With over 30 million small brick and mortar businesses in the U.S. and the convenience of shopping online, retail small business owners have a lot of competition. However, there are numerous ways for the brick and mortar business to market its goods and services. What will work best for you depends on your business, your location, your time, and your resources.
The first thing that people see is your physical presence, so make it memorable. Visible, quality signage that identifies your business and branding is a must. Your branding is your identity, and you will use it repeatedly. From the sign above your business door to the branding on your inside goods, your logo will become synonymous with you. You will use this branding in formal advertising, such as newspaper, billboard, and TV ads, as well as informal advertising, such as flyers, mailings, or vinyl banners from a quality supplier like Printastic, which can be used to promote special events.
Getting People Into Your Store
Although shopping online is convenient, most people prefer to shop in a brick and mortar store. However, you must give people a reason to come to you. Offer customers something they can’t get anywhere else. If you have a very unique product or service, this is easy. If you offer something more conventional, you’ll have to be a little more creative. Provide prepackaged bundled goods, already wrapped for the holidays. Provide a level of individualized customer service they can’t get elsewhere. Provide half-day information sessions or lessons. Do something that motivates customers to come to you rather than to your competition.
Take Advantage of Low-Cost Advertising
There are online sites on which you can advertise for free or for little cost. Craigslist and Kijiji are two free sites that are still alive and well. Online newspaper classifieds are another low-cost advertising option. Your own website can and should be used as well. Start a blog on your website and provide information to customers relating to your goods or services. If you sell health supplies, write blog posts about health-related matters; if you sell cooking supplies, provide great recipes with cooking tips.
Work on Your Website
Image via Flickr by Danard Vincente
Making sure that your website is visually appealing, user-friendly, and organized is a must for several reasons. Customers may choose to shop online with you. Giving them the option to do so could mean the difference between making or losing sales. Having an organized website provides two advantages. First, it allows people to find what you have to offer. It also allows for search engines to determine the purpose of your site. This will improve your site’s ranking in search results.
Marketing for your brick and mortar small business isn’t impossible if you’re on a budget or have limited resources. Marketing depends on being thoughtful and unique. You should make sure that potential customers understand what your business offers at first glance. A little creativity can go a long way toward getting the word out about all your great products and services.