What if finding new customers wasn’t so hard. What if it was just a matter of looking in different places?
Here are seven ways that we expand the customer bases for our portfolio companies:
Are you an online business? Look to move offline. On the other hand, if you’re an offline business, focus on building an online presence to reach new customers.
It might seem daunting – but that’s the reason why it works. Your competition won’t be doing it.
If you’re not familiar with the other half, we look to partnering with (or buying) an existing business to be up and running fast.
Another way to expand your customer base is to appeal to different demographics. Could your product appeal to people who aren’t currently buying?
We ask: could this appeal to people who aren’t currently buying? Older/younger, male/female, married/unmarried, etc. Could we make a low-cost tweak to the product or offer and open up a new market?
The goal is to find new markets and reach customers who are not currently part of our target audience.
“Psychographics” are appealing to different beliefs, values, lifestyles, social status, opinions, or activities. Different customers have different motivations for buying, and by understanding these motivations we can access new markets. For example, the “healthy living” buyer is not the same as the “status buyer,” but they might both be interested in your product if it’s presented correctly.
Operating in just one geography? Sometimes geographical expansion is the easiest because you can leverage your systems and processes quickly.
We look at whether we can buy an established player in a new geography and apply superior operations. You don’t need a pile of cash to do it; if you structure your business creatively, you can expand your reach and reach new customers.
- CHANNEL PARTNERS:
Instead of selling directly to customers, we look to selling indirectly through channel partners. Many entrepreneurs focus on selling directly, because that’s how they started the business. However, there’s a huge world of resellers and distributors out there who can help you reach new customers.
- JOINT PACKAGING:
Another way to reach new customers is to find other companies and partner to sell bundled products. We ask if there are companies that also sell to our customers but aren’t direct competitors. Then, we think about what kind of promotions could to create where both companies win.
- CANNIBALIZE YOURSELF:
Finally, we look at cannibalizing our own offerings by making slight modifications and selling it under a different brand. For example, Procter & Gamble has more than six different dishwashing detergents. By disrupting ourselves before your competition does, we can reach new customers over the long term.
These are just a few of the ways you can expand your customer base and reach new markets. If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve added 45+ trainings for entrepreneurs on my site, CEOworkbench.com. All of these trainings are 100% free.