Your retail business is up and running; you have a location, inventory, a few employees and some customers, but you may be stymied when it comes to determining the next steps to growing your business. Use these helpful tips about how you can successfully get to the next level in your marketing strategy without breaking the bank.
Things You'll Need
- Business newsletter
Ask current customers how they heard about your business. Most customers will be happy to tell you they saw an advertisement, heard about your store from a friend and the like. If you are attracting customers in response to your advertising, keep doing what your doing. Don't cut back on advertising; do more of it, if possible, as it is clearly working for your business.
Identify your target market and aggressively advertise specifically to those people. Advertise in the magazines they are most likely to read, attend an event or trade show where they may be found, and leave brochures or fliers in places they are most likely to congregate.
Build and maintain customer relationships. The key to successful marketing is maintaining your current customers so they continue to come back and tell others about you. Offer special discounts on occasion to frequent customers and, depending on what type of business you have, consider a frequent shopper's card, where customers earn something free for making a certain number of purchases. Also, consider offering some type of savings each time they refer a new customer to you.
Create a newsletter. Keep customers informed of sales and new products via a basic newsletter. A newsletter can be sent monthly or quarterly, and if you are looking for the most affordable way to reach customers, consider an email newsletter. Collect email addresses from customers upon checkout, telling them they will receive your newsletter.
Don't ignore the Internet--have a presence on the web. If you don't have a website already, have one designed and consider selling your products online. Your retail business can reach an entirely new market from across the globe with e-commerce. Meet with several local web designers, who will provide you with quotes on design and hosting, and explain how e-commerce works. A presence on the Internet is often the fastest way to grow a retail business. Another option to increasing your web presence is to sell your products on eBay and Amazon.com.
Host a special event that will draw in customers and media. This could include donating a portion of the day's proceeds to a local charity, or having a "family day" with games, prizes and a local radio station broadcasting live from your store. If you are creative, there are a variety of events you can hold at your store. A few weeks prior to the event, send a press release to local television and radio stations as well as print media.