The crucial element for business extension is a strong basis, and a strong basis comes with a great number of regular customers. The problem is that everyone is trying to establish this strong base, therefore, it can be tricky to for people to just give their trust to someone who is basically a stranger. That’s the point of advertising, forging a new image for yourself, going from stranger to someone who is a familiar face. Stage two is gaining loyalty and thus, gaining regular consumers resulting in a stronger base necessary for further extension. Let us go over step by step how to make this work, and where you should try to enforce these tactics.
Finding your territory
First of all, ideal territory for a starting point would be somewhere your intended services are needed but do not exist. Such a thing is very hard to find, so if the neighborhood you are located in does not have a fertile ground for your initial idea, do not despair. Let us say for example that you are planning on opening a new café and already there are tons in your near vicinity, what should be your next step. The answer is innovation. Find out what existing providers have to offer and find out what they lack, how their interior is designed and what kind of music they are playing. Try to pin down what could be your target audience, what music you should play and how wallpapers and pictures could harmonize with selected music. If you feel there is nothing more that can be done in this area then it is a bad idea for an investment – find a new one and repeat the process.
Let’s say you managed to find something with a potential to flourish in your neighborhood, it is time to let people know. The best way to cover a wide area is social media marketing, since it is the easiest way to find the target audience. Allow me to elaborate, people who use Facebook are very likely to enrich their profiles with their hobbies and interests, thus when you have a page of your own store or club etc. you can pay for some social media buzz services, and people who like what you have to offer will be the ones targeted. With a fan base on your social network profile you can find some of your potential customers and start interacting with them, considering one of the reasons for existence of social networks is social interaction. Make sure you upload pictures of your merchandise, food, drinks or interior decorations, depending on the type of business you are in. Make sure you also have a website of your own with personal info, and services descriptions. Remember to be persistent, but not too pushy at the same time, be kind and helpful and people will feel welcome, thus becoming more loyal over time. Feel free to offer lower prices at the starting period, or offer coupons for gifts after a couple of purchases, for the purpose of luring more people in and increasing your authority in that area
Strengthen the bond and send a message
Every employer loves to treat the regular customers with a little gift of appreciation to show how he or she noticed the customer and his or her loyalty. This approach is called dynamic gift giving and it does much more than just making a customer happy. For example giving out silicon bracelets with your brand name and logo on them is a great way to treat the customers and allow them to spread the word about your place. It also sends a message to other people who intended to open up their store with the same services that this is your territory and that you already have regular consumers. I used the example of a bracelet since they are easy to manufacture, and to distribute, plus they are visible if someone wears them during summer time. There are other dynamic gifts you can use depending on your budget – pens, umbrellas (if there are rainy days ahead it would be a good idea), USB flash drives etc. The gift selection should have something to do with your line of work and your merchandise if possible, if not always use a general gift like pen, a silicon bracelet or a lighter.