Think Like a Big Business
Small businesses should think like large businesses and then act using the tools available to them. Data analysis may take place on a smaller scale – in a spreadsheet, rather than a custom-built system – but this analysis is still more valuable than simple hunches or preconceived ideas about who your best customer might be. If acting on that data means sending individual emails or making one-on-one calls, so be it; at least you know you’re targeting your best possible customer. [Need to upgrade your business phone system? Check out our reviews to help you choose.]
Small and medium businesses actually have an advantage when acting on insights and reacting to market trends. For large businesses, it’s often a challenge to present data and propose ideas in a way that resonates with senior leaders. Similarly, institutional habits can be difficult to overcome for businesses that have been established for some time. Solopreneurs or small teams of entrepreneurs don’t face that challenge. Take advantage of your flexibility, and experiment intelligently to find what matters to your customers.
See what’s right in front of you – While it’s important to append existing data and obtain the most complete profile of your customer as possible, don’t ignore information that’s right under your nose. With Facebook analytics and other free tools available, there’s no reason to overlook information about how consumers interact with your brand. When searching for more insights, it never hurts to ask customers. Most will readily give information so long as they receive something in return. Loyalty programs, social media interaction and surveys can be great ways to obtain the insights you need.
Identify and act on customer triggers – Go to your customers; don’t wait for them to come to you. An engaged customer is most likely to spend or keep spending. Identify your most important customers, but don’t forget to determine the most valuable time to reach them within their lives and purchase cycles.