You’ve got your loan agreed and the money is in the bank.
You’ve set up your business, but now you need to drive the sales into the business.
Unfortunately, much as we would all love it to happen immediately, often it takes a bit of time for people to get to know that you now exist.
Having said that you don’t want to spend lots of money on marketing, that’s completely understandable.
So, here are some tips to help you to drive footfall into your business without breaking the bank.
Google my business:
Google is key to you getting found. So make sure you’re listed on Google my Business.
What’s more it’s free to use. And often Google will send you a voucher to use for Advertising.
To make it work even harder, get your customers to give you a review. That way when people find you online, they can also see what a great service you give.
Running a social media account can be hard work. Having said that social media is a great alternative to having a website and has no cost associated with it, only your time.
Local noticeboards are great places to start to get your name out. And if you prove popular, are also a great way of getting people to spread the word about you.
Use the platform that you are familiar with and like using and post updates to on that. People like to be nosy so think about:
- Behind the scenes
- Customer of the week
Key to getting customers is people knowing that you are there.
Using services such as Vista Print allows you to design and print a leaflet at a reasonable price.
Once printed, it’s worth walking around the local area delivering the leaflets through the doors of residents.
Also give them out at key traffic points, for example.
You can also use them as posters on Parish Noticeboards, in the local library.
Board outside the shop:
Create intrigue or stand out with an A board.
This is particularly important if you are up an alleyway and people don’t automatically pass your establishment.
But it also works to get people to notice you.
Get a blank blackboard one which you can attach posters to, or which you can change depending on what is going on. You can also use this to highlight why people should come & visit.
Just one thing you need to be aware of. You may need the local council’s permission to put this board out depending on where you are located.
The local newspaper is always looking for stories. Why not approach them with yours? Why have you set up, what you’re wanting to offer the local community.
Use your business plan that was developed for your loan to help you.
Incentivising people to come in and come back:
When you’re starting out, it’s worth adding a small incentive to get people to try you out. Think about giving value, rather than discounting.
So, offering a side dish with any main meal or similar. Whatever you decide to use, don’t forget to do the maths to make sure it’s not costing you more than it needs to.
To get people coming back, it’s worth thinking about a simple loyalty card.
Do work out what you can give away without impacting the bottom line. But a couple of examples are:
- Buy 5 meals, get a free side
- For every £10 spent, get a stamp. Once you have 10 stamps, get a free meal.
Whilst we recommend using incentives, they should only be used sparingly.
Running special offers all the time creates an expectation for customers that they don’t have to pay full price. Something you want to avoid.
So there we go, just a few tips to help you on your way.
If you want any further help, do get in touch as we have several partners who can guide you in the right direction.