Generating new business by growing your customer base is important to your business success. However, it can sometimes be very challenging. Here are some practical tips to help you grow your customer base. Get to know your customers Understand your customer's needs and develop products and services that meet those needs. You can gain insight into your customers by personalising your services and encouraging them to provide you with feedback. Offer great customer service Ensure your customer service is exceptional and go the extra mile when you can. Your customers will not only remember great service they will also be more likely to refer other people to you. Nurture existing customers and look for new opportunities Have strategies in place to nurture existing customers, such as staying in contact with them via an e-newsletter or letting them know about promotional events ahead of time. At the same time, look for opportunities to get more work and build your customer base. Make sure you find the right balance between nurturing customers and finding new ones. If you own or operate an Aboriginal business you can also promote your business by taking advantage of a free listing on the Aboriginal Business Directory Western Australia (ABDWA). An increasing number of State Government and private organisations are looking to work with Aboriginal businesses and use the directory to search for relevant suppliers. Use social media Social media is a powerful tool to promote your business to potential customers and gain valuable insight through ‘social listening’. Through social listening you can find out what customers are saying about you, gain insight into their behaviour, identify keywords and trends that appeal to your target market and so improve your customer service. Social media can help you to build your business profile and attract new customers. Attend networking events Invest time to build your networks – it’s not what you know but who you know. Networking allows you to build relationships with other people and encourage them to refer customers to you through word of mouth. Host events Hosting your own event can be a great way to get to know your customers and build relationships. Invite some of your best existing customers and encourage them to bring their friends. Give back to your community Building brand awareness in your local community is a great way to attract new business. Consider sponsorship or participating in a community event to raise your business profile. Measure what works and refine your approach as you go You should monitor where your customers are coming from in order to measure whether your marketing activities are successful or not. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Refine your approach if something is not working and focus more time on the activities that achieve the best results.