As a local business owner, you have unique opportunities to draw in new and repeat customers. These are some of the top ways you can attract those local customers, no matter what type of local business you run:
1. Get personal
Research shows that businesses that personalize their services can increase customer purchases. Accenture conducted a retail study which showed that 56% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that knows their name. Extend this personalization to all aspects of your business, whether it’s an SMS on a customer’s birthday or a simple personalized greeting card on holidays.
2. Cross-promote with other local businesses
Find out who is targeting the same customer profile as you. Contact these other business owners and find ways to promote each other’s businesses. For example, if you have a cleaning business, hook up with other home/business service providers such as landscapers, property managers, pool cleaners and start referring each other.
3. Participate in online chats
Find local newsgroups and communities and join in the conversation. Remember not to just promote yourself – this will only annoy other members and possibly get you kicked out the group. Instead, become a valuable and active participant, while subtly promoting your business on occasion.
4. Market yourself where potential customers already are
For example, if you run a cake-baking business, leave flyers at local event planners, kids party entertainers and local gymborees.
5. Send out email newsletters
By sending out informative emails with valuable content, you’re not only establishing yourself as an expert in your industry, but you’re also reminding potential customers that you’re around.
Give customers an incentive to opt into your email list, by offering a discount or access to a store loyalty club.
If you follow these simple strategies, you have potential to grow your business within your local target market.