Growing a service-based business requires dedication to excellence and a deep understanding of clients’ needs. Unlike other businesses, where the product could almost sell itself, a service-based business depends on the people you hire and train. Offering exceptional service goes beyond training. Below, you’ll find ideas to expand your service business with proven techniques that maintain your core business integrity while driving growth. Read on for how to grow a service business!
13 Proven Techniques for Expanding a Service-Oriented Business
Of course, service-based businesses begin by offering exceptional service that stands out from competitors. Read on for ideas to build on a strong service foundation and cultivate organizational growth.
Offer Exceptional Customer Service
No service-based business can thrive and expand without exceptional customer service. Your clients can take their business elsewhere. Therefore, you must create a business culture that addresses customer concerns clearly, quickly, and professionally. For that, it is essential to train individual employees to interact with clients.
Consider service businesses like Uber: clients aren’t judging the whole business model, they’re reviewing their experience with an individual driver and car. For that reason, standardization and training of customer-facing employees or service providers is essential.
Provide Value-Added Services or Products
Value-added services and products are effective solutions to provide customers with related offerings. To provide value-added services, consider upsells or additional related services that could be added to your core business model to expand offerings organically. For example, a law firm can consider white-label business services, such as formation services, or an accounting firm can upsell services.
Develop a Referral Program
A referral program can build customer loyalty and increase client retention while building a new client base. Here are the steps:
- Set goals for the referral program, including KPIs
- Setup incentives and decide on referral program rewards related to the value chain, company size, and service value
- Create a landing page and customer referral system, codes, or links
- Setup the backend programming or software for referral tracking
- Promote the customer referral program.
Offer Promotions or Discounts
Discounts and promotions are an effective strategy to increase sales, bring back existing clients, and attract new clients. Everyone loves a discount, and as long as the company makes a profit, a lower profit margin on a greater number of sales can increase organic reach.
Beyond immediate sales, promotions can also help encourage loyalty and repeat purchases. You can even use promotions to gain insights into customer behavior or have a promotion on a single item as a loss leader.
Implement a Customer Loyalty Program
Like a referral program, a customer loyalty program can increase sales, customer loyalty, and referrals. The loyalty program could be as simple as a “buy ten, get one free” stamp card often implemented at hair salons. For a more complex loyalty program, consider giving clients “points” or other rewards that they can use toward future purchases, discounts, or rewards.
Seek Out Strategic Partnerships With Businesses and Associations
Strategic partnerships with businesses and associations can be a win-win situation to leverage growth for both companies. Examples of strategic business partnerships in manufacturing are abundant. For example, Toyota makes engines for Lotus sports cars, and Intel sells processors to other computer manufacturers.
Consider partnering with similar businesses that offer different services to expand your brand in service-based businesses. Or, consider white-label business services as a natural extension of your business. doola offers white-label accounting software, company formation services, and more.
Attend Industry Events and Trade Shows
Industry events and trade shows can be an opportunity to network, find new strategic partnerships, and showcase your service offerings. Remember to reach out, seek new partnerships, and follow up with key opportunities to build industry relationships and possible long-term partnerships.
Collect and Leverage Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials can add credibility, building brand loyalty and trust. Anecdotal evidence of service-based business is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing toolbox. Consider rewarding customers with points, coupons, or thank-you gifts to collect testimonials. Then, highlight the testimonials on your homepage and across social media platforms.
Build a Strong Online Presence
A strong online presence, including a well-ranked website and social media channel, can drive organic traffic and expand reach. While you don’t need to post on social media daily, creating a specific strategy and sticking with it is important. Look at what competitors post online and what is ranking well or has even gone viral within your niche to get new marketing ideas. Learn more about growing your business with Instagram here.
Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
SEO can’t be over-emphasized. Applying best practices of SEO, such as optimizing site load time and targeting specific keywords, can improve site ranking. Consider adding a blog with useful tips, information, or discounts to increase domain authority over time. Learn more about how to start a website for your business here.
Utilize Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns can be an effective strategy to build business growth over time. You can promote sales, a referral program, or special promotions. Consider sending out blog posts, company news, and other useful information. You can also build sales funnels and partner with influencers, bloggers, and marketers to leverage their following and create growth.
Offer Free Consultations or Trials
Depending on the nature of the business, free consultations, trials, or information can be a useful marketing tool to capture customer’s interest, build trust, and showcase your company’s unique value proposition.
Provide Educational Resources or Webinars
Educational resources and webinars that highlight your company’s unique offerings and give back to clients can be powerful marketing tools or natural add-on services. You can market courses, books, pamphlets, webinars, and consulting services as additional service offerings to promote growth. You can market the services through your website or third-party sites dedicated to hosting courses and webinars.
Building Brand Reputation for Growth
Ultimately, a service-based business depends on the value it delivers to customers every day. If you’re considering how to drive growth, the foundation is exceptional service with little touches that give clients greater value. Then, consider streamlining and automating business tasks so you can focus on growth opportunities like those above.
One area that many founders can streamline is accounting. If you’re like many founders who need more time, doola can help. Get doola’s bookkeeping services to support your business growth with stress-free accounting while you expand your business!
How can I differentiate my service business from competitors?
To differentiate your service business from competitors, consider market research, competitor research, unique offerings, add-ons, discounts, promotions, and a strong online presence. White-label business services that offer comprehensive business packages can also help your business stand out.
Should I invest in paid advertising for my service business?
Paid advertising done well could generate leads and new sales. But before paying for advertising, follow the steps above, including SEO website optimization, building a social media presence, and collaborations that could expand the company’s reach.
How can I effectively manage and prioritize my service business’s workload?
To effectively manage and prioritize a company’s workload, you’ll need to prioritize and delegate tasks, set realistic expectations, and automate or streamline as many tasks as possible. You can also consider Lean Six Sigma or other business strategies to increase efficiency and optimize business performance.
What strategies can I use to generate more leads for my service business?
You can generate leads for your service business through social media, online marketing, conferences, webinars, and courses. You can also create a referral program, offer promotions, and seek out strategic partnerships to generate new leads and accelerate business growth.
Is it important to have a strong online reputation for a service business?
A service business’s reputation is essential. You can improve your online reputation by offering exceptional service and then rewarding customers for leaving honest reviews. You can also set up an automated email offering a coupon in exchange for a review after each order is complete.