If You Want Business, Customers Need To Know You Exist

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Setting up business is a daunting task.

You have a great idea, come across a great opportunity and you’re sick of working for someone else. Fate has stepped in. I have seen many business owners set up, sit back, wait and closed after 6 months.  Why?

They spent a bunch of money on setting up the best POS systems, the best décor, the best coffee maker… they simply thought:

“If I build it they will come.“

They decided not to do anything. Run on a wing and a prayer. Rely on word of mouth. After all they just gave that one customer great service. Right? Is that growing a business? Or maintaining it? No.

Note to self: they don’t come just because you built it.

 

If you want them to come, they need to know you built it.

Even if you own a franchise and have all the in-house support, you need to get the word out.  People will look for deals but if they cannot find your business or even know about you, you are going to fail.

So what do you do?

You have to get the word out. There are many ways to do this.  Whatever you do, my advice to you is:

  • Make sure you have branded your business.
  • Have a simple, easily identifiable and memorable logo.
  • Make the colors the same across everything – website, business cards, signs, advertising, clothing.
  • Make it instantly recognizable at a glance think McDonald’s or Nike.

Another picture on the wall or potted plant is not going to get you known. Plan to spend something on advertising.

 

Keep it local to start.

Flyers and postcards are a good way. Mail out to the 200 closest homes. Look for local direct mail advertising magazines. These methods get into homes immediately and are not sitting around waiting for the curious or bored browser to pick up.

Don’t forget the power of social media. Make sure your set it up right don’t get lulled into buying likes. Let it grow organically. It’s way more satisfying and cheaper.

Working with a small local advertising agency can prove to be cost effective. They have the knowledge, expertise and resources to have the work ready faster than the average business owner. Try the Creative Alliance of Tacoma (CATS) if you aren’t sure who to call. They have a smorgasbord of talent which allows you to pick and choose services so you can keep within your budget.

Join local networking groups like the In Team or the Chamber of Commerce. Consider spending at local events.

If you want business, you need a marketing plan. You need to advertise. Where and how you do that is up to you.

 

Annie Koesterman is the marketing specialist at the Community Shopper Magazine

This post first appeared on the Community Shopper Magazine blog.

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