There is a lot of focus these days on selling online. For many small businesses however, it is still about getting people in the door. If this includes your small business, here are 7 ways to increase traffic to your storefront.
Get involved in your community
You can do this by giving a portion of your proceeds, for a period of time, to a local charity or by staging an event. The event doesn’t even have to be at your place of business, but make sure you hand out cards, coupons, or flyers. Create a press release for local media and solicit the help or participation of other area businesses.
Network with another business for cross-promotion
See if a local pizza shop is willing to put your coupon or flyer on their pizza boxes. In exchange, you can offer them some of your products or services or similar promotional exposure in your place of business. Other businesses that can be a valuable resource to hand out flyers and coupons include area car washes, drive-thru beverage stores, and fast food locations.
Use social media
Social media is a free way to build a network of people whom you can immediately make contact with to offer specials, share information, and promote events. It is the modern version of word-of-mouth advertising. Facebook, of course, is huge but don’t forget Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Ask for advice and be willing to take it
Have friends, relatives and fellow business people take a look at your store from the outside and ask for their input. Is your signage attractive? Are your window displays interesting and inviting? Does it convey a positive image? Ask them “If you were me, what would you do?” You may get some imaginative feedback that can inspire you!
Share your products or services daily
If you are a hairdresser, deliver a free haircut coupon to a local business or office every weekday. This can also work for candy shops, florists, oil changes, restaurants and more. If you can’t give away an actual product or service, give a gift certificate in a specific dollar amount. People love getting free stuff and it’s a sure-fire way to create street talk.
Offer referral incentives
Ask your current customers why they do business with you. After they give you the reasons, thank them and ask if they wouldn’t mind referring your business to others. Create an incentive for each referral that comes in. This creates more loyalty to your store while expanding your customer base.
It may sound simple but it works. Find the appropriate media channel that will help you in marketing your business. You should definitely have a website, and should also be advertising in print and online.
Getting increased foot traffic these days takes imagination and effort, but it can prove to be very rewarding. Perhaps it is time to get re-energized about your business and begin to look for new and better ways to do things.