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Plan your year - Now

December 13, 2011

11 months gone. 1/2 month left - but only about 10 real working days - and the distractions bring that down to about 5. So... What are you doing now that will make next year different than this year?

It all comes down to business development. How are you going to better develop your business next year? Marketing? Sales? Customer service? Current customer sales?

Now is the time to set your goals. Over our next few posts we’ll be touching on the key areas to be thinking about in planning your business development for next year. Ideas for current customers, your customers service, sales, marketing and on-going learning.

First: Current Customers:

Current customers, for a lot of businesses, represent a substantial part of their revenue each year. But just as common, these businesses can’t really predict which customers, exactly, that revenue is going to come from.

Now is the time to sit down and take a look at your customer list. Not just a glance at it, but a real, long, hard look. Here are some key areas you should be taking to time to understand, in detail:

You can probably figure out, or know, the percent of your current customers that buy from you again. Now can you figure out which specific ones come back again and again, and as important, WHY they do?

What we are trying to get to is hoCalendar and pencilw do you help those continue-to-return customers become evangelists for your business so that they help you grow? What tools can you create that will help them refer you to new clients on a regular basis?

Then, look at those one-time purchasers. How do you get more of them to become repeat purchasers? What's the number or percent you want to get to? And what will be your plan to execute?

Then, you have probably heard the term net-promoter.  So, what is your true net-promoter score from your clients? (those that are really likely to recommend you)

What can you do to increase the likelihood of getting referrals and increasing your score? We’ll hit on that in our next post on customer service.

And of course, if you need help with planning for the new year, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and chat about how we can help you grow your business in 2012.

Topics: Marketing

Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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