Customer acquisition

How to gain & retain Customers? Advice for Entrepreneurs.

For those who joined in late, this post is the third ‘C’ in the 10 C’s of Entrepreneurship. Do read the first two:

  1. CONCEPT: Are you ready for Entrepreneurship? Answer these 4 questions to discover the truth.
  2. COMPETITION: 5 things to consider if you want to stay Competitive: Best Advice for Entrepreneurs 2018

In this post you will learn essential tips to gain & retain thousands of customers for your business. Read on to find out more…

Customer acquisition

These tips will help you gain thousands of loyal customers.

Business exists only because there are customers who will buy your products or use your services. Thus it is important for every entrepreneur to identify customers who will consume the offerings. Customers buy when the product or service offered either fulfils their existing need and/or offers a better value proposition vis-à-vis competition.

Customer acquisition and retention

Use this checklist to evaluate your business proposition with your CUSTOMER in mind.

The initial research done will also tell the entrepreneur:

  • Who is their customer?
  • Where is the customer ?
  • What are their buying patterns?
  • Why should they buy your product or service?
  • When is the right time to sell them?
  • How will it add value to the customer’s life?

It is no longer a sellers’ market today, in fact it is completely opposite. Today, it is a buyers’ market and entrepreneurs need to reach out to the customer to sell rather than just waiting for the customers to come and buy.

Customer outreach

Its a buyer’s market and not a seller’s market. Invest in customer outreach wisely.

Entrepreneurs need to build their business model based on the above factors as we have seen many promising businesses going down the drain for lack of having the right answers to the below mentioned questions.

  • Who will use our products / services ?
  • Where is our Target Group / Target Market ?
  • Is our customer ready for it ?
Success formula for business

Seemingly obvious points, but most struggling entrepreneurs are guilty of atleast one of the above.

Today in the start-up revolution, we have witnessed that businesses offer so many lucrative offers and discounts to lure the customer and despite acquiring them, they fail to deliver and sustain them for long as competition offers them a better proposition and they shift loyalty to suit their needs and pocket.

customer acquisition & retention strategy

Getting the customer acquisition & retention strategy right is the key to Business Success.

Many businesses start with a ‘Customer First’ proposition and that ‘Customer is King’ but they fail to deliver this promise at some point in the journey of the customer life cycle in their business viz. Pre-sales, during sales and after sales.

User Interface and User experience are the new buzzwords which are doing the rounds in the start-up revolution, while customer satisfaction and customer delight have been there for a long time now.

Customer acquistion through discounts

Freebies & discount is a short-term view to customer acquisition

Cost of acquiring a customer and cost of retaining them have given birth to so many new business models and sooner or later investors and founders have realised that the customer is no longer loyal to the product / service offerings as his/her acquisition was based on freebies and discounts. If the customer can ditch his/her existing product or service offering for you, the same is true for you too. It is hence very crucial to engage with the customer on a continual basis and make him loyal to you by focusing on his/her concern or addressing the pain point rather than just offering freebies and discounts.

Gaining customer loyalty

Meet expectations. Engage with your customers. Make them feel special & acknowledge their trust.

‘Products are built in the factory, Brands are built in the minds of a customer.’
-Walter Landor, Founder of Landor Associates. 

Every entrepreneur wishes that his product or service has the potential to become a brand. While Branding and Brand building is portrayed as rocket science, my take on a brand is very very simple. For me a brand is nothing but the act of delivering what you have promised to your customer. If you do it every time, you become a brand, else, you continue to be just another product.

How to build brands

Brand building begins with fulfilling promises made to the customer

Businesses today struggle very hard to grab the attention of their customer, engage or interact with them and finally get them to buy their product or services. In simple words, Entrepreneurs, if they need to improve their market share, they need to focus on 3 things viz. Mind Share, Time Share and Wallet Share of the customer.

How to improve market share

Enter the customer’s mind, engage their time & then expect them to spend

During the course of this series, I will be sharing more tips on how to succeed in your business. Stay tuned :).

Do let me know what you think of the above post? Are you planning to embark on the entrepreneurial journey? Let me know in the comment section? I am happy to answer any queries as well.

Authored by:
Amarkant Jain

Disclaimer: This series is an original piece of writing. All copyrights remain with the author, any content re-purpose, copying or lifting is not allowed. The author is an award-winning Sports Person, Business Coach & Digital Maverick. He has written this post based out of his own personal experiences while handling large brands. Incase you need to discuss business, please email: amarkant.jain@sarvashreshtha.com.

How to be a successful entrepreneur

5 things to consider if you want to stay Competitive: Best Advice for Entrepreneurs 2018

 

Competition and Childhood

We have been conditioned to compete

Competition is embedded like a chip inside us right from childhood. We have been compared with our peers for almost everything and have been pressurized to perform better, usually coupled with an incentive or reward.

Competition is inspiration

Use competition to positively inspire you

As mentioned in the previous post, a detailed research is a pre-requisite before starting any business. One important aspect of this research is to STUDY COMPETITION. Drawing inspiration from competition and adding value has been prevalent for centuries. Many entrepreneurs build upon an existing idea and tweak the product or service offering either altering the people, process and technology.

Competition and Benchmarking

It is important to benchmark vis-a-vis competition

 

Despite the business concept being similar, it is important to have a clear differentiation between your offering and that of your competition. This making competition research imperative.

Jugaad and Tukka in business

Jugaad and Tukka are crude business concepts.

Jugaad and Tukka are our crude versions of design thinking and innovation. Indian entrepreneurs whether formally trained, self-taught or professionally qualified have always depended on a few basic factors to cut competition.

These tactics circle around OFFERING:

  1. More value at existing cost
  2. Discounts
  3. Better quality by adding features

At the same time, they work on increasing their profit margins by reducing operating costs & finding loopholes in tax and legal framework.

Indian Business

Thankfully, archaic business practices have now changed.

 

However, times have changed. Today, the competitive scenario offers more choices & information to the customer to make their decision to buy. Today’s customer is an INFORMED customer, thanks to the plethora of information available to them.

FIVE things to consider if you want to stay Competitive:

How to be a successful entrepreneur

Follow this as a formula for business success

 

Today, customers arrives at a buying decision based on COST, QUALITY & DELIVERY. However, an INDIAN CUSTOMER consider two more parameters in their decision making process i.e. After sales service and resale value.

Competition Formula

Follow these 5 to remain competitive

 

Being a first-mover will offer a temporary edge. If no one else if offering what you have to offer, then you have the first mover advantage to capitalise but sooner or later, competition will catch up. In such a scenario, how are you ensuring that your next version will still be ahead of competition and you will have an edge above them.

First mover advantage

First-move advantage is temporary. Keep moving!!

 

So, to conclude, an entrepreneur has benchmark his/her product or service offering vis-à-vis competition on the above mentioned parameters and the following questions need to be answered:

  1. Who else is offering the same / similar product or service ?
  2. How is our offering benchmark on Cost, Quality & Delivery vis-à-vis competition ?
  3. In case, no one else is offering it, How fast can competition catch us ?
Best checklist for entrepreneurs to track competition

Checklist for Entrepreneurs

 

This is the second post in the ten part series on 10 Cs of Entrepreneurship. #StayTuned for the rest. 

Do let me know what you think of the above post? Are you planning to embark on the entrepreneurial journey? Let me know in the comment section? I am happy to answer any queries as well.

Authored by:
Amarkant Jain

Disclaimer: This series is an original piece of writing. All copyrights remain with the author, any content re-purpose, copying or lifting is not allowed. The author is an award-winning Sports Person, Business Coach & Digital Maverick. He has written this post based out of his own personal experiences while handling large brands. Incase you need to discuss business, please email: amarkant.jain@sarvashreshtha.com.

Questions Entrepreneurs must ask themselves

Concept: Are you ready for Entrepreneurship? Answer these 4 questions to discover the truth.

Concept must be the starting point and motive for entering Business

I once read a poster at a large Indian conglomerate “Idea is nobody’s monopoly”. This really scared the daylights out of me. But at the same time, it also enlightened me that if I fall in love with my idea, I will cease to be creative, my mind is an idea factory and I will come up with many more.

Idea Factory Entrepreneurship

My mind is an Idea Factory

Entrepreneurs come up with a concept or idea which they believe in and are confident that it will make a difference to mankind. I have come across so many entrepreneur clients and friends, who have at some point in time or other, mentioned that, this was my concept and I had come up with this idea long time back.

Claiming credit in Entrepreneurship

Claim credit only if you deserve it.

My question to them is, what stopped you from execution of the same and that you have no right to claim credit of it. Ideas and concepts will remain ideas and concepts unless they see the light of the day.

Idea and concept

Ideate, plan and plan to execute your concept.

A popular author once said, “Everything is in this world is created twice…once in the mind and second in reality”. Every business is based on one concept or another. The passion and commitment along with courage and conviction to convert this concept / idea into reality is what creates an entrepreneur.

Extensive research and entrepreneurship

Extensive research before embarking into Entrepreneurship is the key to success.

Entrepreneurs need to be thoughtful and watchful enough to do extensive research on their concept before they bring it to life.

Questions Entrepreneurs must ask themselves

Answers will lend you direction…

Four basic questions every entrepreneur needs to ask himself / herself :

  • Why have they chosen to be an entrepreneur ?
  • What is the problem this concept will solve and how ?
  • Is this a new concept / business idea or an adaptation of an existing concept that caters to the concerns which existing business models aren’t able to solve?
  • Will this concept create a new need and fulfill it ?
Ask the right questions - Entrepreneurship

Introspect before you begin your journey.

Many entrepreneurs struggle to define or describe in one line, what their business concept is. They are far away from reality as many of them haven’t done enough research about their concept and the problem they intend to resolve. Their perception and understanding of the problem is personal and not generalized to the business ecosystem in which they are operating.

Are you suffering from the ‘Ivory-Tower Syndrome’?

One of the main reasons of this blind spot is that most entrepreneurs have been excellent students in their under-graduation, graduation and post-graduation and have stayed aloof due to competitive and societal pressure to out-score fellow students. Post which, they have got a plush job from campus placements and have enjoyed the luxury of fat salary and associated perks. In the bargain, they have lost touch with ground reality for over a decade and feel sitting in their AC office cabin (ivory tower) that their concept is the next big revolution.

Entrepreneurs must be aware of the environment

Always have your ears to the ground and eyes to the sky.

Are you suffering from the ‘Eureka Syndrome’?

Many entrepreneurs feel that they have had a eureka moment to an existing issue or problem which one of their existing client is facing. While they have built a standard solution, the client wants them to customise it to suit their business challenges and that too at no-extra cost. This sends the entrepreneur in to a trance as he is usually an engineer and is attracted to problem solving like a magnet. This high of creating a customised solution eats away a lot of time, resources and money for the entrepreneur and leaves him high and dry as this new solution cannot be replicated and scaled to any other client as they have mutually exclusive challenges and with no money coming in.

Entrepreneurs must be careful

Being right for a few clients doesn’t mean you will ace in Entrepreneurship

Are you suffering from the “Boon-to-Mankind Syndrome”?

Many entrepreneurs feel that their concept is going to be a boon to mankind. Their objective of becoming an entrepreneur is to make money real fast and believe that VCs are waiting to fund their BIG idea and they could make a fast buck and exit. Their nexus with investment bankers to fraudulently siphon off investors’ money and purposely fail in their venture is the dark reality of the start-up bubble. We did witness this same phenomenon during the dot com bust way back in 2000.

Mistakes Entrepreneurs make

Someone, somewhere has already thought of your idea.

To conclude, entrepreneurs must have a simple checklist :

  1. Money is not the only reason for you to become an entrepreneur
  2. You have chosen to be an entrepreneur by choice and not by default or pressure
  3. You are passionate and committed to this concept and have the conviction and perseverance to deliver it
  4. You have done a detailed research about this concept
Checklist for entrepreneurs
If all the answers are YES, then CONGRATULATIONS and ALL the BEST for your entrepreneurial journey.

This is the first post in the ten part series on 10 Cs of Entrepreneurship. #StayTuned for the rest. 

Do let me know what you think of the above post? Are you planning to embark on the entrepreneurial journey? Let me know in the comment section? I am happy to answer any queries as well.

Authored by:
Amarkant Jain 

Disclaimer: This series is an original piece of writing. All copyrights remain with the author, any content re-purpose, copying or lifting is not allowed. The author is an award-winning Sports Person, Business Coach & Digital Maverick. He has written this post based out of his own personal experiences while handling large brands. Incase you need to discuss business, please email: amarkant.jain@sarvashreshtha.com.