The Internet has created a new segment of entrepreneurs who do not really have to spend so much on start-up costs. As long as they have a good product, a strong Internet connection, and an impeccable motivation to conquer the world, then they are all set to make a niche in the online market.
Thanks to the global reach of social networks and other popular sites, hobbyists have turned into businessmen, peddling their wares, getting to know their customers’ needs, even interacting with artists who share the same passion.
Because of the infinite possibilities online, business owners are constantly challenged by competition. And while there will always be someone who is willing to perform the same service for a lower fee, or offer the same product at half the market price and so while start-up costs may be low, entrepreneur are constantly experimenting with ways on how to increase their online sales.
Get to Know Your Customers
One of the advantages of the Internet is that it breaks the physical barriers between buyers and sellers. For the first time, buyers can send a message directly to the manufacturers or sellers. Business owners can openly interact with their regular customers, so that they can be aware on how they can improve their products.
Customers favor those who treat them well, sellers who go out of their way to show their appreciation. And one way to be closer to your clients is to organize events, where you can get to know them better.
This can be done if you religiously keep a record of your loyal customers.
- Pick a day and time, which would be convenient to almost all your clients. An afternoon tea is perfect because you do not have to spend so much on refreshments. Remember this will be coming out of your marketing budget.
- Design an attractive invitation, which you can send via email or upload in your Facebook account. If you happen to have business numbers, you can even send them an invitation via free fax. What’s nice about faxed invitations is that they can share to whoever would be interested, and that means more customers for your products and services.
- You can hold it in a quaint café, or in accessible area, where there is enough parking place. Plan the physical set-up to make sure there is ample space for the food, product display and a short program.
- To add fun and excitement to the event, think of a nice motif. Are you selling your own line of swimwear? Maybe you can have a beach party, where your guests can come in shorts, or summer attire. You can even hold a mini fashion show.
- Do you have a food business? Well this is a nice opportunity, to allow your clients to taste your new products.
- During the program, start by thanking everybody who took time out to attend your little gathering. Try to acknowledge everybody’s presence, this will make your guests feel very special, something they will never experience when they buy a product from a department store.
- Offer discounts for those who will be buying on the spot. Make sure you have enough stock, in case people would like to buy. Give them discounts after all you do not to worry about delivery expenses.
- Serve something light and tasty. Tea is okay because it’s healthy. Do not serve alcohol; aside from being expensive, your guests might end up drunk and out of control.
- Spend enough time getting to know every one who has attended. Ask for their business cards, and have them fill-up information sheets so you can update your record.
Go from “seller” to “good friend”
Lastly do not forget to take photos, so you can post them on Facebook. Take time out to tag every one, this will elevate your status in their lives. From business owner, you now have become their friend. Before you know it, they will be inviting you to their own gatherings.