Many small retailers make the mistake of opening a store, putting a sign out front and hope the customers will just walk in. If you have a good location, you will eventually get some customers who will check you out.
Word of mouth is the best advertising. But if you don't have any customers, then there's no one to spread the word. And their impression of your store has to be good or your just building a bad reputation and that will kill a store faster than anything else.
So how do you get the word out? Advertising? OK, what kind of Advertising?
Many store owners make the mistake of taking out a weekly ad with the local newspaper. They let the salesman talk them into an advertising program that's only guaranteed to make money for the newspaper. Do your homework. Follow these tips.
- Know who your possible customers are. Then target your advertising money toward those customers. If your Whites pharmacy then you target doctors offices, day care centers, Senior centers. If its Pats Convenience store your target customers are local businesses as well as people who live in the neighborhood.
- Is the name of your business simple and east to remember. Does it describe your business.
- Get your name out there for the least amount of money. Get your name in publications that offer additional online advertising, such as a classified ad's.
- Have a web page? A web page needs only to be a one page advertisement of your business. A blog like this one works best and its free (Ask Me How?). If a potential customers looks up "Rx in 12345 zip code" and your name doesn't come up, you lose!
- In store flyer's. Had each customer a flyer with great deals in your store. They don't have to be sales, just great deals or services you want to bring to the customers attention.
- Put your name, address phone , web site on your bags.
- Ask customers to join your mailing list, follow your blog or facebook page.
- Donate to local clubs and get your name printed in club journal, newletters and promotions.
- Have the local real estate office's (More than one in town) add your coupons, samples and flyers to new owner welcome wagon packages.
- Team up with other retailers. If 5 or 6 retailers in a strip center join together in a promotion, you can reach more customers for your money.
- Most of all Great Customer Service. Its what brings back your current customeres and brings in new ones by word of mouth. Don't be afraid to ask your costomers to spread the word about your store.