##How to grow your business using SMS
To grow a business today means consistently engaging and interacting with potential and existing customers. Customers who not only demand good service, but expect regular communication too. These increasing expectations pose a continual challenge for small businesses to find familiar and accessible ways to interact with their customers. And without the support of large budgets and extensive resources, SMEs find it difficult to keep up with these demands.
So, how does a growing SME on a shoe-string budget effectively market their business and engage with their customers? One way is using SMS.
###Here are some reasons why growing businesses are turning to SMS:
- SMS is cost effective and can produce high returns on small spends.
- SMS is instant and has a much higher open rate than email.
- SMS is personal and it allows for communication to all mobile phones, world-wide.
- SMS allows for targeted marketing to your existing customers.
- SMS is engaging and opens a two-way dialogue between businesses and their customers.
Business owners who use SMS find the cost saving benefits instrumental in the growth of their mini empires. Here we look at three cases where SMS is proving to be a valuable tool when it comes to helping local businesses reach their customers (and their goals).
DanielK Internet Cafe located in Soweto, South Africa, has noted an increase in profits since the introduction of SMS to his marketing mix. According to Daniel Khoza, owner of DanielK Internet Cafe, he uses SMS mainly to send out marketing related SMS messages. He tells us that, “This service has helped save my business a lot of money. I no longer have to call my clients, I just send a simple SMS message. I have found that my profit has increased dramatically with the use of SMS.”
Sikho Laundromat, a small business in the Eastern Cape area of South Africa uses SMS as a tool to communicate directly with customers. According to the owner, Sikhokele Mbeshu, SMS is a cost-effective and easy way to notify customers of laundry collection times and operating hours and has led to a decrease in follow up phone calls and reminders to his customers.
And lastly, JVD Photography & Sound provides an example of another South African based small business that uses SMS to market and grow the business. According to Johan Van Deventer, co-owner of JVD Photography & Sound, their use of SMS to inform customers of any new specials and promotions is effective and well-received by all their clients.
“These are great examples of how SMEs are using SMS to not only promote their businesses, but also engage with customers in a cost-effective and reliable way. SMS is direct, responsive, and most importantly, it transforms the relationship between businesses and customers by providing a personal, 2-way communication channel,” says Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com.