USA Today recently featured an article discussing one of the most common issues a small business has; creating recurring revenue. “Are you constantly looking for new customers for your small business? Do you need a steady stream of first-time clients just to survive? Are you a designer, lawyer, consultant, architect? A wedding planner? If so, it’s time to get excited about a seemingly boring subject: creating recurring revenue.”
It is always a challenge to find customers and it can be even more difficult to keep them. This is especially true for businesses that usually offer one-time only services. A customer does not usually get their homes redecorated every month and most people do not plan to have a repeat of their court case a few months down the road. So, for these types of services, the quest is always on for more first-time customers to keep your business revenues consistent.
It should be the aim of every business to establish a stable foundation of repeat business so that they can continue to regenerate revenue rather than being on a constant search for new business in order to stay alive.
Understand Your Client’s Needs
Even if the product or service you offer is a one-time only transaction there is still room for repeat business. Consider the possibilities of offering a maintenance or support service in addition to your main product. It is always good to develop a relationship with a new customer so that you can anticipate ways in which you can continue to meet their needs even after the sale is done.
When a customer buys a piece of equipment for example, they may need regular check-ups to make sure that it remains in good working condition. Perhaps, they purchase a piece of equipment – they may need oil, cleaning supplies, or regular tune-ups from time to time.
Understand Your Customer’s Business
If you’re developing a relationship with another business or even if you’re dealing with a customer who owns a business it should be your aim to become familiar with their unique needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what they do and the services they provide. This would also include visiting their website and analyzing what type of services they may need from you in the future. There may be times when you may be able to discover a need they may not even be aware of yet.
Get On the Referral Bandwagon
There are, of course, times when a customer may not want a long-term relationship with you. This may merely be because it is not a necessity but if you provide quality service, understand your client’s needs and wants you can still generate additional income through a referral from a job well done. Consider what OPI.net says, “You may not get a chance to try the practices listed above. However, when you get the opportunity and take the additional steps you will be able to turn some of those one-time shoppers into multiple-purchase long term clients.”
So rather than constantly reinventing the wheel in an effort to keep your business afloat, refocus your energies in trying to anticipate additional customer needs and developing relationships that will carry your business well into the future.