How to build community to help your small business
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
You recently moved to town to open a shop in a heavily-trafficked area.
The problem? You have very few customers—just a couple passersby and no repeats.
So how can you transform your store into the hottest shop in town? It all comes down to building a community. Here are a few ideas on how small business owners can build their communities to attract organic, recurring business.
You're working at your shop during the day, so why not hold an industry-specific seminar in the evening at your local Chamber of Commerce? People are often willing to learn something new, so tap into your skill set and hold a speaking engagement that can help others.
If you own a CPA firm, try offering a seminar about tax preparedness tips. If you're a clothing store owner, hold a styling seminar for your target demographic. Better yet, bring a few of your items from the shop and offer them at a discount. You can also opt to hold the event at a community center or even onsite at your shop.
You may want to go the informal route and try passing out your business cards and talking up your company wherever you go, whether you're in line at the post office or at your local coffee shop.
Call up a local nonprofit and ask if they're looking for volunteers. Consider volunteering your time or even joining its board of directors. Host an event at your store where a portion of proceeds will benefit the charity. Tip: Call your local newspaper before holding this event. These types of occasions can attract excellent press attention.
You could even think about giving your employees a few paid days off per year to use working at local charities. This can also be a great way to get attention with the local press.
Choose one or two social media channels to engage in and talk with your customers several times a day on those channels. Hold social media-specific raffles, and ask clients to submit photos for contests. The more you communicate with them online, the more they'll think of you when they need your product or service.
Partner with other businesses
Look at the other small businesses in your area—what types of companies compliment yours? For example, boutique shop owners could partner with massage therapists to give chair massages at in-store events. Make friends with the shop owners in your area and collaborate on referral bonuses. You could see a business uptick in no time.
Hold regular events
Events can be customer magnets. Consider holding an event where you—and maybe even another expert—can teach the community something that's relevant to your business. Try scheduling a kid-friendly event with entertainers. These types of occurrences can build goodwill in your community.
Build a loyalty program
Customers love loyalty programs, so create one that involves a punch card and a free gift after a certain number of purchases. That way, customers will be encouraged to return and you'll have the opportunity to build lasting relationships.
The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates.
Links to third party sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement. BBVA USA does not provide, is not responsible for, and does not guarantee the products, services or overall content available at third party sites. These sites may not have the same privacy, security or accessibility standards. Consult your legal counsel for advice concerning your specific business activities.
You may also be interested in:
Keys to local advertising in your community
Ready to advertise for your small business? Considering TV, billboards, social media, paid search? Here's what you need to do first.
Business snapshot: How I net almost every sale
Landing a sale is the goal of every entrepreneur. But keeping your customers and finding new ones is just as important. Here are some tips to do that.