There are many methods to increase customers at small businesses; some cost a lot of money while others are through bootstrap methods. Well, if you want to increase your customers quickly on a shoestring budget, consider these three ways:
♦ Get online and market your business
Being local has its benefits: local customers, business to business and authority within your city but nothing trumps the power of the net.
Getting online and marketing your small business doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg – for a few hundred dollars you can create a great online campaign which can bring in thousands of new customers to your business.
If you’re feeling particularly techie, you could create a website for your small business for web users to find. List your services and products, get free traffic from search engines and use online advertising platforms to promote your small business website – this will show a steep growth in your oncoming customers.
With millions of users on the web, you’ll be able to reach out further than you can ever imagine by only staying locally.
♦ Have a contest or promotion
Contests and promotions can be the big ticket item to bring in new customers.
Everyone loves free things; holding a contest where you give away your products or services will peak interest in your company. Not only will you be marketing your small business but new customers that come through the door, entering the contest can lead to others following suit.
Promotions are also a great way to gain new customers. Your promotion should be backed by offering products and services people actually want – not just as a marketing ploy to trick people to your business. Use promotions at local events, billboards, newspapers and other media to reach out to people, pull them in and make that sale.
♦ Build a great brand
Branding goes well beyond just your logo: it incorporates your philosophy, how you treat your customers, products, services and every aspect of your business.
Think of a great company; for example: Apple. Apple customers are willing to pay premium on products and services because they live and breathe the brand – they are fanatical about everything Apple has to offer.
Your small business could do the same. By creating great products and offering a killer service, your small business could be that business that “wow’s” people. Because your business offers such a great experience, people will remember you, tell others and help you gain new customers without any additional effort beyond offering them your products and services – distill this into your small business and brand.
Many small businesses make the mistake of spending a large chunk of money marketing products which people don’t care about; your small business isn’t going to be like this.
By getting online, holding contests and promotions, offering a great product to build your brand, your small business will bootstrap its way to increase customers, additional revenue and sustain itself during economic hard times.
It’s quick and dirty but these three ways to increase customers will always be timeless and effective – use them wisely.