These are difficult economic times, especially for small businesses that have seen drastic drops in customer base and revenues. A few effective techiniques and a little creativity can help you identify and reel in new customers.
Conduct market research, and get to know your customers and your competition. Look at demographics, personal attitudes and buying habits to help you target your market.
Use an old-fashioned approach and ask your current satisfied customers for referrals. Send out newsletters or emails to your current customers and let them know how much you value their patronage. Ask them to tell family and friends about their positive experience with your business.
Offer free trainings, classes and workshops that coincide with your services. For example, if you own a hardware store you could offer instructional Do-It-Yourself home improvement classes. You can offer to speak at local churches or seminars. Build your business website to bring in more customers by blogging about your services or providing webinars to promote your products.