If there is anything that the Covid 19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that small businesses that do not have a strong network of support are susceptible to major economic events. All across the US we watched as restaurants, beauty salons, construction companies, and almost any other type of small business you can imagine closed their doors for good. These tips will help you prepare your business to withstand major economic downswings by helping you network with your clientele to keep them spending their money in your business.
Social Media Is Your Friend
The days of MySpace and learning how to build an attractive profile on social media sites are long past. There are a plethora of social media platforms available to small businesses, which allow those businesses to reach their target market without spending thousands on TV and radio ads.
Taking advantage of sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TwitchTV is a major key in being able to reach potential customers. This is especially true of the 20 and 30 something crowd, as these age groups thrive on what they see on social media.
Public opinion can rapidly be swayed with a few well placed posts on social media sites, and while this becomes painfully clear during election season, it is also true of small business influence. If you manufacture niche items for clients, then a streaming platform like TwitchTV is a great way to promote your products to the clients you intend to sell them to. They can watch as you make their orders live. This builds up your reputation and begins to draw new followers, which equals more potential customers.
Sharing things like daily specials or promotions on Facebook is another great way to reach potential customers. This lets them know when their favorite dish is offered at a special price, and it keeps them checking your social media feeds for other great deals you have to offer.
Not taking advantage of social media in today’s market is the equivalent of financial suicide.
Network With Other Business Owners
This can be accomplished using social media, as well as in person meetings. Find other business owners who are active in your field, or in fields that are closely related and work together to grow your clientele.
For instance, if you own a flooring company, you should be looking to network with plumbers, electricians and drywall specialists. You may wonder why this would be a wise idea and the answer is quite simple. Here is a hypothetical situation to consider.
John Doe is a drywall repair specialist who gets called out to a house to fix a hole in a wall. While he is there the homeowner asks him if he can replace hardwood flooring as well. Now, John Doe doesn’t want to take on the responsibilities of the flooring, but he passes your information on to this client and she calls you to do the job.
You can also use sites like LinkedIn to connect with other business owners in your area. Take the time to take a few of them to lunch and build a rapport. You never know when one of them might throw you that dream contract you have been thinking about for years.
Chamber Of Commerce Membership
Many business owners might overlook this step in building their network of potential clients. However, the Chamber of Commerce is a very powerful tool. Many people still call the Chamber of Commerce to get recommendations for quality businesses in their local area.
Attending the Chamber of Commerce meetings can really help put your name out to other members, as well as to the local population. That, coupled with membership, will put your company’s name on the tips of other members’ tongues when someone needs the services you have to offer.
Sponsor Local Sporting Events
This is another avenue of advertising that often gets overlooked by small businesses. In many cases it is very affordable to purchase ad space on the local high school football field. This gives you a sign that potential customers see during every home game, making you an easy choice for upcoming projects.
You can also choose to sponsor an entire little league team for multiple sports seasons in many towns. This gives you huge audiences, not only for the games they are playing in, but for everyone they walk past on the way to their field in the park. Those uniforms with your business name will stand out and people tend to remember companies that sponsor teams in their league.
Get To Know Your Customers
The single biggest step you can take to build your clientele is to build a relationship with your existing customers. If you own a restaurant, meet some of the regulars and shake their hands. Thank them for their business and ask them how they enjoyed the food. This type of attention from a business owner creates a lasting impression and makes them want to tell their friends about the incredible service they received at your business.
This is true, no matter what line of work you are in. Electricians, gas station owners, pool service companies, and many more can all benefit from friendly owners and management taking the time to get to know their customers.
My grandfather bought a brand new 1977 Ford pickup truck from a local car dealership in 1977. The owner of the dealership came out to meet him after the salesman had finished up the paperwork. He asked my grandfather if there was anything else he could do and he replied “Yes, I would like the $500 cash back your television ad promised.”
The salesman began to stammer as he said “Sir, that was rolled into the purchase price of the truck.”
My grandfather replied that this had not been explained to him. The owner of the car lot walked him into his office, opened a small safe and counted out $500 and handed it to him.
Because of that customer service my grandfather bought every single new car from that time on at the same car lot. I bought my first truck there, with my grandfather as the co-signer on the loan.
Customer service and knowing your customers is how you build lifelong clients who are faithful to your business.
Use The Tools To Build The Bank Account
These tips are not the blanket answer for every situation. However, these tips will work for every business in America. No matter what your company retails to its clients, building a network is the key to keeping that client base actively spending money in your establishment. Don’t let the next economic downswing catch you unprepared.
This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.