1. I have worked for companies with huge PR and communications departmentsteams who spend their entire day getting the word out about your products andservices. I have also worked for 10-person companies who didn't have two nickels torub togetherand who had to claw and scratch to get any attention at all.As a small business owner, you think about customers every day: how to engagecurrent ones and lure back former ones. But you also likely spend a great deal oftime thinking about how to attract new customers. Leaf offers 3 (plus!) strategiesthat can help.
2. Forge partnerships with complementary businesses. There is strength innumbers, and partnering with like-minded businesses will enable you toexpand your customer reach. Hold a sidewalk sale with neighboring shops.Host a themed event. For example, if you own an independent pet store,you could partner with an animal training company, a professional dogwalking firm, and the new vet in town to host a pet show at the public park.Include small, relevant vendors and watch peopleand their revenuerollin.Get involved in your local community. Whether you volunteer atcommunity events or participate in charity giving, establishing stronger rootsin your community is a wonderful undertaking that will reap benefits foryears to come. Sponsor a 5k, put a donation cup on your counter to supporta sick local child, or donate your business skills (tax prep, marketing, etc.) toan event or organization in need. You will expand your business circles, giveback to the neighborhood that supports you, and introduce yourself to anew set of potential customers.
3. Reach out to members of the media. Contact your local media when you havesomething newsworthy to reportsuch as a new location, new ownership, amilestone anniversary, a new employee who deserves the spotlight, and thelike. But instead of making the story about YOU, take it as an opportunity toshare wisdom about how you got there. Be creative in your approach, and bewilling to talk about anythingbut be picky in the stories you choose to share,and make sure they will have value for readers.Embrace low-level marketing tactics. Distribute business cards and fliers tolocal, non-competitive businesses, and offer to do the same for them. Choose acharity to get involved with, and bring customers along for the rideofferdiscounts to customers who volunteer time or donate money to the designatedorganization. If your shop or restaurant is situated in a place with good foottraffic, position an employee outside your door and hand out free samples.Create a themed, personalized 2015 calendar (include your logo and contactinfo on every page) and give it to customersfood and puppy pictures sell!Think creatively, and your promotional efforts will be rewarded.