For many small businesses like a local deli, an appliance repair service, or a dental office, one of the main goals is to get more customers in the community. There’s no point in having a website that gets the attention of people in South Africa if your shop is in a suburb of Miami, right?
So what can you do to drum up more business in the neighborhood? To increase your local customers, test out the following techniques:
1. Have a Website
Nowadays, even a local dog-walking service needs a website. How else can local customers find out about the products or services you’re offering? People like to do Google searches on everything, and you need a website for people to find you through Google.
Just make sure it works on smartphones and tablets too. It helps if its design is responsive, so your website can be viewed by a smartphone or a PC with w huge monitor.
2. Get Into Local Online Listings
You should be listed on Google My Business, though to cover all the bases you should be listed on Bing as well. Your location and a map to your place will appear for potential customers when you’re listed on these listings.
You should also try to get on Yelp and TripAdvisor where customers can get reviews as well as info on your shop. You should respond to reviews as much as you can, even with just brief “thank you” comments for positive reviews. You can also defend your brand against complaints and negative reviews, or you can always apologize and promise to improve.
3. Publicize Your Business with Your Vehicle
If you’re using a van, a truck, or something similar for your business, then it needs to feature your business brand, logo, phone number, and website address. That’s so everyone in the local community can see the advertisement of your brand every time you travel about. Even if you use a smaller vehicle, you can use decals and magnets to publicize your brand. A mobile billboard is quite effective in boosting the visibility of your brand and it doesn’t cost you a lot of money.
4. Use Social Media
Many customers of small businesses tend to spend a significant amount of time on social media, so you may as well go where the customers are. Use Facebook and Twitter, along with Instagram if your business works with visuals. You can then use your Facebook logo and your Twitter handle on your business cards, your show window, and your website and blog.
Social media helps you engage more directly with local customers, and in a way, it’s as friendly as a phone call or a face to face meeting. It’s much more personal, and that’s more effective with a local business.
5. Use Online Ads
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all offer ads to feature your business. In Facebook, they can show your ad whenever people are close to your place of business. You can also create an ad right on your Facebook page.
All these methods work, and in a few months’ time, you should see some improvement in your local customer numbers after implementing these techniques.