There are probably many consumers or businesses that don't buy from you that are similar to those that do. You can grow your market share by bringing in these potential customers in a similar way to your existing customers.
This can be an effective route to increasing your market share as you may need to make only small changes to your offering to meet similar customers' needs. This also reduces the financial risks of expanding and can help protect your margins.
Find similar customers
You can use market research and market reports to identify groups of potential customers. It's a good idea to follow this up with a combination of quantitative and qualitative research. For example. carry out surveys or sampling with a significant number of responses, followed by smaller focus groups.
Remember these customers won't be exactly the same as your existing customers. It's essential you get the same understanding about what makes them buy as you have about your existing customers.
You could also ask your existing customers for referrals. If you have a strong relationship with them, your customers will often be happy to let you know of others who may be interested.
Reaching similar customers
Once you have identified your targets, you will have to promote your business to them. There are a variety of options and it's best to build a clear strategy combining them. You can consider:
Direct mail - Sending mailshots, either by post or email, introducing yourself and what you offer.
Direct marketing - Door-to-door or telesales, depending on the nature of your business and potential customers' buying preferences.
Advertising - Local newspapers, trade magazines, radio, television or internet can all be useful. Make sure you're using media that your target customers will see or listen to.
Word-of-mouth and recommendation schemes - A cost-effective strategy, rewarding existing customers for getting new business to come to you. Make sure the incentive you offer is of value to your existing customers. Common examples include gift vouchers, discounts or free products for customers who successfully recommend new business.