Do you own a service business? Ready to grow it to greater heights? Here’s what you really need to know to make it happen.
Running a service business can be a challenge, but you need to focus on growth to really become successful like every business. This is something that every company has to work on, but when you offer services in place of products, it can be even more difficult. You have no actual product to place in front of the customer, where the object sells itself.
Don’t be discouraged, though. Service businesses can still grow. If you know what to do, they’ll grow even faster.
1. Determine Your USP (Unique Selling Point)
Every business solves a problem, so what problem do you solve? What is the principal solution you provide? This is your core offering. Even if you have multiple services, you still are focused on this core thing. Do that one thing really, really well, and you’ll get noticed, which means you can begin to expand your audience and your offers.
2. Go Above and Beyond Expectations
What makes you keep going back to the same restaurant you love most? Is it just the food? Probably not. People tend to return for services because they like how things are done and how they’re treated. If you order a burger and fries and receive bottomless sodas and fries, you’ll remember that place because they did more for you. A friendly waitress is often enough to bring people back as well.
How can you implement this into your own service business? Look at what you offer people and what they expect. Then add something else. This can be as simple as a follow-up to make sure they’re happy with the service they purchased or an added value service, such as a free consultation in another area or a revision of your product. For example, if you provide content marketing services, you might provide the requested blog post and include a couple of shorter versions for free that the client can use on social media. It’s easy to do and immediately goes beyond what they expected.
3. Build Trust
No one wants to hire a business if they aren’t sure it’s trustworthy. This is particularly true for service businesses because they can’t show as much proof of work. However, adding case studies with real people on your site can help greatly. A nail salon, for example, can post updates on its site and social media with photos of clients’ nails.
Testimonies and reviews are also good social proof. People believe others more than they believe the business owner, so having many good reviews and testimonials can really help them trust you.
4. Make It Ridiculously Easy to Buy
If your clients have to search for a buy button or jump through hoops to pay you, they’re probably not going to bother. This is the main reason every service business needs merchant services. This is particularly important if you are involved in ecommerce, which tends to mean banks won’t offer you credit card processing services, as you’re high risk.
Get a high-risk credit card processing account and you can let anyone pay you at any time, with ease. You’ll become more competitive when you offer credit card processing and other businesses require the person to phone in their details or use another service that requires signing up. This is the simplest way to gain customers and grow your business. Simply be accessible.
5. Keep Customers Coming Back
It’s far easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one. In fact, you are 70% more likely to sell to a previous client and just 5-20% likely to sell to a new one. Why go after only new clients when you have a stable of people who already like your services?
Email marketing is a good method of keeping them appraised of deals and bringing older customers back. You can also offer a loyalty rewards program or send them special offers and upgrades to their existing purchase. For example, if you offer air conditioning installation services, you could offer an upgrade to HVAC maintenance.
6. Constantly Reassess Your Marketing
Everything you do to promote your business must have an ROI or return on investment. What are you gaining with each marketing campaign? No matter how small, you should track everything and then rework the campaigns that work best. Even if this is simply social media posting or content marketing, everything should be checked, measured, and used to refine your methods. It’s the only way to know what is working and what isn’t.
7. Specialize in Your Niche
There are times when people want a service company that offers a little of everything, but it’s rare. When they want something done right, they’ll focus on finding the one business that is an expert. If you are trying to figure out how to keep your specialty rose bush alive, you don’t want a gardener who is good at landscaping in general. You want a rose specialist.
Niches are good, and they help establish you as an expert, so if you want to grow your service business, prove that you’re very good at what you do.
8. Make Your Site Accessible
Just having a website for your business isn’t enough anymore. It needs to be well designed to navigate it easily, but it needs to be accessible more importantly. Just like your brick-and-mortar business wouldn’t exclude people with disabilities, your site shouldn’t either. Ensure that those using a text-to-speech reader can view everything properly and ensure that your site is easy to navigate, without hidden buttons and menus everywhere.
The simpler, the better. You’ll be able to reach more customers if you’ve taken their needs into account.
9. Work with Other Service Providers
Does your service business complement another service business that you know of? If so, it makes sense to team up with each other so you can both benefit. After all, you both have complementary services, so your customers would probably be thrilled to learn about them.
Simply offering someone else’s services along with yours is a great way to build your business. A good example of this would be a proofreader who teams up with a book publicist. The same clients can benefit from both services and, together, they bring in double the clients.Are you interested in learning how you can help your customers? Learn more about how to grow your business with a merchant account by contacting NMA today and finding out how we can give you a boost.