When starting a small business, we tend to have everything planned out as much as possible. This is simply good business sense, as having a determined direction is a key to success. What we can underestimate, however, is who our future customers might be in a rapidly-evolving landscape.
Sometimes a customer base we rely on may move on unexpectedly, while other times we might see new demographics rise without being fully prepared to take advantage. Taking a look at some positive examples, here we want to examine how your business might try widening a customer base, to test the waters of new potential.
Keeping an Open Selection
One of the simplest ways that your business can expand its customer base is by allowing a selective offering outside of your regular comfort zone. By allowing some alternative choices, you can determine if there might be some closely related aspects outside of your standard business that can be explored.
Note that this is a balancing act, however, as you never want to step so far out of your comfort zone as to lower the quality of your service. Where this line lies depends highly on your business and your knowledge. Take slots from online casinos as an example. Owing to the simplicity and low cost of adding new slots, the libraries here can include hundreds of titles covering dozens of themes and gameplay types. There is no downside to this, so risks are essentially non-existent. This isn’t a luxury that all businesses can afford to take but is one that has worked for the online casino industry.
Compare this to something like a repair service with staff untrained in products outside of their regular systems. In this case, expansion without further training could hurt your reputation and bottom line, so more care needs to be taken. Small steps are the best bet here, not enormous leaps.
Maintaining a Flexible Design
First impressions are important, and this sentiment is a huge concern in visual design. Whether designing your website or physical premises, this concept can mean not leaning too far into a one-sided visual front. In a physical business, this might not be achievable due to inherent cost, but in an online marketplace, such changes can be remarkably simple. Websites, for example, could be split into men’s and woman’s sections, or something more gender-neutral. Each section could offer the same goods overall but might find success through different colors and layouts, and by placing different goods or services at the forefront.
The Importance of Customer Metrics
The final major step we would recommend is taking a measure or at least understanding of customer metrics. What age and sex are they, how old are they, and how might these patterns change over time or holiday seasons? We can see this concept as something too simple to require quantifying, but due to our inherent biases, it can be better to take a more objective measurement front.
You can do this by noting down general metrics of people who come into your store directly, or those who purchase goods online or interact with your website systems. Just be aware that you will need to adhere to the relevant data protection guidelines to ensure the safety of your customer’s data.
Once you have these suggestions in place, the only final component you’ll need is time. What effects do these have, how can you leverage them to better success, and where might you expand into untapped areas? It can take some exploration to find this out, but for the sake of a more profitable tomorrow, such ideas are always worth at least considering.