Since they are sure-fire ways, this will be quick. Your primary purpose of starting a business is to meet needs, but in order to keep meeting those needs, you would need to keep attracting customers so that your reach can expand beyond the sphere of your community. How do you go about this?
1. Be an important part of your community: Start with your community. Start from where you are. Since it is a new business, you don’t need to go far to get customers. Start from those who are in your community by adding your quota to community activities and meetings. People will get to know you there and you can go ahead and talk to them about your new business. Don’t try to sell them anything at this point. Get them familiar with yourself and your merchandise first. By doing this, you will build a good rapport and word will spread. For those whose new businesses are for specific demographics, get into your demographic community and do the same.
2. Offer “free gifts” to new and existing customers: “Free gifts” can be given in different ways. You can give free samples to new customers. You can also offer discounts to new and existing customers. You can also offer a money back guarantee to new and existing customers. You can be sure that your existing customers will let their friends and families know of your promotions. Just make sure you do not overdo giving these “free gifts”. Give them at selective times. Your great products should suffice on their own most times.
3. Create a business card and brochure to give away at every given opportunity: Your business card and brochure is there to announce to all that there is a new business entity in town so you want to make it look professional in design and it should contain important details about your business. Let your brochure offer detailed information about your business – about where your business is located, what your mission is, who the owner is, key details of what the business is about, whom do you serve, what areas do you serve, what makes your business unique and how you can be reached. Make sure the information on your brochure is not cluttered. Use easy to read fonts and sizes for them. Give both away at every given opportunity.
4. Attend business events, conferences, lunches and social gatherings related to your industry: Doing this will help you network and meet others who are in the same industry as you. You will learn a lot of things in these meetings that you may not be able to learn if you stand alone. You will also get to connect with prospective customers that stay far away from your community.
5. Ask your customers for referrals: If your customers like your products, they will be willing to give referrals on them so ask them to tell their friends, families and colleagues at work. You can also make branded items like t-shirts, face caps, and pens and share to them to give their families, friends and colleagues at work.
6. Get a website; be on social networks: It is time to invest into building a website for your business. Based on the products and services you offer, you can decide how much interactive activity will take place on your website. If you want your website to serve as a site where customers can make purchases with their Master Card, you have to make it easy for them to find what they need by clearly displaying your products/services on your website. If you intend for it to be interactive, make it an information giving site on your industry and your products/services. Let it be linked to your blogs, forums and social networks to pull in your audience as you share information about your business. Make videos of your customers saying nice things about your products and services and share them. Take pictures of your customers happy after you have attended to them and share them on your website and social networks with their permission.
7. Keep your existing customers happy: New customers eventually become existing customers. Your goal should be to make your customers happy. Make sure their needs are met considerably. If they give negative feedback on a product or service they were rendered, let them know how sorry you are about it and deal with it so it does not happen again. Remember your customers are like your most prized possessions.
8. Collaborate with other businesses in your area: If you are a shoe making company; you can collaborate with a unisex boutique business and a makeup company to do a week-long event for those in your community that would offer them a considerable discount for a complete makeover. Put your business brochures in other businesses in your area for people who go in to pick up. Put theirs in yours too. This way, businesses in our communities are promoted and first patronized by those living in it.
9. Keep discovering new and interesting information about your products to share with your customers: You cannot afford to be viewed as outdated when it comes to your business. Update yourself daily with information regarding your business. Converse with your visiting customers about what you learn about the products/services you offer. If they ask questions concerning your product/services, they should get information about what they need and more from you.
10. Consider expanding your business: If you worked through the tips given above on your business, you would have caught the attention of a considerable amount of people in that community about your business. If it is in your agenda, I guess it is time for you to set up a branch in another community and repeat the steps in that new community.