How to Follow Up as a Small Business Owner
Have you checked out Thank You, Come Again? Honeycomb’s new podcast is now online with all the best tips and tricks for small business owners.
Each episode features a local small business owner who gives some solid advice from their hard-earned experience. This episode, we talked with Amanda Christine Harth, a co-owner of Monday Coffee Company. Monday Coffee Company recently raised $124,500 on Honeycomb to open their first brick-and-mortar space! Known as one of the best coffee shops in Chicago, we’re so excited we had the chance to chat with Amanda.
If you want to listen to the podcast, you can here, but you can also read the highlights here!
Why is following up important?
People’s attention spans are shrinking, which is why it’s important to hit them up multiple times and in different channels. Amanda says, “It’s not harassing them, or hitting them over the head … we need reminders.” Try experimenting with different forms - a written reminder, a visual one, something with audio. Reminding people of events, fundraisers, sales, that kind of thing is important - especially if you want people to show up! Don’t just put one post out there and expect people to come.
“Be vocal about it,” says Amanda. “That’s pretty much what a follow up is. People won’t know that you have anything, if you’re selling anything, if you don’t say something about it.”
Can following up lead to huge wins in business?
Amanda noted that one of her experiences in business where following up was hugely important was in running her Honeycomb investment offering.
Honeycomb Credit is a platform that allows small businesses to take investments from community members. Your biggest fans and customers can actually invest in you starting at just $100! When you’re running a Honeycomb investment offering, you have to stay on top of your promotions - make sure you’re constantly posting so that everyone you know is aware of the opportunity and what it means for them and for your business.
“For one of our largest investors, I was following up with them weekly to confirm that their investment was going through, how much it was, and that kind of thing,” says Amanda. “It ended up being our largest investment.”
She sent out about 2 reminders a week between texts and social media throughout the duration of the offering period. She would post daily on Instagram, but noted how important direct communication with those she knew were interested in investing was even more effective - and following up multiple times, of course.
What kinds of follow ups can you try for your small business?
Social media is a powerful tool for keeping your small business front-of-mind in your customer’s perspective.
“Knowing where our audience is coming from was so important,” says Amanda. “The follow-up is marketing, that’s all it really is.”
For example, they knew that their target audience, older millennials and Gen Z, were mostly on Instagram, and focused their energies there for the duration of the Honeycomb investment offering.
Customer service is another kind of follow up besides just marketing. Helping your customers with problems personally is a great way of being there for them and keeping your business in a positive light for them. In the future, you might be front-of-mind thanks to your great follow up!
What uses does following up have besides marketing?
Amanda noted that following up is also really important, especially when you’re working with new partners and collaborating with them. You want to make sure that you don’t drop the ball. Following up with scheduling, appointments (maybe even follow up with yourself so you don’t forget!) are all great ways to increase efficiency and show respect to your partners.
What does an effective follow up look like?
Doing something that’s a combination of the traditional and innovative can be extremely effective when it comes to the follow up. For example, you can get into detail in an email reminder to someone about what your need is, and you can send an additional follow up as a text or social media message.
Starting with a strong message is also important - be direct about what your follow-up is about.
Consistency is key too - when it comes to social media, scheduling posts is a great tool to make your follow-ups and marketing consistent.
“When you put that work in, you’re going to get results back,” says Amanda. “It may not be the results you expect, but you’re going to see something come out of it in return.” For example, when it comes to a Honeycomb investment offering, you may not see everyone you follow up with invest, but they might post about your offering on their social media, attracting even more potential investors to you!
The power of the follow up - an excellent tool for small businesses!
Another great tool is Honeycomb Credit - business owners like Amanda are growing their coffee shops, breweries, restaurants, flower shops, and more with investments from their communities. Interested in learning more? Fill out the form below.