The days of the Mom & Pop shops gracing every corner seem to be long gone, but this does not mean it is impossible for small businesses to succeed. The best thing to do is set up some low-cost marketing and advertising events and or materials to get the word out about your business. Here are three simple and cost-effective ways to increase your business.
- Create a Customer Rewards Program – There are two major reasons for doing this: Customer Retention and Increased Sales. Often times, setting these up can cost little-to-no money. For example, if you run a sandwich shop, create a little punch card that allows the customer to purchase four sandwiches and get the fifth for free. Make sure that the disclaimer clearly states the maximum price for their sandwich so you don’t lose much money on the free sandwich. Now you have both a loyal customer, and although you lost a little bit of money on printing punch cards and the free sandwich, you still sold four sandwiches that you may not have sold otherwise.
- Create a Facebook Fan Page and Twitter Account – Many of the most successful businesses operate by purely marketing through Facebook and Twitter (both free services.) Use these social media outlets to increase your business by consistently updating and offering deals to those that follow you. For example, in Miami we had food trucks that travel all over the city. The only way people are able to find them is either by following them on Facebook and Twitter, or plain dumb luck. The exclusivity drives the customer to be loyal and spend more money.
- Attend Regular Networking Events – Networking is a great way to develop partnerships between your business and others in your local area. In many cities you can attend events through your local chamber of commerce. There may be dues involved to join, but they are typically reasonable and well-worth the business relationships you create as long as you put in the necessary legwork to develop and nurture those relationships.