If your current small business marketing problem is a customer base that is slowing down on you, ask yourself “Who else is buying what you sell?”  As a marketing consultant who works with small business, I’m called when things slow down, so I ask this question a lot.

The fact is, regardless of who buys from you, there are other types of customers that represent an opportunity when your current customer group stops buying.  Who, you say?

Look no further than your sales records.  I bet you there’s a group or two of customers, probably small, who just sort of “find” you.  That is, you don’t advertise to them or spend any time or money attracting them.  You don’t have any brochures that speak to their specific concerns.  Again, they find you, not vise versa.

A residential pool remodeling client that did the occasional commercial pool project is now actively courting commercial customers with great success.  In fact, I shutter to think where we’d be without them in today’s economy (residential sales have dropped. . .off a cliff).

Here’s a good one, especially if you’re having a hard time thinking about a small unlikely type of new customer.  Don’t forget your competitors.  We have a client, Freelance Electronics, that is starting to attract competitors as customers.  Okay, I admit, they are unique.  They buy and sell surplus electronics.  They need to continually buy new supplies of surplus they can then resell.  And competitors represent a great source to buy surplus from.

So, what small group of customers have been buying from you and what are you going to do to start attracting more of them?  Where are they?  What are their buying criteria?  How do they like to be sold to?  What are the main issues they face today?

Come on, get going, before one of my clients beats you to it!!