Top five ways to help their business grow yours

If their company thrives because of you, it's a win-win

When launching a startup, logic tell us that in order to grow our business financially we need to focus on sales and revenue—following a transactional business model. This may help short-term, but what about long-term?

Well, guess what? You’re using the wrong business model! There are many other indicators of business growth that we should be directing our attention to, and one of them is our customers’ business growth.

Instead of focusing on a transactional business model where products and services are exchanged with no regard to building any kind of rapport with the customer, focus instead on a customer-oriented business model.  Since I launched my company five years ago, I’ve found that focusing on the customer’s business growth is the single most important factor in making my business profitable.

If I can help my customer’s businesses grow by streamlining their workload and allowing them to free up time for their staff to focus on revenue-generating tasks, it helps their business grow, which in turn helps my business grow. It may seem self-serving, but you are serving them first. For example, one of my medical transcription clients was able to increase her patient intake by two to three patients per day simply by outsourcing her transcription needs to my company. She now has time to see more patients instead of typing her patient’s notes herself. Because she has been able to increase her daily patient count and thus, revenue, she continues to invest in our services and has also been kind enough to refer her colleagues to us.

When customers see that what you offer them helps to grow their business, they’re more apt to continue to invest in your business. According to the Small Business Administration, national studies report that the cost of retaining an existing customer is only about 10 percent of the acquisition cost, and we all know that the acquisition cost of gaining new clients is very expensive. This is all the more reason for business leaders to focus on growing their customer’s business first and letting the rest fall in place.  

Five ways to grow your customers' business:

1. Identify Your Customer’s Business Goals: The first thing any business leader should do when brining on a new customer is to identify their business goals. Once you have these goals and objectives articulated, you can figure out how your business can meet and exceed those goals.

2. Communicate Often: It is imperative that you communicate with your customers on a regular basis to understand how your products or services are (or are not) working for them. It is also important to learn how your business can improve its products or services offerings. Maybe your customer would like a faster turnaround on deliverables. Asking your customer what your business can do to improve results for their business is key.

3. Constantly Identify Gaps: Another way to grow your customer’s business is to stay on top of their industry happenings. Learning what gaps might exist in their industry will help you learn what is “missing” and allow your business to help fill in the gaps for them. I learned early on that the medical field was adopting technology more readily to store its data, so I quickly offered my medical customers an online platform that allows them to access patient reports anytime and anywhere, while still being completely HIPAA-complaint.

4. Offer Customer Loyalty Programs: This could be offering a discount on certain products or services when customers renew with your business or offering guest blogging opportunities and other promotional activities to give them exposure to a larger market. Whatever your customer loyalty program may look like, it is another way to show your customer that your business cares about their growth.

5. Perform Outstanding Customer Service: Everyone says they have the best customer service in the industry, but do they really do what it takes to have the best customer service? We do the following: We answer 99 percent of our incoming calls and avoid letting an automated voice answer the phone. This way potential and existing customers can get a human being to either help them immediately or transfer them to the right person. We also return calls and emails after hours and on weekends routinely so that our clients aren’t sitting around wondering when they will get the assistance they need. This shows our customers that we are vested in their success. We win clients now because of these small but very important customer service details. 

With regular communication, honesty and systemization, your customers’ businesses can grow, allowing your start-up business to thrive in the long run.

Categories: Sales & Marketing, Web Exclusives