Being an entrepreneur or a small business owner can be intimidating when it comes to marketing. You don’t have the budget to get billboards, TV commercials or magazine ads. Thankfully, those methods of mass marketing aren’t the only way to get new customers anymore. Here are a few simple ways you can get more people to frequent your business.
Give things away for free
The fact of the matter is, people love free stuff! If you operate a business that sells products, give something away for free sometimes. If you offer a service, maybe do a giveaway for your entry-level service once a month. Get people excited that you’re willing to show them what you have to offer, and you’ll make a customer out of them for life if the quality is amazing.
Address your customers by name. Wish them happy holidays and happy birthday. Send them coupons and try to remember their order. People love shopping with businesses that make the experience personal. It’s easy to feel like you’re just another dollar when you shop with a big name store. Small business owners have the advantage of truly getting to know their customers. Make the experience memorable, and watch them keep coming back.
Create a customer loyalty program
Adding on to the above suggestion, create a customer loyalty program that brings people back. Maybe after 4 visits, their 5th visit is free. Give discounts to recurring customers. There are many different ways you can implement the program, especially using social media. People who frequent an establishment repeatedly will do so even more when there’s an incentive behind it.
Have your customers rave about you
Word of mouth is a huge marketing tool, but not everybody thinks to do it right away. Most people will take to Yelp when they have something to complain about. Give your customers a reason to rave about you! Consider adding a referral program, that rewards your existing customer as well as your new one. It can be a small discount, or even a percentage of the sale. Give people a reason to say good things about you.
Some of people’s favorite small businesses are ones that show their support. Consider sponsoring a local school or sports team, or even the police and firefighters in the area. Put their pictures on the walls, and let them know they’re welcome on print materials. Communities love businesses that love the area they’re in. When people see that your business is behind a group or cause, it warms their hearts and opens their wallets.
Being an entrepreneur or small business does not mean your marketing has to be small. Being smaller actually gives you the flexibility to do more things and be more creative. Try a few different things, analyze their success, and either continue or cut certain strategies. The possibilities are endless to getting the word out.