There are plenty of fantastic articles and blogs advising small businesses on what they should do to increase their customers in 2014, but what shouldn’t you do?
1. Don’t forget who your target audience is.
With every marketing activity you do, your first thought should always be to consider who your audience is and whether they will actually see or benefit from that activity. For example, if your audience is largely made up of students, putting an advert in the business section of your local newspaper is unlikely to be seen or responded to. You can easily avoid wasting money by simply considering your audience every time you make a marketing decision.
2. Don’t follow the crowd.
Just because your competitors are doing something, it doesn’t mean you have to! Try and think outside of the box (see my earlier blog post for more) and make sure you stand apart from them.
3. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
If you haven’t already done it, 2014 is the time to get your business onto social media. Set up a Twitter page for your business, upload some fantastic photos showing off your business onto Pinterest and get your profile set up on Google+. Then get talking – social media is a two-way dialogue, so make some connections and start sharing articles, blogs and videos which link to your business and that your followers will find interesting.
4. Don’t forget to tell your customers what you want them to do.
Wherever you can, make sure to put a call to action in your marketing copy. Tell potential customers what you want them to do, which can be as simple as saying ‘phone to book an appointment before the end of January’. Don’t be shy!
5. Don’t lose focus on your current customers.
It is often said that 80% of new business comes from returning customers. So make sure you are looking after them – don’t make them wait until you return their phone call, respond to their emails and always offer a fantastic level of customer service. The easiest way to think of it is to make sure you always give the level of customer service which you expect back. That way, you’ll keep your customers happy and encourage them to both return to you and recommend you to others.
Have a very Happy and Successful New Year!