So you have opened your shop and you are struggling. Join the crowd! Running a small business is not for the weak at heart. Many small businesses grow initially but the stagnate. However growing your small business is seen as a sign of achievement, accomplishment, and success. The truth is that your small business is important not only to you but also to the community where you are located. Your impact is broader than you think. However the truth is that when you have a small budget, it may be more difficult to reach your goals. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible. What are some small shop ideas to grow your business?
Understanding that you have limited resources, here are the best 7 small shop ideas to grow your business:
#1: Network With Other Small Business Owners:
Small to medium size communities tend to have few businesses. Most small business owners know each other pretty well and they are used to helping each other out when needed. So, you want to join them.
All you need to do is to find them and partner with them. While not all of them may be open to the idea, there are others who still remember how they struggled when they opened their small shop and they give you a hand. When we started our first business we always told our “poor struggling business owner story” along with our dream or vision for our company. This endeared us to our clients and other local business owners.
When we talk about networking with other small business owners what we mean is to simply call them up and invite them to coffee or lunch. Attend local events. Or stop into their store when things are slow and introduce yourself.
#2: Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Social Media:
While you own a small shop and you may not even have a website, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of social media. Many small shops use a Facebook page as their website. Get your loyal customers to like your page and write five star testimonials for you.
Even though social media marketing involves some investment on your part(such as doing Facebook boosts), the good news is that it pays off when done right. After all, this is a powerful vehicle that can help you drive customers as well as increase awareness.
Please notice that you don’t need to have a presence on all social media networks. Just do some digging first and discover the ones that tend to work better for your industry. It’s better to do one form of marketing well until you get results from it before you move on to the next one.
#3: Do Some Public Speaking:
Many small shop owners tend to believe that public speaking can be a waste of time. However, this gives you a chance to show your small shop and talk directly to people.
Trade shows and conferences are a great place to meet people in your area and with different backgrounds. Besides speaking, you will also be able to hang around small business owners just like yourself and learn a couple of things while teaching others at the same time.
Public speaking is one of the things that can give you and your small shop credibility and authority. So, why waste this opportunity?
#4: Engage With Local Organizations And Charities:
Helping charities and other non profits will connect you to successful business people who care and are helping the community. Doing good for others will also attract a lot of positive things to your side. While financial donations cost money, you can donate other things such as your time and your facility. Think about times when your business is slow and create offers to help during that time.
In case helping others isn’t motivating enough for you, think that you are also helping yourself and your small shop. After all, when you live and work in a small community, people will know that you are a giver and they will look at you as someone who is helping a local cause. Besides, charitable donations are tax deductible.
#5: Get Personal With Your Customers:
One of the best ways to grow your small shop business is to get personal with your customers.
One of the main difficulties many small shop owners need to deal with is that they just can’t have more competitive prices. Make sure that you focus on quality, and then you can command higher prices. This involves not only the quality of the products or services that you are selling but also the quality of your service and how you handle customers.
Repeat customers are hard to get. Focusing on a more personal approach is one of the best ways to get them to come back for more.
#6: Make People Notice You:
If you recently opened your small shop and you are struggling, it’s time to consider whether you are marketing it enough or if you are simply opening your doors during the day.
One of the things that most new small shop owners think is that customers will come on their own. They think that customers will see that you have a door open for business and they will enter and buy multiple products or services. Unfortunately things don’t quite work this way.
Make sure that you hand out flyers, make cold calls, put ads on the local newspaper that you know people from your community reads. Attend networking events and referral groups. There are many different things you can do so people notice you.
#7: Establish Good Relationships With Your Suppliers:
Business relationships are important for all businesses. But they tend to be particularly important when we are talking about small shops.
The reality is that when you build good relationships with your suppliers, your community will have a good impression of you and, consequently, about your small shop. So, they will see it as a friendly place they can visit and they can even become loyal customers.
Thinking more about the short-term, when you have a good relationship with your suppliers, they can offer you some advantages like extending longer credit terms for you.
While growing a small shop is no easy task, there are many things you can do to grow it. These are just some of the small shop ideas to grow your business that you can implement. However, there are plenty more. Here are some tips on The Basics of Digital Marketing.
Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates
For related articles about business coaching, visit http://www.smallbusinesscoach.org/