Sometimes nothing feels better than gaining a brand-new customer. The rush of a successful acquisition never fades even as your business grows – and it’s totally essential to keep growing.
In the strategy of building your business, acquisitions remain a necessary part of your plan for success. In our last blog, we explored why a strong customer retention strategy matters – now it’s time to learn how to plan successful acquisitions.
Bringing in a new customer as a fresh source of revenue has the potential to have immediate, positive effects on your business.
If planned well, it can lead to long-term success. Working to acquire as many new customers as possible provides you with a consistent flow of growing revenue sources, and must be a goal to keep a business flourishing.
But what does it take to make this plan a reality? Careful financing is just one part of acquiring lasting relationships that benefit both parties for the long term. As with retention, a focus on relationships is key.
Key Questions to Ask
There are key questions to ask before you invest in new customers. Ask first, how will these new partnerships affect the following factors?…
- Customer service experience: Will new demands impact your business’s ability to address all customer needs at the same level? It pays to look critically at the resources available to handle higher volumes of products as well as potentially higher numbers of customers.
- Shipping or delivery times: Can your business process and send out larger volumes of orders at a time? Are systems in place to continue to provide orders in an efficient manner?
- Quality of products or services offered: Will this acquisition negatively affect the quality of any of your services? Will it take time away from the continued assurance of consistent quality of your services?
In addition, make sure to ask if each acquisition channel makes sense. In other words, will these new opportunities fit into your business model, or will you be venturing into a new category? Be ready for changes and some tough decisions.
Consider These Four Factors
- Prosperity– Your business should be financially solid with a history of successes in order to be positioned to handle and succeed in growing.
- Strong Business Model – A lasting business model with a solid foundation is reflected in a plan or strategy that sets out to identify acquisition goals. Focus your company on what it does best. Knowing that will help structure and unify your team and ultimate vision.
- Strong Management Team – Having the right team members in the right roles in your company will help smooth any transitions during and following each acquisition.
- Access to Finances – Either ascertain that you have the funds necessary or make sure that you have access to capital as well as the borrowing capacity needed to fulfill your growth plan.
Build Your Brand
Plans to bring on new customers are costly and require careful planning to ensure that your investment in new business will pay off in the long run for your brand.
How will the acquisition of new business affect your brand? How will working with your brand be beneficial to the other party? Make sure that these considerations are at the forefront of your decision-making process. You may even need to reevaluate your brand over time with growth.
Rely on Social Media
A growth strategy without a plan for social media usage is missing out on an essential tool. Social media defines your brand visibly and every post and engagement you add on a social network should take your acquisition plan into account.
Use of social media first requires a structured calendar, to plan for daily and weekly engagements. A development of this calendar prior to multiple acquisitions makes a huge difference in the longterm for establishing your presence in preparation for the acquisitions process. Design a calendar that will plan for daily, weekly, even monthly engagements with your audience, and make expanding your network a consistent priority.
Note that social media doesn’t mean you have to be on all channels. Find where your audience is, whether it’s Facebook or LinkedIn and focus your energies on developing your space on that network. A well-established presence on even one network can do wonders.
Use your resources wisely. Plan for developing a flourishing business with a good reputation for fostering and maintaining connections. Strive to develop and strengthen relationships both with new industry partnerships and with established customers. Check out our article on building relationships for more.
What experiences have you had with learning to retain customers or acquire new ones, and what advice can you offer anyone learning these strategies? Share out