One of the most common problems a shopfront business can face is the need to attract more customers – we’re talking about cafes, hairdressers and barbers, shops and restaurants. There are some really simple and easy to implement strategies that will see your business become more integrated with your local community and grow your customer base. Here are 3 great ideas to grow your shopfront business customer base.
1. Make sure you’re easy to find – in real life and online
This might sound obvious, but there are a lot of shopfront businesses that miss key steps in informing the public of basic information about who they are and where they’re located. Make sure you have clear signage outside your premises. Can people only see you from across the street? Do you need a sandwich board to better attract street traffic? Is your shopfront welcoming and informative about what you have to offer? When it comes to your online presence – at very least, you should have a Google Business account, which will help people find you in maps, allow them to leave ratings and reviews, as well as discover basic information such as your contact details and hours of operation. Active social media accounts that show people what they can expect when they visit your business will also get people excited about visiting you. Depending on your business and its target customer, you might focus on having a presence on any or all social media platforms – the most popular being Facebook and Instagram.
2. Give your existing customers a reason to promote your business
Think about running a promotion or marketing campaign whereby your existing customers are invited to promote your business. This might be offering them a gift, prize or voucher when the post a photo of themselves enjoying your product, food or services. You could even consider partnering with another local business to expose your businesses to one another’s customers. This could look like a café inviting their customers to post a photo of their breaky and tag the café in order to be in the draw to win a prize. The winning post gets a free bouquet of flowers from the florist next door. When the winning customer collects their flowers, the florist takes a photo and posts it to their social media, and tags the café. Both shopfront businesses get exposure to one another’s following within the local community – and the winning café customer has a lovely story to share with friends, as well as a sense of reciprocity towards the floral shop.
3. Host a free event
Once people have been physically inside your business, they’re exponentially more likely to return. Consider hosting a free event that brings new people into your shopfront and celebrates local talent within your community. This could be anything from a comedy show, a music night, an art exhibition or an arts and crafts workshop. Think about ways to run the event in order capitalise on the crowd and encourage return customers. You might MC the event yourself, or pass around vouchers for a free coffee or discounted product/service on their next visit to your premises. There are plenty of exciting opportunities to get creative here – so do some brainstorming and see what you come up with!
If your business is struggling to attract more customers through its doors, give these ideas a go! And if you’re struggling to manage your business cashflow, we have something that can help. Download our FREE Cashflow Plan to get back on track!