Do you have questions about
running your business?
Well, Barbara has answers.
Submit your questions!
Globe-trotting retail expert
Barbara Crowhurst answers your
pressing (and not so pressing)
questions about running
the success of
How does my
customer base impact
my business and how
can I expand it?
IN A NUTSHELL, the people you sell
products to are your customer base.
Most stores have a fairly broad customer base with a small portion of that
base comprised of repeat customers. The
adage “80 per cent of your business comes
from 20 per cent of your customers” remains a golden rule.
If you grow your customer base, you’ll
grow your repeat customers proportionately. The simplest way to do that is to
build and grow a customer database,
which can be accomplished in a number
of ways. If you have a point-of-sale system
use it. If not, an old-fashioned pen and
paper list will work as well.
Consider the following strategies:
• Create a loyalty program which awards
your best customers with small gifts or
percentage discounts after they buy x
number of items or spend a certain amount
• Offer bonuses (a discount or gift) to cus-
tomers who refer new clients
• Send a monthly e-newsletter or snail-mailed
postcard informing customers of upcom-
ing events, new products and specials
(Communicating with customers regu-
larly is one of the best uses of your time)
• Invest in a car decal with your store’s name
and contact info. It’s a traveling advertisement which can attract new business.
• Join a local business group. Networking
is a great way to build your database.