If you run a local business, chances are you’re doing all you can to ensure its success for years to come. Whether you own a local shop, restaurant, or service business, it’s critical—especially in today’s market—that you put a lot of time and effort into promoting your business. But there is one trap that many small business owners fall into—resting on current customers and not looking for more.
The scenario looks a lot like this: A business owner is having great success in his local shop and is experiencing record sales. He can hardly keep up with all the sales, and has had to hire an additional employee to help. This business owner has had to put some things on the back burner because dealing with all the business is taking up all of his time. But running a local business this way—even a successful one—is shortsighted and could ultimately harm the business. Why? Because no business owner can assume that current customers will continue to come in, or buy at the levels they are now. And this shortsighted mistake can wreak havoc on your business in the months or years to come.
Why Solely Relying on Existing Customers Can Cause Your Local Business to Fail
We’ve all heard the statistics about how important it is to retain existing customers. Experts say that it can cost 16 times more to bring a new customer up to the profitability of an existing one, so many local business owners concentrate on engaging existing customers and don’t go after new business by ensuring their business is listed on a local business directory. But that can be a mistake.
Sure, you can rely on some of your existing customers to do business with your shop for a lifetime, but it’s important to keep in mind that consumers can be fickle. For instance, studies show that more than half of consumers have stopped doing business with a store because they had a poor customer service experience, and it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for the one bad one. Even more frustrating is the fact that once a consumer decides to stop shopping at a store, 68 percent of them say they will never return.
Can you see why it’s so important to constantly bring in new business? As reliable as your current customers seem now, one bad experience can cause them to leave and not come back.
How Local Business Directories can Help Bring in New Customers
Obviously, consistently bringing in new customers should be a priority for every local business owner, but that can be a problem because it’s so expensive. Studies show that it can cost 5 times the amount of money to gain a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Maybe that’s why only 40 percent of small business owners concentrate equally on bringing in new customers and keeping their existing ones happy. But what if we told you that it’s possible to bring in new customers for free?
Local business directories are the latest darling in the local marketing world, and for good reason. These local directories allow consumers to find local businesses with ease. Consumers have become so frustrated trying to find local businesses on major search engines that local business directories were invented. When someone logs onto a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, they can easily search for local shops and restaurants without the frustration they experience when they try to find them on major search engines.
And the best news? You can create a local business listing for free. Simply log on to business directories like FindUsLocal.com and claim your listing. You’ll be asked to fill in your business name, address, phone number, and website URL if you have one. Once listing, every person from your community who logs onto the site and searches for a business like yours will see your listing. And that means those people will likely turn into new customers.
If you run a small, local business, don’t fall into the trap of only relying on your existing customers to meet your sales goals. While it’s important to keep your current customers happy and continuously buying from you, you’ll also need to do all you can to bring in new business. Remember, no matter how busy you are, you can’t forget this important aspect of running a business, because if you do, you may look up one day and find that your current customers have moved on, leaving you with a business that is struggling. Why not take the first step right now and claim your business listing on a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com? After all, you have nothing to lose and everything—including new customers—to gain.