Starting A New Small Business Can be A Challange, Finding New Customers Doesn’t Have To Be …
So you’ve finally set up your new small business, but how do you get customers? No business can survive without customers. In order to do so, take a minute to step back and think about what your new small business is going to offer.
Let’s say, for example that you have opened up a home cleaning service. Who are your target customers going to be? Will they be stay at home mums or career people who work long hours? More importantly how are you going to reach your desired customers?
There are many ways to market your business but you will need to be careful as it is easy to spend a fortune on marketing without getting any return for you money. People are generally impatient and therefore whatever marketing ideas that you use, you will need to capture their attention immediately. When marketing a small business, try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What would you be looking for when choosing a person or service?
Generally speaking when starting a small business it is better to market your business using a form of promotion rather than advertising.
What Is The Difference Between Advertising and Promoting? I hear you ask.
Well basically, a promotion is an offer that is only available for a short period of time which offers a great incentive for a customer to take immediate action to buy quickly. Whereas an advertising campaign is an ongoing marketing process aimed more at building your brand over a longer period of time.
Offering promotions is a great way to entice customers to start buying from you. For example when I opened up my convenience stores I offered promotions such as buy one get on free or offered free tasting of baked items on my bakery counters, to entice customers to buy their goods from my store.
There are many different ways that you can offer a promotion. For example you if you run a restaurant you could offer a free glass of house wine to the first 10 customers. To make it even more fun during particular times of the year e.g. Halloween you could offer a free glass of wine for the first 10 customers who come in fancy dress.
Another example would be if you started a window cleaning business. On your first visit you could offer to clean the upstairs windows for free when cleaning the downstairs windows. Provided that you satisfy the customers with sparkling clean windows, chances are that they will ask you to continue cleaning their windows as lots of people are looking for a good, reliable window cleaner.
There are endless ways that you can use promotions to attract customers to your new small business…all that you need is a bit of imagination.
How Do You Make Customers Aware Of Your Promotions?
There are several inexpensive ways to do this.
Firstly you could post leaflets in the neighbourhood or hand out leaflets to people passing by your business. You could also leave leaflets or business cards in doctor’s surgeries, dentists, hairdressers etc. Word and mouth is another great way to promote your business like when on the school run for example.
Another free and great way to promote your new business is using social media. Facebook and twitter in particular offer a great way of promoting local businesses for free. But first of all you will need to set up a business page on facebook and open up an account with twitter.
You will then need to build up followers and connect with them by offering interesting content to build up a trust with them, before trying to sell to them. It is better to try to build up a list of followers that are closely linked to your type of business. For example if you own hairdressers in Bristol you would be better trying to build up a following with people living within that area. After all there is no point in promoting your hairdressing business to someone in America or vise versa.
The more adventurous among you could also promote your new business and offers via video marketing. This is not as complicated as it seems and can offer a very powerful way of marketing your new business. You will merely need a flip type video recorder and a computer to download the information on to websites like You tube.
Again, when making your video try to offer some free advice at the beginning of the video in order to convince the potential customer that you are an expert at what you do. For example if you have a cleaning business try to offer some free cleaning tips in order for the viewer to connect with you and want to know more about your business.
There are also inexpensive forms of paid advertising that can prove effective with small business marketing such as using mobile marketing and banner advertising. These can be great ways of making people aware of your promotions and enticing them to take immediate action to buy from you.
To conclude, it is important to remember that starting a small business is a learning curve. It often takes time to test and perfect what particular marketing works for your business. Therefore it is important to only spend a small amount on advertising until you have tried and tested the best marketing strategies that are working for you.
All in all there is no magical answer on how to get customers for your new small business other than to try and test all of the free and cheapest means of marketing to discover what works best for you. Just remember the more creative and unique your business marketing ideas are, then the more you will stand out from your competitors, hence increasing your chances for success.
For Online Internet Types of Business the strategies are similar although there are some more targeted ways to attract new customers, something that we cover in our other training modules. One such unique site that teaches some online tricks of the trade is Empower Network or Pro Elite
If you would like more information regarding starting a small business please feel free to contact me at any time.