Small businesses make up the heart of many communities. In fact, the American economy depends on small companies and independent shop owners to generate almost half of its activity. Today, many small businesses are struggling. If you are among them, what can you do? Here are four ways to attract new clients.
1. Offer Food
People love to eat. If you have a small corner that can house a refrigerated display case, you can stock pre-packaged snacks and lunch items. A supplier such as Culinare can deliver fresh sandwiches, salads and wraps. Augment with a selection of soft drinks and your shop can become a convenient solution for hungry customers, with very little effort from you.
2. Hold Classes
Every small-business owner has knowledge to share. Subject matter may relate to your industry. For example, an art supply house might offer classes in watercolor techniques or marketing wares on craft websites; an accountant may hold a seminar on recent tax code changes. Classes may target future entrepreneurs, perhaps addressing how to get initial startup funding or file for a business license.
In either case, holding classes at your location gets potential customers in the door and helps you position yourself as an authority in the community. Educating locals residents creates a cadre of savvy consumers who are likely to recommend you to others.
3. Host Events
Who doesn’t like a party? Host an open house to celebrate your anniversary or throw a bash in partnership with a popular charity. Create a festive air with decorations, music and complimentary refreshments. Advertise well in advance so the whole community knows about your celebration.
Perhaps parties are not your forte; no problem. Host a more low-key event. Competitions may garner you the same attention and community presence without the party preparation and clean-up. Reach out to the public and ask for photos or videos that share a certain theme. It may relate to your firm, or be as general as “adorable puppies.” Enhance your online presence by sharing the entries on social media, or display entries in the store and ask customers to vote in person.
4. Make ‘Em Laugh
Easel signs and chalk art attract attention; those that make people laugh become trending hashtags and gain followers by the dozen. For maximum impact, buy chalkboard signs and chalk for all the shops on the block and invite your neighbors to play along. You can use the space to advertise special deals, but be sure to include a cute poem or short riddle as well. Passersby will appreciate your efforts to bring smiles to their faces, and soon strangers may become loyal customers.