contacts

You don’t always have to meet new people to find prospective clients. Sometimes people you already know can become your best customers. Other times they can recommend their friends, family or bosses to you. What could be easier than that?

8. Content, content, content!

Content marketing can be a great way to build your customer base and position you as an industry leader. You can provide expert advice on your website to attract people who need your services. Not only do you get exposure, but you are marketing to exactly your target market- people who need your services. Some may intend to do the work themselves, but they may decide to hire you instead. You’ll also be the first name on their lips when their friends or family need work done.

9. Testimonials and referrals

Many times your current customers can lead you straight to your next big customer. Encourage your customers to refer you to their friends. Additionally, ask them for a testimonial, where they write down how well you did serving them. When potential customers see that others have had a great experience with your business, they can picture themselves having a great experience too. 

10. Step outside of your box

To reach out and grab the best things in life, we have to step out of our comfort zone and do something new and uncomfortable. Stop doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! Do that thing on this list that made you think- that’s for some people, but not me. You can do that thing! Just give it a chance. Get help. Learn something new. You’ll gain customers, and you might just enjoy it too.

This is a long list, but you don’t have to start it all right away. Pick one small thing to do today, and make a plan for what you will do tomorrow and over the next months and years. Before you know it, you’ll have a system down, along with the customers and growth you were looking for.

 

For more tips on improving your green industry business, download our latest eBook for free today! 

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