Small Business Tips: How Do You Leverage Existing Customers?

by Dawn Fotopulos on April 26, 2012

Meet my buddy Mike Zumchak. He teaches Easy Excel Classes and he’s a genius at it.  Business is booming, but it didn’t start out that way. Why? In the middle of a recession, most people are learning new skills to make them more valuable in the marketplace.

When I first met Mike four years ago, he was teaching  classes on Saturdays to three students. You can’t make money doing that. The best small business tips really helped him attract lots of new customers. Here’s what we did:

First Small Business Tip: Ask a credible, happy customer to offer their testimonial. In Mike’s case, he asked moi!

Second Small Business Tip: Videotape that customer and upload it to your website. (Make sure they sign a release.)

Third Small Business Tip:  Find a high potential target audience that needs what you do but doesn’t know you exist. For Mike, that was the undergraduate college market.

These students need to make their way through corporate finance and statistics and Mike’s course was golden for them.

Fourth Small Business Tip: Find a “true believer” who can introduce you to a small sample of that target audience.

I introduced Mike to my college where I included him in my curriculum. Now he teaches a class every semester. It’s guaranteed income for him. He also offers us a special discount because we’re so loyal. It makes both of us look good.

Mike can now leverage the work he does for us for other colleges.   A three person class became a steady stream of hundreds of students a semester. That’s the key to driving predictable revenues.

Doesn’t this small business tip inspire you? What customer do you have who loves your work and could expand your customer base? Find them. Ask them for their testimonial and for an introduction. You’ll be amazed at what will happen when you apply these small business tips to your business.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Philip Nowak May 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm


I read this post a few weeks ago and remembered it again a few days ago upon reading a relevant article from Gigaom: A new way to make six figures on the Web: teaching

I’m sure Mike could teach his excel classes on Udemy, particularly as the number 1 revenue generating course is: “Microsoft Excel for Beginners.”


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