As the owner of your own small business, you know that it takes more than just luck to keep that business not only above water but running smoothly. So many options that are available to larger businesses are just not viable if you don’t have the deep pockets so many of these companies have.
But there is one place where small businesses can excel at competing against the larger companies, and that is in the internet. Here you can create your own business and work to bring new customers into the site with a bit of hard work and some knowledge of search engine optimization. Want to be competitive, keep the doors open and still be true to your entrepreneurial beginnings? Here are a few ways to do that and more.
Online and Offline Sales
You may be saying that your business is more dependent on customers who walk into your store so the web doesn’t help you any. I say you are wrong, any business can take advantage of point of sale technology to help them close that deal. Whether you are looking at using in store software to make that sale easier for your customers or sending them special offers in their email for online sales, the web will help you to make that sale.
Today many traditional businesses that once would have never considered online sales are using it to reach customers not in their local area. A good example of this is a used book store. Once thought of as a traditional musty old business that relies on repeat local customers, many store owners are turning to the internet to expand their markets. One store owner I know says that his sales have expanded from listing his entire catalog online.
As he makes each new purchase he lists them in the database AbesBooks for all used book stores that is posted online. Collectors can use this database to find what they need and contact the store for purchase. For many used book stores, this has brought them in as much as a 20% increase in sales, often the difference between survival and closing down the doors. Many other businesses have this type of online directory to help small businesses survive.
Marketing with Email
As we mentioned earlier, special sales and events can be marketed to local customers by collecting email addresses and sending them newsletters or special emails. This will allow you to contact your customers on a regular basis and let them know if you plan to have a special two-for-one sale, a clearance to sell off the last season stock or any other special event.
Customers love to be on the inside of what is happening at their local store. You can create a closer relationship with them by hosting special preview events, marketed in your monthly newsletter. Maybe a summer ice cream social to get to know your customers with special weekly draws for the lucky customer named in your newsletter. Get creative, show your love and most of all, embrace that with all your quirky habits, you are a unique business that can really shine.