Growing a small business and attracting new customers is a concern of every business owner. If you are the owner of a small business that depends on walk-in traffic, there are 7 easy things you can do in the next 7 days that will make a huge difference in the number of customers who come through your door.
- Offer free Wi-Fi to your customers. Many of them want to be able to connect to the Internet, and appreciate free wireless Internet. In fact, for some people whether or not a business offers Wi-Fi will determine whether or not they frequent the place. If you are in the food service industry or have a business where customers need to wait, investing in Wi-Fi and advertising that it is available will definitely bring more people in.
- Ensure that your business is registered with Google Maps. This will help potential customers find you because more and more of us are going to our smartphone first when we are looking for a business.
- Encourage “Check-In” via Facebook Places and/or Foursquare. Offer a special to those who check in. It could be a fun promotional item, a free appetizer or dessert, or a small discount. When locals use check-in features of social media, they are promoting your business for you to their contacts, even if they say nothing. Make sure you have claimed your Facebook place existence, so you can add important information like hours of operation, address, contact information and a picture.
- Place something that catches the eye outside your door: a bunch of colorful helium balloons, a red carpet, a portable sign, pennants, etc.
- Reach out to community groups and offer your support. Fundraisers where you give a portion of your sales directly back to schools and other charities that have a spirit day at your location are incredibly popular. Provide groups with flyers containing details of the offer. Customers who are coming to support the fundraiser should either mention it or show the flyer, so you can keep track of the business being generated by the partnership.
- Offer helpful communications with your customers. Most businesses communicate with their customers in a variety of ways (and if you don’t, you should!). Whether you have a blog, a Facebook account, a newsletter, Twitter, or some other platform you regularly use, pay close attention to what you are putting out there. Only adding content encouraging people to buy will be ignored, but information that is actually helpful will get noticed and appreciated. Share the best day/time of day to come to your establishment. Talk about menu changes, especially ones that are locally sourced, healthier, gluten-free, etc. Relate anecdotes about an issue a customer had and how you fixed it. All these things make your business more relatable and your communication more interesting.
- Encourage referrals. There is nothing better than referrals for any business. Create a promotion, in which new customers who mention who they have been referred by someone earn a freebie for themselves and for the referrer. Word of mouth is gold.
Take the next 7 days and implement these strategies and see what a difference this extra effort makes in your business.