This is a business post by Ellie Jo.
Small businesses regularly find it difficult to compete with established brands, and many even find it difficult to get the name out there in the first place. Unless you’re located in the center of a metropolitan hub, it can feel like you’re regularly passed over for the more recognizable companies.
And this is the last thing you want as a small business. You don’t want to be ignored, you want to succeed and grow. You can’t just wait around to get lucky, though. You need to find ways to get a leg up as soon as possible so those passing by – whether in person or online – actually take a look to see what you have. If you’re struggling for customers, here are eight ways to get people interested.
Work With Local Businesses
Small companies that opt for business collaboration with local (and nom-competing) enterprises can give themselves a leg-up over the competition. By connecting yourself to an established business, you can put your company in the eye line of its regular customers. Even if they don’t buy from you immediately, they will know about you, and this can help push your company upwards. These future customers will share information with friends, and this can increase the interest that could prove highly beneficial for your business.
Give Out Free Samples
There is no better way to attract attention than through freebies. People are often reluctant to try an untested product, but handing out free samples of your product – or at the very least offering something they can use – will endear you to the locals. Once they see the quality of your products or service, they will be more willing to use your business for whatever needs they might have. From here, you can build a solid and loyal customer base that helps your company grow.
Consider Flashy Signage
If your business is tucked away on the high street or even on a floor above a more established store, you will struggle to attract customers because they simply cannot find you. To overcome this, flashy signage with an updated logo and bright, bold colors can do wonders. You don’t need (or want) to be too garish with your new signage, but something that grabs attention and tells the customers precisely where you are and what you do could see a significant uptick in interest and sales.
Make Your Content Rankable
Unless you’ve ignored almost everything there is to learn about marketing over the past few years, you’ll know how important content is for spreading the word about your business. But, as a small business, it is challenging to get your content to rank on search engines, and any blog posts are relegated to the often-ignored second page. To overcome this, you can work with the likes of Unravelseo.com to highlight how you can improve your content and see increased engagement.
Try Something Different
Trying the same thing time after time will not get you anywhere. It will only lead to frustration, so you should consider trying something different when getting your name out and improving your customer base. Looking at how to add some marketing intrigue to every campaign is a fantastic option, as people love to get to the bottom of a mystery, so don’t be afraid to add some intrigue to lure customers to your company. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you could even create a game or competition out of it. Using cryptic marketing clues, you can offer prizes or discounts to anyone who cracks the code, which will generate authentic interest in your brand and put you on the map as a business that knows how to engage its customers.
Know What Your Competition Is Doing
Your company will never excel in the industry if you do not know what your competition is doing. This competition could be a similar-sized business, or it could be a more established corporation that regularly takes the market share. While you don’t want to copy what they are doing, you can look at their approach to sales and consider how you can do it better. Depending on the type of business you run, offering a reliable alternative that puts the customer first will often appeal to a wide range of customers, so make sure to highlight your positive differences to draw them in.
Take Customer Feedback
Customer satisfaction is the lifeblood of a small business. Without positive reviews and exceptional word-of-mouth, your business will fail before it even gets going. This is where your customer feedback program is so useful. You can’t expect that you’ll do everything perfectly, so if your customers have suggestions, whether through a post-sale survey or while they are in-store, make sure you listen to them. If you see the same issues crop up regularly, such as a lack of specific stock or long wait times for delivery, you should consider how to change this to improve the customer experience and maintain the goodwill you’ve achieved so far.
Hire The Right People
If your business feels it is stagnating but you know you’ve done everything right, perhaps it’s time to look at the people you have hired. There are some serious issues that arise from bad recruitment, and a bad employee can ruin your company’s reputation without you even realizing it. As impressive as they might be at the interview, they could turn out to be way in over their head or not share the same values as you do. These bad hires could push your company down the pecking order compared to similar businesses in the area, so you must find people who will do what you need them to and help you build a positive company culture.
Up You Go
It might feel like your business will never get the attention it needs to sustain itself. However, these ideas can give you the edge and perhaps help you build a reputation as a dependable local business. From there, you can set your sights on growth, or you can feel you’ve achieved all you wanted to, and you will be happy precisely where you are.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.