Want more customers to visit your business and buy from you? Read five ways you can increase your footfall (and growing your profits as a result).
Running a small bricks and mortar business can be tough at times. Even if no one walks through your front door you still need to pay your running costs, such as rent, rates and staff salaries.
So it’s essential you do get people through your door – and not just anyone, you need lots of interested customers. After speaking to successful small business owners, we’ve put together five different ways you can increase your foot traffic and maximise your on-street visibility.
Five ways to increase your business footfall
Here they are – five ways you can increase your business footfall (and hopefully boost your profits).
1) Increase your visibility
One of the best ways to get noticed as a small business is to make sure that people can actually see who you are and what you provide.
So, for example, if you’re a cafe, consider investing in umbrellas or cafe blinds that are branded with your company name and the service you provide. Some cafes partner with a brand they sell (such as beer or ice cream) and combine their logo with their brand name. It’s smart, punchy and gives people somewhere cool to sit in the summer. Functional, promotional and stylish – a great combination all round.
If you’re a shop, ensure that passers by can easily see what you offer, and that your products are displayed attractively. If you’re allowed to put out boards or branded banners in the street, do so. And spend some budget, if you have it, on an attractive shop sign.
2) Promote your business with a community event
Nothing says ‘I’m a busy and popular business’ quicker than a group of people enjoying themselves at your shop, cafe or salon. So organise your own events, offer your premises to other businesses or host charity events.
Make sure that the event has some link to your business, and promote it through social media. For maximum impact, you can even contact your local media outlets and hopefully gain some free coverage. (You can learn how to write a press release that gets results here.)
3) Get to know your passers by
If you are in an area with heavy foot traffic, get to know who are the people that are walking by your store and what time they walk past.
I mean this very literally. Walk outside and stand on the street, or take a look and assess the demographic of who is coming and going in your area. Are these people window shopping, or are they buying?
Look for carrier bags. Are they coming from another store that is close by? If so, what kind of store is it? Is there any way that you could cross-promote, or provide a product that the store they have come from doesn’t provide, or something that complements the other store? If you can, place this product in your window to make sure people know what you provide.
4) Hold a seminar or workshop
It doesn’t matter if you have a retail business or a service business, one way to boost your foot traffic (and sales) is to educate customers about how to get more out of their purchase.
If you’re a florist, why not host flower arranging masterclasses? Or if you’re an estate agent or lettings business you could hold property styling workshops for interested people. A deli could teach customers about how to pair cheese and wines, and a cafe or bakery could organise cake decorating lessons. If you help businesses with digital marketing, why not arrange a short SEO workshop?
The options are endless. Just think about what your potential customer needs or would like to know, and share some of your knowledge. Not only do you get to show off your premises and start building a personal relationship with customers, but you get the chance to demonstrate your expertise, and hopefully upsell them as well.
And if nothing else, the word of mouth goodwill you can build up with a well-executed event is worth its weight in gold.
5) Use the power of social media to get ahead
Companies like Groupon, Living Social, FourSquare and Facebook all let you post information about your business and your latest offers. You can schedule deals and work with your target customer base to grow foot traffic and sales.
And don’t forget using social media generally to spread the word about what you do, and any promotions you’re running. Read this fantastic example of how a burger bar used social media to become a success in just a year.
See what your competitors are up to
We hope our tips have given you some ideas to help promote your business. Another great way to get more inspiration is to walk around your local area and see what other businesses are up to (especially the ones that are busy!).
You’ll also find some more helpful advice for building your business in these articles:
- Five quick marketing and PR tips for food businesses
- 10 ways to advertise your business locally for free
- Five reasons why people don’t buy from you