Attracting customers to a small business is a very hard job.
Trust me, many small businesses fail not because they don’t have quality products or services. They go out of business because they can’t find any customers or it is the other way around. The main cause of this failure is the budget. As a small business, let’s face the fact that we simply don’t have the money for extensive marketing.
The popular marketing techniques like advertisements on TV, radio, magazines, billboards, and newspaper are very expensive. There’s no way we small businesses can afford that.
So, does that mean your faith is doomed?
Thanks to the Internet, everyone can grow their business.
Now you can market your products or services for cheap or even for free. But, you must make sure that your products deliver what is promised. You must be ready to create a great customer experience.
So, are you ready to reach more customers and showcase how awesome your business is?
Then, let’s talk about 5 very effective and cheap (cost-wise) methods to attract more customers to your small business.
1. Create a Beautiful Website
I have a solution for you!
You can actually create a website for free. You will have to pay for domain name and hosting though. Domain name will cost you $8.99 per year and a good web hosting will cost your around $4 dollar per month. So, that’s like $56.99 per year for running a website.
How will website attract more customers to your small business?
Internet has become a part of our life.
People have started using the Internet for almost anything: shopping, entertainment, booking tickets, playing games, earning money, etc.
It is actually more easy to look for things on Google than to ask around.
So, if you have a business and don’t have a website, you are missing out a huge opportunity of being found.
If you create a website and do a little bit of Search Engine Optimization (don’t worry there are free tools for it), you could reach to more customers.
But, you should take some precautions while creating a website.
Your website should be responsive i.e. should work well in every kind of devices. Your website should be speed-optimized so that your website can be accessed instantly. And, your website shouldn’t be poorly coded.
Wait…but, can I get all those features in a free website?
If you use WordPress to create your website.
WordPress an amazing free platform to create beautiful and professional websites with ease. WordPress is also easy to learn and very customizable.
How to create a website using WordPress?
- Get a domain name (some hosting company like SiteGround will give you a free domain name when you get hosting)
- Get a hosting plan
- Install WordPress on the hosting
- Choose a WordPress theme (design) that suits your business
And, in just 4 DIY steps, you will have a fully functioning website.
WordPress is just a platform so, in order to create a proper website for your business, you will need to select proper business WordPress themes.
These are some free WordPress themes that are suitable for Small Business Websites
Bhumi Lite is a clean and beautiful free WordPress theme for small businesses. The theme is very flexible, and can also be used to create eCommerce website easily.
Education zone is a modern and elegant free education WordPress theme. Don’t go for the name, the theme is extremely flexible and many small businesses have been using it for their website.
CT corporate is a super-fine and very user-friendly free business WordPress theme. The theme uses responsive Bootstrap CSS for a modern look on every kind of devices. This theme has everything you need for a business website.
Construction Landing Page
Construction Landing Page is a free construction WordPress theme designed to create a perfect landing page for any type of business. Although the name of the theme is construction, you can use it to create a business website for any kind of business.
If you need help, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a business website using WordPress.
2. Be Active on Social Media
More than a billion people are active daily on Facebook and they spend about 35 minutes on average. Imagine the number of people you could reach using Facebook.
Therefore, you should create an account for your business on social media, not just Facebook, on other social media like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on.
If possible create an account on every popular social media. But, don’t forget to post regularly. You should let people know that you are out there.
Also, if you want to get customers fast, you could even advertise on social media. Ads on social media are cheap and more effective than traditional ads because you can target your advertisement to a specific group of people.
You could also bring in traffic to your website using social media and then sell your items online.
Since social media is an easy tool for getting more customers, there’s a high chance that all your competitors are using it. So, you not only have to create profiles on social media but also have to be smart on them.
You can be clever on social media using hashtags like #yourproduct #somethingpeoplesearchfor #somethingintersting and using attractive images with catchy captions.
3. Content Marketing
Well, you can attract more customers by writing about your products. Content Marketing is more effective than general marketing.
What is content marketing? Content Marketing or Content Promotion is a marketing technique (you could call it ninja technique if you will) where you sell your products while helping people solve their problems. This article is the meta of content marketing.
How to do content marketing?
Your products and services are designed to do something. They will solve people’s problem. So, identify the problems people are facing and tell them how your product can help them.
For example, let’s assume, you are a salon in a small town. You know about hairstyles and hair products. So, you could write articles on how to take care of your hair or make a video of you showing how to make a certain type of hairstyle.
You help people solve a specific problem they are facing, and your salon gets publicity. You can establish yourself as an authority on the topic with content marketing.
You could even advertise your content using online advertising services like Google’s Adwords if you want faster results. Online advertising costs only about $10 to $20 per day or even less.
4. Free Offers and Deals
So, “Free” technique works like a charm.
People are hesitant to purchase new services or products. But, if they don’t have to pay for it, they will give it a try.
And, if they love the products, they won’t mind spending money on it later and recommending your service/product to their friends, family, and colleagues.
So, give out samples of your products for free for a limited time and attract more people. Let people know that your business also exists.
If you think you can’t give away things for free, give discounts.
Create various promotional offers like buy $50 worth of product and get 10% off.
People like deals and bargains as much as they like free stuff.
Also, always create a time limit on the deals. This creates scarcity and immediacy. This psychology trick will get you more customers.
So, what’s the deal of the day? Let me know.
5. Volunteer, Support a Charity
Go to public gathering or meetings and volunteer. Offer your services for free.
Community service is a very good publicity opportunity that many small businesses don’t utilize.
Volunteering creates a good reputation of your business. It will increase people’s trust. And, you know what that means for a business, don’t you?
So, next time your community is organizing something, become the organizer or sponsor the event.
Read this article by Forbes about the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Also, giving a certain percent of the sales profit to a charity is another great way to attract customers. It earns your company a goodwill. It is good for the long term business.
But, be sure to clearly mention the charity you are supporting, and be transparent about it if you can.
Conclusion- Take Action
Nothing is going to happen until you take actions.
I bet you have read many blogs or books about methods to attract more customers to your small business.
So, it’s time to stop exploring and start implementing what you have learned– from this article and other sources.
In business, experiment is the key.
You won’t know which technique will work for you until you try them out by yourself. What worked for others might not work for you.
So, take action today!