Can Long-Standing Small Businesses Do More to Attract New Customers?

Many small business owners who have had their companies in operation for several years or more probably have their customers bases established pretty well, and are able to operate comfortably thanks to those people or other businesses. However, when long-standing companies want to expand, they might have relatively few ideas for doing so. Fortunately, there are a number of steps they can take to get their name out there once again.

One of the best ways to potentially draw in new customers, whether companies are trying to attract them to brick-and-mortar stores or online shopping portals, is to simply offer free items or services, according to a report from Small Business Computing. While this kind of thing may seem expensive at first blush, the free items given out with purchases, or even just for coming through the door, can be as simple as pens, keychains or other low-cost items that bear a company’s name, phone number, web address, and so forth. This may help small businesses to potentially stick in new consumers’ minds and will cost, at most, a few hundred dollars per year.

It might also be wise, given the current climate in the technological world, for owners to look for new ways to connect with potential clients or customers through mobile technologies, the report said. Millions of people across the country now have smartphones and tablet PCs that they use every day and as a result it might be wise for companies to try to catch their eye through those mediums. For example, having a website that’s optimized for both phones and tablets is, no question, something in which all companies should invest so that their products or services are highlighted and easily viewable to people no matter how they access them. Likewise, if those people were to visit a non-optimized site on such a device, they may be somewhat turned off from the company. However, it may also be important at this time to make sure all information listed on a normal site makes it over to the mobile equivalent, as it may be frustrating to some visitors to have to go hunting for something relatively simple that could be on the front page of the standard version.

Doing a little legwork
Of course, appealing to people online and trying to draw them in with free items may only go so far toward helping small business owners achieve their expansion goals, and thus it may also be wise to get a little more involved in local organizations, the report said. Going to public events in town with advertisements, or sponsoring local youth sports teams may help to get a company’s name out there. Moreover, joining local business groups can help one company to connect with others, and those kinds of partnerships can go a long way toward forming bonds that might lead other entrepreneurs in town to keep others in mind when making recommendations and so forth.

Finally, it might be a wise idea for owners to take some time to think about what their companies can do better, the report said. By looking at easier or potentially lower-cost ways to do business, they may find added wiggle room to achieve the things they want to do without any kind of major effort or investment.

One of these areas where they can make such moves might include finding ways to reduce costs for small business insurance. More affordable workers’ compensation or general liability insurance policies, for instance, can help provide additional flexibility over the course of the year while providing the same level of coverage.