4 Ways to Buy Customers For Your Business

Running a business involves many difficult challenges.

You have to create a product or service. You have to deliver it. You also have to market and sell it – people won’t just turn up and buy it because it’s there.

It’s is more difficult for Business to Business (B2B) sales people to find potential customers. Certain approaches which are standard for marketing to consumers – TV advertising, or billboards, for example – are not generally productive in the B2B world as target markets are often small and specific, and costs prohibitive. Whilst it’s possible to exist on referrals alone, plus the occasional visit to your web site, most Business to Business sales teams need a steady pipeline of prospects to keep them busy and happy.

B2B products and services are of a price level and complexity that purchase decisions take a large amount of thought, discussion, and time, but perhaps the most difficult and time-consuming part is getting hold of potential customers in the first place.

Why buy customers? A customer, or sales lead, in this instance is the contact details of a person or business interested in your products or services. These details will generally also be qualified with additional information regarding the contact’s position within the company, their purchasing power, and the timescale of the project concerned.

By buying customers, a company can save large amounts of time and resources spent on the process of finding these people, and can concentrate instead on the important part: selling their product or service and of course creating it. Buying customers can and should be a very simple process.

4 ways to go about buying customers:

  1. Decide exactly what criteria need to be fulfilled in order for a qualified customer to be of genuine value. What do you need to know in order to be sure that this person is a potential customer?
  2. Decide how much you would be willing to pay for a qualified customer. Every business should have a clear idea of the value of a customer.
  3. Decide how many customers you would like buy. This could be based on the number your sales team can process or the number you can afford.
  4. Once armed with all of the above information, SELL. Qualified customers should convert to sales.

Whilst online is now the most talked-about approach for business to business lead generation, other more established techniques such as telemarketing and direct marketing continue to be used – and with great success. The difference, however, is that they offer less flexibility due to far greater set-up and management costs.

Whilst an online campaign can be turned off and on, a telemarketing team has to be kept busy for a period of time, and a printing press can’t be stopped half way through the production of a leaflet.

eCommerce in Nigeria: How Small Businesses Can Compete With The Big Players

This post would higlight the Key Factors to Effective Competitive Analysis as a Small Business in Nigeria

Starting and being a small business is a scary thing, especially with all the big businesses out there that you will likely have to compete with. A competitive edge is something that you always want to keep, no matter what type of business you might be in.

Regardless, starting a new business isn’t easy and can be extremely overwhelming, but there are ways to make it.

We all know that the big guys out there making use of integrated marketing i.e TV ads, Print & OOH and being a small business might seem terrifying. After all, you have to compete with the big boys that have already established names in their markets and have their Internet marketing programs in place.

Starting Out With Competitive Analysis

One of the biggest questions a new business faces is probably something along the lines of “where should I start from?”

Well, the logical answer would be to start with a realistic business plan, but that plan should also contain competitive analysis as a mainstream part of it. You don’t want to just start throwing money everywhere when you have all kinds of other things to worry about as a new business (many of them financial).

Yes, you can compete with the big guys, and it’s much easier to know where to start based on what your competition is doing. There’s no better basis from which to start.

As a small business you will want to decide what kind of a budget you want to spend on your PPC. After that, you can use that as a foundation for what exactly you want to accomplish with your PPC – and use your competitors to decide where to allocate the funds.

What kind of ad spend do you want to use? What is the most important aspect of PPC that you want to focus on? Use your competitors to figure that all out, and go from there to implement your own plan.

What Can You Find Out From Your Competitors? A Lot!

If you think about it, other than the big name guys you might not even know who some of your biggest competitors are. Competitive analysis can tell you just that.

Finding out what strategies your competitors are using in their PPC, and what strategies they have used in the past (also what worked or didn’t work) will only help you more.

Imagine how helpful it would be to find out which products and services that they are selling and marketing the most so that you can consider selling (or avoiding) them as well. Look at what your competition has done with regards to this, and make a well thought-out conclusion as to whether it would be fruitful for you to duplicate.

Let’s now look at some of the many things you can do.

1. Use Their Ad Copy

Not sure what you want to write in your ad copy as a new small business? You will want to consider what you are offering and what you’d like to accomplish the most, but take a look at what the competition is doing. By viewing the ad copy of your competitors, it can be much easier to create your own text and to see what copy is being used more often and what is being largely promoted.

Viewing the ad copy of your competitors allows for you to see what is working, what is being promoted the most, and what they are focusing on the most with their ads. What better way to help you to come up with your own. Spying has its advantages!

2. Analyze Keywords

Keywords are a colossal part of any Internet marketing campaign, and as a small business it isn’t easy to decide what keywords you would benefit from the most. So, taking a look at what keywords your competitors are bidding on would help you to decide, as well as other aspects such as:

  • How many results there are.
  • The monthly volume.
  • Competition.
  • What the CPC for each one is.
  • Are they bidding on certain keywords every month?
  • How much budget are they allocating to each one?

These are all factors that you should take into consideration when deciding which keywords to bid on.

3. Compare More Than 1 Competitor

So you’ve determined many of your competitors and want to compare the keywords they are bidding on, their traffic, trends, new and lost keywords, ads, and more. You can compare more than one competitor at a time for all of these features, allowing you to easily see similarities and differences between your competitors.

Can Competitive Analysis Help You?

The answer is yes. Competitive analysis can be good for both your organic and paid PPC strategies, and it is an extremely effective way to make your SEO strategy that much more versatile and successful – right from the start. You can apply all that you found out to your own Internet marketing campaign, and have a much more constructive grounding to jump off of if you do.

Businesses both large and small in all sorts of different markets are taking advantage of all that competitive analysis has to offer because, believe it or not, espionage does have its benefits – and if your competitors are already spying on you (or will be), why not join the game or even beat them to the punch?

These are all hugely beneficial ways that a small business can build itself up against competitors big and small – and there are so many things that you can do to help your Internet marketing campaign via your competition.

Are thinking on taking the big players in your industry?

9 Success Habits For Business Owners

Successful business owners share some common habits that is worth adopting. The 9 habits business owners must have to become successful:

  • Learn for and find the right path, not just the destination. They focus on how they will get to where they want to go, rather than just on where they want to end up. After all, your journey, your enterprise quest, may change many times.
  • Focus their efforts and energy only on what they are good at, or extremely good at. If they aren’t good at something, they find someone else who is and get them to do it.
  • Learn from others. Seek knowledge from successful business owners/mentors or learn new business strategies.
  • Network with people like themselves, and track down and find out how to do things from the best people out there.
  • Know who their customers are and exactly what they want. They pay close attention to what they see or hear from their customers. Ideally, they are able to see their business and products through their customers’ eyes.
  • Plan thoroughly and prepare everything that they do. Remember – failing to plan is planning to fail.
  • Seek feedback all the time. They seek feedback from their customers, suppliers, advisers, employees and business partners. Although they tend to follow their gut and act upon it, they are armed with the rights facts and information to back up their instincts.
  • Overflow with enthusiasm and passion for what they are doing. They want to try to change the world. Their own world and their customers’ world. Even a very small change can make a big difference to a customer… and to your business.
  • Have plenty of self discipline. Success doesn’t happen at random- you need structure as well as flair in the right combination.

5 Habits of Successful Business Owners

No man is an island. Nor is any business owner. The successful ones seek feedback, get advice, and learn from others. They’re passionate about what they want to do, but pragmatic, too.

This article is an extract taken from the Essential Business Guide.

Staying in business is about knowing what to do, how to do it, and exactly when to do it. And making sure that it gets done.

Here are five things to bear in mind as you work towards your business success:

1. More Haste, less speed

Get-rich-quick business opportunities are few and far between, if they exist at all. Many business owners begin by thinking that their business will grow quickly and be profitable as a result. But for the vast majority of businesses, the reality is that if you manage to stick to your budget and trade profitably year on year, you’re probably doing very well. It’s better to start slowly, learn and absorb as much as possible as you progress, and gradually get better at everything you are trying to do.

2. Look for customers, not success secrets

Many business owners get too hung up on finding the magic formula that will catapult them towards fame and fortune. the reality, of course, is that the most consistent secret to hard work, and being better than your competitors at finding loyal customers.

3. Be relentlessly obsessed with quality

You need to be confident that you have the best quality products, resources, suppliers, people, advice and so on available to you at all times. your customers certainly wont ever accept second best, so why should you? Never compromise on this.

4. Avoid spending too much(and sometimes too little)

Forecasting your budgets and cash flow may seem a bit like walking blindfolded on a tightrope. Spend more than you can afford at the wrong time and you could drain your cash too quickly and topple over. But spend enough on marketing, stock or getting basic IT systems in place and you could grind to a halt without having to do anything about it. Plan your budgets carefully and realistically with enough slack in your working capital to allow you to deal with the odd glitch that crops up along the way.

5. Admit what you dont know and get advice

There’s one thing that’s sure in business- you can’t possibly know everything or do everything yourself. Refusing to accept your own shortcomings can lead to all sorts of problems, especially if they’re financially related, and can be a critical factor in being able to stay in business. Ask for advice and help whenever you need it. Pay for it if necessary, as the short term cost of paying an accountant or other independent specialist business advisor will be a lot less than the cost of closing your business down.