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How to find customers for your new business - a checklist

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

Have you recently started a business in the Netherlands? And are you trying to find new customers? Our checklist helps you consider how you can find potential customers for your new business.

Find new contacts and grow your client base

Before starting a business you will have written a business plan. A key step in turning that plan into reality is to find new contacts and customers for your products or services. Follow the steps below to get started.

1. Define your target market

The first and most significant step in finding new customers is to define your target market. Your target market is a group of potential customers that is most likely to buy your product or service. If you want to market your product or service effectively, you must know the demographics and psychographics of your potential customers. Where do they live? What do they spend their money on? Why would they want to buy your product?

2. Do market research

In order to know get to know your customer, conduct market research. You can collect data by conducting customer analysis. Customer analysis allows you to gain in-depth insights into the needs and behaviour of your customer. This will help you tailor your business strategies to different target groups. It is important to conduct customer analysis once every few years, as the market is continuously changing.

3. Learn from competitors

You can save time and money on conducting research by observing what your competitors are doing. For instance, what is their pricing strategy? How do they differentiate themselves from other competitors? Do they reach potential customers that you are not? Analysing your competitors can provide you with valuable information about potential customers. Use this information as an inspiration to offer better value than your competitors. You may also take previous competitors into account who have eventually failed. Find out why they failed and what not to do.

4. How to reach potential customers

Once you have narrowed down your target market, you are ready to market your product. Marketing is all about creating a need for your product or service in the minds of consumers. Social media can help you get your brand known across a large audience. Most social media allow personalised marketing, which enables you to target different groups based on demographics and behaviours. Especially new businesses which have trouble narrowing down their target market will benefit from this option. Another way of reaching potential customers is by referral marketing. If you reward existing customers for referring your product in return for discounts or giveaways, your customer base is likely to grow.

5. Partnerships and networking

It is important to invest in partnerships and networking to make your business grow and attract new customers. You may want to consider a partnership with a business that offers complimentary products or services. You can also choose to set up an affiliate program. Parties within this program (such as bloggers, online influencers or online shops), will receive commission in exchange for a certain contribution. An example of affiliate marketing is pay-per-click (PPC), where you pay commission to the party each time a visitor clicks on your advertisement.

See our page Finding business partners abroad for more information on networking and partnerships abroad.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
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