Monday, February 25, 2008

Your Best Customers Are...

...your best customers.
So what do I mean by this? Simple. Boil it all down, there are two ways for a business to grow its revenue: sell more products and services to new customers, or sell more products and services to existing customers. Most business owners focus on finding new customers. I'd like to suggest that you also focus on part 2: creating new products and services of interest to your existing customers.

The Wine Country Inn, wonderful St. Helena bed and breakfast inn, is a great example of this. Three or four years ago, the Inn would generate revenue from a guest staying there pretty much one way: via the nightly room rate. Over the past three years, however, WCI has sought to expand its guests services... and in the process, generate additional revenue from its best customers (those people already staying at the Inn). Now in addition to the room rate, WCI receives revenue from guests who purchase:
* spa services (massages, facials, etc.)
* beer and wine
* its day-long wine tours (see photo at right)

Talk about win-win. The just-mentioned products and services are all things any visitor to the Napa Valley would be interested in, and the Inn is now generating an additional $200,000+ in revenue per year from these items. That $200,000+ of course, is what guests were spending at other places throughout the Napa Valley... but are now spending at WCI.

Think about additional, related products or services that you could deliver to your customers. For example, a massage therapist might also sell massage oils and lotions, and candles; a photography store might begin a series of photography workshops; and so on.

Before you go to bed each night, and immediately upon waking, this mantra should be going through your mind:

Our best customers are our best customers.
Our best customers are our best customers.
Our best customers are our best customers.

As always, you can contact me to brainstorm or with questions.

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